You Know You’re a Walk-in When…

By Marilyn Harper

Excerpted from “Stepping Off The Edge.”

Many people have experienced major transformations in their life. When I think of a primary transformation for me; it is all in retrospect because at the time, I didn’t have a clue as to what was happening.

The transformation didn’t occur because I was suicidal. It didn’t occur because I was at a loss for what to do with my life. It didn’t occur because I was depressed, living in a darkness or afraid for my future. My transformation or exchange simply happened because I was done with one part of my life and ready to embark on another.

I know now that this is something that I chose because I was ready and I needed to use all the skills, talents and qualities of both energies prior to and following the transformational exchange. Some might call that a Walk-In or a Walk-Out.

Walk-In was the first term I recognized that described what I was feeling from 1993-1996. For those three years, after the exchange occurred, I really thought I had lost my mind. You see, suddenly, following complications after a simple gall bladder surgery, I didn’t like to do the same things, hang out with the same people; I couldn’t even perform the same skills. Some of which I had done for years. Prior to April 1993, I did counted cross-stitch for therapy, had been a professional costume designer and could normally be seen wearing red and black most any day. (My friends actually counted 14 days in a row that I only wore red or black, of course I told them they need to get a life for their own entertainment.)

After April 1993, I opened my closet and was shocked to realize that not only did I not have a desire to wear anything red or black; it was weirdly emotionally uncomfortable. I didn’t think too much about it, I just went shopping and then I was shocked to see that the only thing I really felt like buying was a pastel pink suit and a pastel green suit. Up until that point, I didn’t own anything that was pink or green (except for the Emerald green dress I wore on St. Pat’s Day), let alone pastel. Needless to say, I was confused.

Then I started to lay out a pattern and fabric on my dining table for a blouse I had purchased the month before. I knew I was losing it then, I couldn’t even figure out how to lay out the pattern on the fabric. I couldn’t figure out how to put the seams together, and of course, the blouse was un-wearable. When I sat down to do a new counted cross-stitch project, I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t know how to read the patterns and I didn’t know which thread to use or even how to purchase thread. I wondered if I had a brain tumor that had somehow erased my memory.

I went from being able to write at the Masters level, wonderful essays as an A student writing my thesis on my Masters Degree (prior to walking-in) to suddenly unable to put a sentence together with the correct word order (after the walk-in). I was horrified when I read what I had written for the first chapter of my thesis, and so was my professor! He let me know that it sounded more like a child’s journal instead of a thesis on writing a one-person play. Yes, try as I might, I couldn’t get anything coherent to come through in my writing. It read like English was my second language. I used to teach English, for goodness sake. How could that be?

Actually, insanity seemed a simple solution. I thought I had had some kind of stroke that caused me to lose my skills as a writer, speaker, teacher or costumer. I thought I was having some sort of mental breakdown. It never occurred to me that I was having a breakthrough instead of a breakdown.

I remember I wanted a sign from God explaining what had happened to me that seemed to change everything in my life. Before 1993, I was the one who, at the drop of a hat was ready to go dancing, socializing at any level. Then suddenly, I was almost a reclusive, a homebody. Even when I went out to a party, I was shy and uncomfortable instead of in the middle of the crowd dancing.

It was pretty weird for those three years. I continued asking God for answers, expecting for God to speak in a loud voice as he did to Moses with the burning bush. I kept looking for my burning bush of explanation that was something different than I had indeed lost my mind.

Where did I go? Where am I? What Happened? Why don’t I feel connected to most of my friends?

Then, in November and December 1995, I received my answers. The messages came through loud and clear from my mother, “Big Bill” who was a cross between Gandhi and Hoss from Bonanza, and finally John Schulte.

But that is a story for another time…

Excerpted from “Stepping off the Edge”, Book 1 of our series GPS for your Soul

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