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Chapter 1: New Beginnings

Let go the old, embrace what's new,

Transcendence dawns, sever resistance's chord.

Free your spirit, let limitations undo,

In boundless realms, your soul shall soar.

I find myself reluctant to halt my writing simply because I am ending a chapter in my life. It's intriguing to consider how endings can genuinely pave the way for new beginnings. Although I'm uncertain about what lies ahead for me, I'm brimming with numerous captivating ideas. I thoroughly relish occupying this realm of innovation, yet executing those ideas seems to escape me.

It's clear to me that my true purpose and strength lie in conceiving and sparking innovation, rather than implementing it. I am an innovator and a catalyst, not an executor.

This Monday marks the beginning of my last week at OHA. By Friday, I will be presenting my final report before moving on. I can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in fulfilling my responsibilities with diligence and determination. As I reflect on my journey, I find myself eagerly anticipating what lies ahead, yet I'm also cautious about rushing into anything prematurely.

I've always been deliberate in making decisions, taking ample time to consider my options. Society often perceives this careful approach as procrastination, linking sabbaticals with laziness. However, how many individuals truly embrace the concept of taking a break to explore new paths and heal from past journeys?

Indeed, I personally engage in this practice, and it's a remarkable and revitalizing experience that I sincerely wish our society would embrace. Just envision if individuals were granted the privilege of taking three months off annually, similar to teachers and other academics. It's an essential aspect of the human journey to have the chance to rest, reflect, and delve into introspection before embarking on new life experiences.

Following my divorce, I swiftly dove into a new relationship, almost immediately after the ink had dried on the divorce papers. In doing so, I failed to allow myself the necessary time to grieve and recover from the emotional trauma associated with the dissolution of my marriage.

Divorce, undoubtedly, inflicts a significant wound upon a person's sense of self. For me, entering into a new relationship right away was akin to placing a temporary bandage over that wound. Eventually, the bandage lost its hold, unraveling and leaving the wound exposed once again, raw and vulnerable. It became clear that the tear in my identity required healing, and that was a task I had to undertake myself.

Having experienced trauma in my current role, my identity has been deeply affected, and it is now imperative for me to mend it.

Therefore, I have made the decision to take a three-month sabbatical, dedicating that time to repairing the harm caused. I acknowledge the immense privilege I possess in being able to secure this period for myself. It is precisely because of this privilege that I recognize the heightened importance of engaging in this healing process.

I understand that if I were to hastily jump into another role, I would inevitably carry my unresolved pain and projections into the new experience, potentially impacting the interpersonal dynamics that unfold. I owe it to myself and to wherever I eventually land to undertake this necessary healing work. By doing so, I can address and overcome the wounds that have affected my identity, ensuring a healthier and more productive future.

I do experience distress knowing that I must bear the financial burden in this situation. I firmly believe in the principles of restorative justice, recognizing the harm inflicted upon me and many others by OHA. Ideally, it should be their responsibility to assume the financial consequences. However, our existing systems do not operate in such a manner.

To pursue financial redress, I would be compelled to navigate the grueling path of burden of proof. Within our current systems, this process entails repeatedly recounting my story to individuals who scrutinize it, often seeking ways to evade accountability for the pain I have endured. This journey in itself is re-traumatizing, which is why, given my privilege, I have made the choice to forgo embarking on it.

Instead, I will actively seek ways to reshape and reform the system, striving to create a more equitable framework. My aim is to ensure that individuals who lack the same privileges as myself are not subjected to the arduous and traumatizing journey towards justice. By advocating for change, I aspire to create a system where accountability and justice are more readily accessible to all.

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