Thursday, December 3, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

So, I haven't updated this thing since April, apparently - though if you count my summer travel blog, it hasn't been quite that long after all, so I will. :grin:

It's been a full couple of months, including a lot of work, changes, perspective, and a little bit of self-discovery, all of which I'm glad of. There was a while after I returned from Spain and when the summer ended that something like a depression set in, and I couldn't shake it for a while. Traveling abroad - especially for a month, which is a pretty long time for most Americans, and certainly for me - was an amazing experience, but was this sort of beautiful fantasy life in some ways. My experiences in Spain were very real, worthwhile, and enriching, but obviously, I didn't have to worry about obligations of any kind, the state of my life, the direction I'm taking it, putting my nose to the grindstone, continuing to practice the complex and dangerous alchemy of turning my passion into my work, etc.

I essentially got to look at beautiful people, places, and things for four weeks and have an outrageous amount of time to myself - some of my favorite things in the world.

Even when I returned to Boston, I didn't really return to Boston. I went to my parents' in the Catskills almost immediately after I returned - then I went to Jersey. I did a lot of traveling over August, still, which culminated in a two-week visit from a dear friend I hadn't seen in far too long, and a trip to Georgia to see Depeche Mode in concert - all of which were fantastic and fun experiences.

But also sort of postponed the inevitable.

"Summers off" are a privilege. Though anyone who's ever met anyone from Europe will say that we as Americans live practically as slaves because we only get two weeks' paid vacation a year on average (teachers notwithstanding), having any time off at all is a privilege, when you think about it. The system we've developed for work is inorganic, like so many other things. Now, that's a dirty pinko commie tree-hugging hippie sort of statement - and I won't apologize for that. Stepping out of "real life" for a month - for two weeks, for five days - can be a method of escape; ends up being the only way a lot of people make it through a year of working somewhere they don't like doing something they care nothing about.

I'm fortunate enough not to be in this situation - I have a sweet, sweet gig right now, and it cannot be said enough how grateful I am for it. But at the same time, life is life, and the taste of perfection will leave even the most glorious existence seeming flawed.

Beside that, I had to get the hell back to work. And move (AUGH I had to MOVE! Again! LOLOL). And deal with what the hell I was doing.

So I did. And what's good about New England is that autumn is the best time of year here, and I'm extremely susceptible to the charms of the "transition seasons." I went apple picking, which was enormously lovely and fun. I reconnected with friends. I've been enjoying living in my new apartment. I made some commitments to improving myself and my life that I've been keeping (much to my surprise sometimes, to be honest), and I've narrowed my focus significantly to git 'er done.

These things all helped in readjusting to my life - as well as shifting my expectations of it back to reasonable and appreciative ones. LOLOL. Yes, it would be great if I could lie on the beach and/or look at beautiful art and architecture all day, but then again, you can't refine a thing without some grit. And I like my grit, such as it is. It's far less than I've ever dealt with before, that's for sure.

Anyway, with Thanksgiving just over and two weeks left in the semester (sweet jesus, really? only two weeks?), I have gratitude in mind. I was talking to a dear friend yesterday - wah wahing about my vagabond lifestyle, and how yeah, it's nice that I'm in grad school, and that I've devoted myself to pursuing my passions, and that I can go wherever I want and do whatever I want, but wah wah, I want whatever I don't have because I don't have it right now. LOLOL.

She was very insightful and understanding and offered great perspective that was gracious and honest, and it just put me in a place to remind me that I'm seriously ridiculously lucky. My life is goddamn amazing. And all the things I want will come with time, patience, and perseverance.

Now this just sounds like something you'd find in a fortune cookie. LOLOL.

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