Monday, July 9, 2012

i won't do that, part deux

I'm thinking that maybe something in my last post missed the mark, since I got these replies from AliKat & Freckles (the first being one of my oldest friends, and the second my sister) who both left me thinking 'what we have here is a failure to communicate:'
AliKat: Loved it, Shan.
I have often thought about where I ‘should’ be in life at my age. Having started over as a ‘mature adult’ has meant a lot of sacrifices along with a pile of joy. Then I came to realize this is not productive for me. You know, there is nothing wrong with just enjoying the people you love and the place you are in right now. I often think that maybe all of the 'travel' and things we dream for are right in our backyards, but we are blinded by the trips to Hawaii and big incomes that get us around the world. Don't get me wrong, I think travelling to other countries is a great thing as it exposes us to diverse cultures and experiences, but sometimes it isn't the dream that is defunct, it is how we see ourselves fitting in within an ideology that values the pool, fancy house, at least three yearly vacations, and a host of other things over just being satisfied with sitting on your front stoop with a buddy and a cup of minty water (mint grown in your very own yard, of course). I think perhaps it isn’t the lack of motivation, but perhaps we are exactly where we should be right a dream that has some big assed bumps in the road, but none-the-less a great place to be.
Freckles: Well said <AliKat>; we'll never be happy or even satisfied if all we do is look outside of where we are. Being in the 'now' allows us to enjoy now and look forward to what is coming. It is certainly tough sometimes, but wishing your life away seems like such a waste of what we've been given.
To both of these fine ladies I say TOTALLY, and let me clarify:

I am truly grateful for my life right now, and am sorry that isn't always clear. Although I fight with depression it does not cloud my awareness that this life I have right now - the partner, the job, the awesome home with the great garden, the sons making strides to create their futures - is exactly what I wished for. I'm grateful. And relieved. My favourite times are sitting on the back porch with STG looking at our garden or giggling with BB2 as he refuses to let me help with his English homework & just enjoying the incredible miracle that those simple moments, that garden, the homework exist.

Perhaps my experience of being an outsider - and my hard-won ability to tranform 'not fitting in' into 'being special' - is something I've held on to for too long. I've prided myself on not conforming fully to the supposed ideals of our culture. I'm not someone who is overly motivated by money or status - recognition for sure, but not money or status. If I were, I would never have left post-secondary teaching to work part-time while my boys were younger. I would never have left the private-sector to work for a charity. I would never have ended a relationship with a man who wanted to buy me things and waited instead for a man who gives me himself.

The dreams I have don't have to do with acquisitions or conformity or wealth - they all come back to freedom. And perhaps that's why they are hard to articulate. A million dollar home, doubling my income, even losing 40 pounds are all measurable, tangible goals that, with the right actions attached, are completely achievable.

But how do you pursue something as intangible as freedom? Creativity? Expression? It may be that it's possible right here and right now in my cute house and my awesome garden and my contributing-to-society job. It may be, but for all my wonder at this amazing life, there's still that something magical that eludes me.

Absolutely I am grateful for my life, satisfied to have my big ass on my stoop sipping cool drinks with the people I love, and yet I can't help looking out at the stars past the edge of the island and wondering ... what's out there ...


  1. - A million dollar home is not different from a home half or a quarter that price, as long as you really can call it home.
    - doubling your income won't make a difference, except you'll be able to waste twice the money.
    - losing 40 pounds will not change who you are inside. Passion is not about beauty, only sex is, and sex is ephemeral.

    So, probably you are happy enough not to change anything?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...