Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happiness Stream of Consciousness

(please note: following post written for the most part last week. I'll be attempting to process the last week in the next few days but seem to be doing a better job talking about it than writing about it so far!)

I am on a modern-day vision quest of sorts. Sure, it's just a week, and it's not an empty week in the desert waiting for signs and interpreting the flight of the eagle above me - but it's as close to such things as I've taken myself recently. I'm spending 9 days in the place where I grew up - the place I loved and left when my family moved my sophomore year in high school. The place where my brother and his new baby live, with another brother and sister-in-law and their families nearby. My parents and extended family are two hours away, and a host of friends both old and new have started to call this home as well. So while this week is full of visits, reconnecting with old friends, taking a chance on new friends - it is also a time to simply awaken the pieces of me that are so intricately tied to this place. The pieces I long for when Southern California gets too dry, when family seems a bit too far away, when inspiration hasn't struck. Still - part of the happiness I feel in being here is knowing that I have another home to return to - dear friends that after a week away I will catch up with and bask with in the So-Cal sun, and share all that is going on inside me, if I can put a finger on it to try and explain.

I've managed to preserve one sweet day with no plans leaving space for writing, meditating, adhering to a brief to-do list and letting the day unfold comfortably. I'm not always good at this - I make my lists and I chastise myself for not keeping to them. The faint whispers of such scoldings in my ear remind me that no matter where you are, life's flaws follow you. I don't escape my neuroses by putting myself in a different local - but I do give myself space to see them for what they are. With a day laying before me, time wasted on the internet is more evident - my list of tasks that translate to my future more pressing, and more enjoyable. At the top of the list though, and rightly so, are the moments I'm taking to try and document all that's going through my head. The value of taking this time, of letting myself wander a bit - not focus on decisions but focus on what's making me tick - what's giving me energy, what's causing me to be nervous or bring a smile to my face.

My observations thus far, in no particular order - and referencing a variety of things as I try and figure out life and love and career and location:

1) Moving to the Bay Area could once again mean Saturday afternoons with nothing to do. I think this is fear talking - but I think of the time after my break up and departure from 2020 where suddenly free time opened up as this expanse in which I had no idea what to do with myself. Part of the self-discovery post break up has been realizing free time is the best time - I've gotten involved in new things, rediscovered a joy of reading, been better at getting the day-to-day life stuff done and built a core of friends around me with whom to share it. A move would mean embarking on this process all over again - which is not necessarily bad, I just think it's something to consider - am I ready to revisit that already, or do I want to enjoy the life I've discovered more?

2) I like naps. When contemplating a career path, 8-5 is less and less appealing. My sister-in-law suggested I figure out how much money I need to survive and get a job (or a few jobs) for awhile that will support that but give me some freedom in my schedule. This is immensely appealing to me right now. I think of doing some free-lance copy editing, pushing for some focus-groups, some temp work - whatever, just taking a few months to be able to surf in the a.m., nap in the p.m. and have the space and time to evaluate what's important to me, plain and simple.

3) Weather is important to me. I doubt I would still be in SoCal if it weren't for the weather. Being in the city this weekend was interesting - I could track my mood by how cold and gloomy it was - it lifted immediately when the sun came out.

4) I want to live in a city someday - or at least work in a city someday. It just seems like the thing to do. Bart makes this so easy - a commute from the East Bay is pretty quick - with time to read that I don't have on a daily basis. I love the idea of a train commute!

5) I think living in the Bay Area would bring music back into my life. I am surprised that I don't miss it's presence more - I sang for so many years and the last four have been empty of this. Being in the Bay offers big churches, the potential for gospel - or small groups doing contemporary arranging, and at the very least - being able to enjoy Piedmont Children's Choirs which hopefully my niece will be joining. Again - it's connecting to a piece of my history that could become a part of my present - I don't know how to rationalize that - is it living in the past or is it embracing the depths of who I am and giving voice (literally!) to a piece of me longing to be revisited and awakened?
So these are some initial thoughts...more of a recap including a fabulous date, an old flame and the cutest. baby. ever. to come...


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