For the first time in roughly a month, I climbed yesterday. Pulling myself up a piece of stone doesn't DO much of anything. I don't get paid for it. It doesn't produce anything useful: food, clothing, that sort. But it does provide me immense satisfaction for some reason unknown to me. Since April, I've done little but go to work, hide my nose in books, and...wish there was something to write here. Nothing wrong with a bit of reading and obviously working to support yourself is a positive thing; but never the less, I've made a grievous error. I stopped DOING, doing the things I'm passionate about. Odd that, those things, I can't really even put a name to. Climbing obviously has been neglected, but I don't think that quite sums up what I've been missing. For lack of a better explanation, I have to think that what is missing is the unknown. New experiences, places, people, ideas.
Guilt, not unlike that experienced before a critical minister badgering the crowd about sin in my youth at a conference, hit me earlier as I realized this idle trance I've fallen into. Returning to TN has been great and I've learned/experienced some necessary things, but I've become too comfortable and found myself stuck in a routine, quite possibly the worst thing I can imagine!!! A lot of my own thoughts, oddly enough, are expressed much better by other people, and Annie Dillard has perhaps stated this fear to perfection in her book "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," writing: "Cry aloud. It is the fixed that horrifies us, the fixed that assails us with the tremendous force of its mindlessness. [...] The fixed is the world without fire- dead flint, dead tinder, and nowhere a spark. It is motion without direction, force without power, the endless procession of caterpillars round the rim of a vase, and I hate it because at any moment I myself might step to that charmed a glistening thread."
A reminder that eventually I have to "build a life for myself" is no comfort. Sorry. The phrase is enough to send me out the door with naught but the shirt on my back; turn me into Forest Gump, running without care until it would seem prudent to stop and change direction. What does it entail to build a life?
To "build a life" makes me think of being stuck in one place without the option of leaving, picking one occupation to fill my time for years to come. THAT in turn, makes me think of a prison cell. The longest I've ever held one job continuously is eight months. Ask a 5 year old what he wants to be when he grows up and you'll get an answer something like a police officer or a fire fighter, the stereotypical answers. Ask me what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm likely to kick you in the shins and run the opposite direction.
I think to want to stay in one spot, and want to start a career, those things that come with building a life, you have to have a desire for change, improvement. What have I to gain from a career? I can't think of anything I want to improve right now. The only thing I want to change is my local. Like so many before me, I'm happier when I'm moving, doing. Cut down to it and I guess I have commitment issues of sorts. Can't be helped. Someone find me a therapist. I'll probably just kick 'em in the shins and run away though.