For a while, since my ill-advised marriage was history at least, I’ve felt pretty secure with who I am, where I am and, overall, I have been optimistic about the future, about where I am going. Lately, however, there has been some wear in the fabric of my life. Not rips or tears yet (been there, not anxious to go back), but the stresses can propagate if not addressed. And there are some unaddressed stresses. Some I can identify, are temporary and will, with time, resolve themselves. They require no action, no plan. There are others, however, that I am not sure of, what their source or nature is and, as a result, I have no idea what to address, let alone how. What that adds up to is dread. I’ve felt it before. Sometimes that feeling of impending doom is impending doom; sometimes when it feels like something just ain’t right it is because something just ain’t right.
At this point, it’s just a feeling – it has no tangible source. It could be the weather and being “cooped up” this long without significant deviation. We need the rain, we welcome the rain, but in California we are not used to it raining this much this long. It might be that those temporary self-righting issues are not self-righting fast enough. But that is not likely; I know that by the end of this year – likely much sooner, and barring anything unexpected – life will get much less complicated. But the build-up, the tension and the stress could be having an unconscious effect.
All this leaves me feeling unsure about almost everything. If I was so unencumbered, if I was without responsibility, if I could, I would just go. I’d get on my bike and leave it all in my rear-view mirror. But that is not who I am today, I don’t run. Okay, I guess I do know who I am. I also have this job - a career - that I enjoy more than any other I’ve ever had, and I have had a few. It pays pretty well, but I’ve made more money. It’s got a lot of independence, but not as much as no job would. It gives me great satisfaction and is an integral part of who I am. I look forward to it and will until I am ready to stop working sometime in my early 60s. Okay, I guess in that respect I am pretty optimistic about the future, about where I am going.
With the exception of the time I spent away in Baton Rouge working on (and failing to earn) a Ph.D., I have lived in the same place - about 15 years. I have owned the same house for almost 14 years and lived in it most of that time. These are the deepest roots I’ve ever had except for when I was a kid. And even that “record” is close to falling. I almost stayed away when I was in Baton Rouge, but there was something calling me back – I felt I needed to be in the west – maybe not Sacramento, maybe not even California, but my calling was definitely to the west. I’ve been back nearly four years now. Prior to that, I rented my house out for less than two years and before that I “commuted” to Baton Rouge and LSU.
During that time, a lot of bridges were burnt. Some of those fires I lit and some were set by others. What drew me back to Sacramento was a combination of a few good friends, a home and the job opportunity that has become my career. That’s it – had it not been for just those things, I would have had no problem living anywhere else west of the Rockies. Someday, the only thing holding me here will be a few good friends, and that won’t be enough. Without the additional ties of this particular home and my career, I’ll have the freedom to come and go as I please. As much as I love my job and embrace how it defines me, I am very much working toward retirement – I will have no trouble “keeping busy.”
That leaves me where I am. I am here, trying to navigate this world the best I can. I’ve been doing a pretty good job these past few years, but like anything else, there is always room for improvement. I try to stay in my own lane. That doesn’t mean I don’t make observations, make evaluations and form opinions – everyone does, there is nothing inherently wrong with discernment (some people derogatorily call it judgement, so be it). But I don’t insert myself or impose my way in others’ lives, it’s not my business or my place. I also do not take kindly to anyone imposing their way on me. In that respect I don’t have to be right or wrong – no one does. To each his or her own, we reap whatever we sow. I am lucky to have what I do, but none of it is worth giving up my sanity.
So where am I? What does it all mean? Fuck if I know. Those are damned good questions. Time will tell.