5 Mar 2014, 12:07pm
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A Little Personal History, part 7, risking the future

I used to believe things that I have since forgot. Anne Lemott in Bird by Bird related that Annie Dilliard said that if you give freely there will always be more but hoarding, protecting, dries up supply for you and everyone. I used to believe that. I’m coming around to believing it again.

When I stopped my cash economy job I had waited for probably 5 years, maybe 7 to see somewhere lateral to move to. I’d done interviews and job searches but in the end I just leapt with no where to go and no idea how to get there. No parachute or plan and while we were juggling 3 mortgages. Shortly after that we sold two of the properties, and we totalled our car then hubby got laid off and started his own freelancing. So that was an interesting year. 2006 I believe.

Sometimes it seems to make sense to refer to anything over 7 years ago as the proto-person. It can keep you from harping on your own past mistakes or others. Everyone miscalculates, and can research as much as they like but can’t predict every dealbreaker that could happen.

People don’t change but sometimes they do. The mind makes animation from stills, fills in gaps in continuity, creates continuity. It’s for people not just things, self, not just others. We make composites to make sense cohere into patterns. Sometimes we get it right.

Chastity Bono as wee kid found himself align his outward and inward selves to become Chaz Bono in 2010.

I contend that I change, not always as visibly as some, in how I interact, in what I value, in how I value. To live is to learn. That’s not to deny that there are constants. Am I fixed like a butterfly on a pin or living?

Can I become and overcome to be anything? Hum and haw. There are certain things I lean towards, skillsets I already have. There are things that I have no idea of a way into. It would take time. 10 Creative Women Over 80 aren’t overnight successes but diligently putting in the hours of interest.

I’d have to get a move on. A century is nothing to most species of trees but to people they’re more substantial. 7 years whips past pretty quickly.

If you ascribe to 10,000 hours (of perfect practice not just killing time haphazardly at it), if you do something full time, that’s just 3 years to become an expert. I suppose that’s why job listings often ask for a degree plus 3-5 years experience. By the end of 5 years, you should know something differently, right?

Even if you’ve not attempted to train, each feeling, reaction, choice is a training or retraining.

Whether you admit something has value or doesn’t, you’re still acting as if it has value by applying your hours to it.

You may direct yourself with one notion and objective in mind but the payoff and the roads from there can be unforeseeable. There is always so much data from so much direction and all of it subtly alters the course of what is possible, or perhaps thickens shielding and threat. Which is still an accommodation and chemical cascade that changes what gets seen.

If I could control my future, I would want more cash in it. Not in the lottery sense. A paying job is a sort of daily lottery. It pays the ego. My ego’s rather in a beauty deficit somedays but then the black dog of depression hasn’t been shot. But it’s more trained. It doesn’t jump up and knock me over so much. I’m pretending that I had something to do with that but maybe that’s just how it happened.

I see people who torpedo onto scene and make quick connections, state fondness, admiration, connection for others then rocket back out of there. That groundwork done, ties may resume eventually.

Some connections are on slower waves. Haiku conferences are only yearly but after a few years, although you’ve only been in the same room for hours, you’ve known each other for a decade, and maybe seen each other’s work in between time. You have shared connection of trajectory, people in common, knowledge in common.

How does this all lead forward? What am I getting at? Yes, good questions.

Each time I’ve leapt I’ve basically leapt, eyes shut or vastly underprepared. There’s some avenue and I dive down in, or take a meander without knowing the why. I may be scared or calm. But I head out. It seems inconsistent for someone who is nervous by nature, given to panic attacks and general anxiety. Why not stay in safe places?

I bore easily. I like myself better when I’m occupied. I like to meet people who don’t have the same views. I’d rather not deal with loud and aggressive people but I’m getting better about handling that.

Much of people’s presentation is just stylistic noise, habit, reactions to motivations towards or away from something. We’re really just feeding tubes, amoebas with a lot of padding that respond to our our chemistry of light and dark, too hot, too cold, trying to effect change and something optimal, whether excitement or rest.

For all the variety we have a pretty narrow temperature range. As Souvankham’s poem, Thermometer, a diagram of says, we’re inside fairly finite confines when you pull the camera back. Air, water, temperature.

It’s the tyranny of tiny differences that catches us up. Can I throw myself into being a particular career and excel? No success at anything is guaranteed.

You can inform yourself with other lives and what range of things are likely, what tools you can access but in the end, it’s just free fall though canopies of blossoms and twigs. Pack the anti-histamine.

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