I want to pick up on a theme from one of my earlier “exercising the muscle” posts. It’s this idea that I am consistent. In that post, I was playing with the fact that all the foibles of my ego and my personality seem to hold steady over time.
But something I find equally interesting is that, when I get to a pinch point and take a step back and really take a hard look at my values and my life goals, they remain pretty consistent. And they are these:
- I believe in the importance of acting in your daily life as if the choices you make matter for your planet and your society, even if the statistical reality is that this is an absurd vanity-slash-fantasy.
- I believe that a sailboat is a critical piece of family infrastructure, because it gives you the ability to travel or relocate from Place A to Place B without any inputs but the wind. (Importantly: no fossil fuel required.)
- I want “remote” property. This can either be remote in the Kodiak sense of the word, i.e. something off the road system; or “remote” in the sense of the word that would apply to about 99.99% of America, i.e. in a very small Alaska community (like, waaaay smaller than Juneau). I see this place as my haven, my canvas, my imagination, my classroom, A.’s classroom, my retreat, my point of safety.
- I want to write. Ugh, this one just hurts every day. I want to write, write, write, write, write. I want to figure out how to get the characters and the scenery and the worries and the ideas that bang around in my head out onto paper. Also, if I’m honest, I want those words to be read by other people. I want to try to find the way to tap into something animating, and share it with others in a way that causes them to pause or dream or recalibrate 3 degrees in one direction or another.
So what I find strange about this list above is that, despite the fact that it has been relatively consistent for at least 20 of my 41 years, I seem unable to make forward motion on most of these. So what I experience is a sense of dissonance, nearly constantly. I am very clear on these things, and have been clear on them for actual decades. But it’s as if I’m in a state of paralysis.
And every time I get to a struggle point in my life—something like a crisis or a sense of real confusion, something that agitates me enough that I have to get really serious or really dark or really quiet for a while to try to figure it out—these things come back to me.
Coming to this realization in the last couple of months has been important for me. The next important step will be not to forget this. And an additional important step will be talking lots with C. about this, to see if there are some of these things that we can undertake within the structure of our family and our relationship with one another.