Sunday, September 21, 2008
I am committed in my belief that at least one day out of every week should be set aside for butt-sitting. Today, I am embracing that belief wholeheartedly. Yesterday, I spent my day correcting my students' papers. Today, I'm spending my day playing with paper. It's all about balance...and avoiding the kind of burn-out that almost took my creative life last year.
Sure, I'm only halfway through my "weekend" grading, but I had to set aside some time today to add a few pages to my Paper 08 mini-album. Now I'm only two weeks behind!
The page above is for Operation 34: "To Do." We've been talking a lot about our future lately, considering the possibility of moving eventually, taking us from Hawaii to...umm...any suggestions? Yep, it's a complete life overhaul for us, apparently. We're hitting CTRL+ALT+DELETE, rejecting the horrible cost of living here, and setting our sights on something different...a new start. When? Well, I guess the page says it all -- "Soon." We used to say, "Someday," but now, it's "soon."
It's scary, but it's also exciting. I've lived in the same place my whole life, so this is unsettling in the most direct sense of the word, but it's also something I think I need. I don't want to look ahead at my life and see everything laid out so predictably. That kind of certainty is not something I'm wanting these days. I'm really loving the idea of change.
The books I've been reading may be partly to blame for this "shift" in my perspective. In The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner writes, "Paradise is a moving target." So true. I mean, look at me: I'm living in Hawaii, a so-called "paradise," but it isn't, really. The price of paradise is way too high. In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert's break from her "normal" life helps her to truly embrace living. I'm not searching for an internal conversion, though. I'm not in need of a revolution. I'm simply hungry for something different, a chance to experience the world outside of the comfort zone that has buffered me all my life. Of course, there's the old adage, "Wherever you go, there you are," so maybe I need to keep my eagerness in check.
If we stay here, though, I can see my daughter's life unfolding predictably as well. She would graduate from a public high school here. She'd go on to UH -- since that's all that we would be able to afford (and just barely, due to the massive mortgage we'd be paying). She would end up making her life here, experiencing the same struggles, wondering if things would be different if she could just...leave. Generation after generation lives life on repeat here. Maybe it's time to expand our perspectives, to embrace new opportunities, and to leave this place, where all of the roads run in circles.