So, I've been thinking about perspective lately.
It's funny how our experiences shape how we think and react to things. I've had a unique "problem" in that I've travelled short term (maximum of several months in one place) that I don't think very far out in terms of time. People invite me to their weddings and I tell them that I won't know until closer to time if I'll even be in the country. And while that's a fun problem to have--I'm not complaining, because I love it--I've noticed recently how much it affects my approach to life.
**Photo by Kristen Torres-Toro 2009**
It's not that I shy away from relationships or that I'm afraid of committment. I don't cling too much either. But when I make a friendship, it's for life. I don't have time to just be a surface friend. If you want to go deep and be in community with me, I'm all in. Because I know all too well the time will end. The trip will close, we'll go to opposite sides of the globe, and the physical sharing of our lives will be reduced to email, cell phones, and skype. Do you see the problem here?
So, six weeks ago I moved to a new place. But I'm still thinking short term. I don't know how to think long term. Which means I'm tempted to rush, rush, rush, stress, stress, stress, and pack as much in as I can because the trip will end... only it's not a trip. This is life. And life at a frenetic pace will only lead to me needing medication. So I'm working on adopting a long term perspective. Like someone accustomed to only being able to see up close, this is taking some time! I've become my own broken record. Everytime I automatically react to something I have to suppress that knee-jerk action of immediacy and alarm, of savoring every last second of life because you don't know when you'll get another chance here again. And while I'm all about enjoying life, it's the focus that's off... like I'm near-sighted with life (I always get near-sighted and far-sighted confused).
I think it's easy for us to get that way with writing too. At least, I do. I don't know what's coming in the future. I do hope to be published in book form. I can only imagine the demands on me then, the new things I have to learn, do, and add to my schedule. A few weeks ago I was so overwhelmed with the combination of that and the place I'm in now I couldn't move or write. Not a fun experience. Now I'm shrugging it off because when the time comes for me, I'll be able to figure it all out. Somehow. But I can't miss this time I'm in now by looking too far in the future--and I can't focus so much on life right now that I'm blind to what's coming. I need a middle perspective, kind of like the picture above.
Sometimes even the short term demands seem like too much. Can I just say how proud I am of the people who've recently cried "Sabbatical!" and gone dark? Good for them! I'll follow them when they get back... miss them while they are gone... and hope they are able to focus on what they need to. Maybe my day will come when I need to throw up my hands and focus on one thing at a time writing-wise. I hope I have the guts to do it, if the time ever comes.
It's all about perspective.
See y'all Wednesday!
5 hours ago