Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Moving On (But Not Quite Yet)

I was watching a young student practice his baseball swing during graduation rehearsal last week and it got me thinking about daydreaming. When I was in grade school I spent any down time at school dreaming about what I'd do in the woods with my friends after school. In high school, as I approached adulthood and independence, my daydreams gained steam into trips I would go on or places I would find myself. In college there was a disconnect between what I wanted to do - spend every September-December in the woods hunting - and what what I was schooling myself to do - work in New York. Just in time, I cured myself of those New York ambitions and proceeded to graduate then go into the woods. It was my first taste of independence and I did exactly what I'd daydreamed about during so many years in a classroom.

Less than a year later I found myself on an adventure that solidified the importance of 'adventure' in my life going forward: Peace Corps. But restlessness set in even there, and during my second year I began dreaming in earnest about subsequent adventures. For three years after Peace Corps I didn't stay in place more than three months at a time (and those three months came 30+ miles from the nearest road!). It wasn't a rule of mine to keep moving, but rather I kept finding interesting things to pursue.

The theme here is that when I get restless or bored with a place, I begin to think about what I would do if I didn't have responsibilities. Invariably that thought process takes me to a new location. When watching that boy practice his baseball swing, undoubtedly wishing he were 100 other places than that gymnasium, it got me thinking about why I haven't yet started daydreaming here. I certainly have plenty of "stuck in a gymnasium" moments. I'm not sure that I came to anything solid enough to write out as a conclusion, except that I've only (!?) been here 2.5 years. I have no doubt that at the end of my fourth (or fifth, should it come to that) year I will be ready to go. Right now I still have some adventures yet to accomplish here but I can see the end of the list. That's not to say I won't rewrite the list, but I also understand the novelty of the place will wear down. And I'm pretty sure I won't ever be satisfied staying in any one place forever.

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