I think I’m in a much different mindspace than I was when I began working on a blog post this morning. There is nothing more re-aligning than getting out -- away from deadlines and issues and your comfort zone, whether it be a favorite chair or your cubicle at work. We may believe we need to work all the time in order to make more, accomplish more, be more, but that isn’t true.
What we need to do is cultivate the relationships around us. Take a day off to spend it wandering with a friend, eat dinner while telling stories and laughing, drink a cold one and watch crap telly under a shared blanket. For all the digital world has to offer, all those matters of prestige and popularity shown through Followers and Likes, it doesn’t mean a thing when you sign off the computer and get back to who you are.
Maybe we’re all losing our balance, one hand on the wheel while our eyes are checking emails on our phones. Which isn’t to disparage phones -- I can go days without actually touching a computer for more than editing video or typing longer pieces (though I greatly prefer writing by hand in brightly-colored composition books with a fountain pen), yet feel no less disconnected than when I’d spend days upon days in front of a screen. What relationships are being formed, there?
I do have a great many friends I know as letters on a screen. But I no longer need to be tied down to a computer in a room, sheltered from such amazing concepts as sunlight and grass and the sound of cars on a nearby road. I can be out there, hiking a mountain or listening to a radio program in the gym and be just as connected.
Recently, when disparaged about enrollment numbers and bank account balances, I realized something: I can’t work a regular job. And I don’t think I really want to (I’ve had enough time in Cubicle Land, thank you!). Fibromyalgia may keep me from finding and keeping that soul-sucking “normal” job I need to pay all my bills and such, but here’s the thing:
What would I be doing differently if I weren’t filling my days with writing and art? Would I be making more money, it magically appearing from between the couch cushions? Or would I be exactly where I am now, except a bit less happy, less connected, and so bottled up inside myself, I wouldn’t have any idea how to connect.
This week, I wrote damn near an essay on my life, now. On friendship and what it means to me. And I was surprised not only by the people who replied that I had no idea I’d touched in some way, but by those I thought I was friends with who said not a peep. I like being surprised. I like doing things that are so frightening, any response is a good one. I like sitting and chatting and connecting and being. I want to do more than play in a race against other, big-name artists and writers, and let things that happen on this screen get to me so much.
So I’m going to make my job. I am going to do it to the best of my ability. And that is it. Nothing more, nothing less. I want to sit at the end of my life and know I’ve lived a good life, all the while standing up for myself against those who just don’t understand.