I’ve done so little writing in the past months, less so here. This exists as a bizarre contrast to the changes and pursuits that my life has held in the last year. I’ve been living a life outside of my normal scope – been directly answering the question I wrote one year past about when it is I’ll settle.
There are home-brew fireworks exploding outside. The smell of sulphur mixed with the aftermath of thunderstorms, the heavy, humid air riding in through the windows on a light breeze. I smell distance in the atmosphere, the tethers of memory to previous life.
One year ago to this date I was winding up what was to be an epic loop around Lake Superior. One year ago to this date the snowball effect of a burned arm, hastened training, and a seriously-pained knee derailed the plan I laid out. One year ago to this date I chose a series of fresh steps, many of them a hell of a lot more challenging than I expected. One year ago to this date I decided to give a more settled life a try.
So here I am, walking a path with a good job, a solid relationship, a home with an actual lease – the day to day life that is almost impossible to imagine when working out the throes of a seasonal one. I’m satisfied, mostly, enjoying the comfort of a day to day breeze, not unlike the day to day repetition of the Antarctic winter – the smoothness of regularity. Still, on that sulfur wind moving through the window, there I catch a hint of the call to move. On that wind I hear a question that begs consideration. Am I drifting?
Life, by my tenants, should be one of active choice. We all make them, everyday, every moment. Most of our choices as to our day to day lives are buried in a subconscious – in the back of a reptilian brain or buried behind greater concerns. We make them, accept the consequences, and move on without an analyzation of the where, the how, or the why. Too many choices without reflection, however, and we drift. We sail the seas of our lives according to the currents, forgoing a more interactive approach.
Often, this is done because it can be easier to drift down a path than to look directly at it and realize the difficulty or the wrongness of it.
By my tenants, walking with one’s eyes closed is timidity.
So lately, I’ve been trying to hold myself to that standard, to watch the steps that I am taking and to make certain that they are the ones I choose. That if there lie any difficulty in my path, I choose to accept the situation, watch it with open eyes, and work with it. I choose to struggle by choice that walk blindingly on.
In a head that is filled with questions with a mind that rarely quiets, that can be a daunting task to encounter (and credit goes to those who have to live with a brain that never rests with questions). Regardless, I am proud to be where I am, satisfied to have garnered what I now call my life. When I ask if I’m drifting? I don’t think so.
Will that stop me from asking the same question tomorrow, or next week?