It has been nearly two months since posting last. The other weekend I packed-up…again, and again returned to the DFW metroplex as I’ve done the last three Septembers, to once again substitute-teach in three different school districts while tutoring 3-4 nights a week. I have become a good walking definition of fluid. I’m sure the Lakota Indians, or the Comanche Indians, or any tribes of the Plains which followed the buffalo, would undoubtedly take great admiration in my transience. I know what it means to have mind over matter, but I have learned even more what it means to be a visitor; a grateful visitor.
Continual movement is said to be healthy for the mind and body. Exercise and do it regularly, and you minimize or alleviate many illnesses and recurring ailments. From a purely metabolic, intestinal, or cardiovascular point-of-view, flow is good — very good. In that light, I am doing well. Yet, I miss my time writing and posting here. How then is that good? Why can’t I write and post while driving, moving, teaching for 9 hours then tutoring the last 3 waking hours of the day or while sleeping or eating? Footnote: that was the device of “literary dramatization.” But I hope you catch my point. This will be an update-post, not my usual egocentric cerebral literary stimulation my millions of readers and followers have come to enjoy here — yes, laughing is permitted.
After three summers of moving and fighting to remain determined in my pursuit of full-time teaching-mentoring in one of two fantastic districts, the kinks in my armour are beginning to show. I am questioning whether I should continue pursuing traditional teaching. The pursuit is becoming financially and physically unsustainable. Redirection is inevitable and considering another path and its consequences has been one of many thieves of my blogging time. Though these three years have been mentally and emotionally frustrating, in contrast they have taught me to realize the benefits.
Failure Is Not An Option?
My father raised me to not be a quitter. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, or privileged to know me personally over many years (wink), then you find the previous sentence very ironic. I do. Loyalty, determination, commitment, were all daily lessons; pillars of character that my father lived and taught until July 1990 when he quit. That particular month and year those pillars became further and less defined to me simultaneously. Yes, notice the irony again. Right there is the paradox of life; of how two distinct concepts actually become one harmonious system. If I’ve lost you, bear with me.
What does it mean to never give up? Go down fighting? Have faith all things workout in the end? The answers are typically admirable noble traits taught through the ages, especially in professional sports, used to motivate underdogs. Those battle cries and speeches are well and good, but I have found them to be incomplete. Admittedly, I am growing weary of knocking and banging on assistant principal’s doors only to be told in the end “Thank you but no thank you.” I can hear my Dad’s voice, “do not give up! Do not quit!” Find more doors to bang on! And after my knuckles become blue or bleeding, the question eventually becomes what do I need to do differently, because this horse has been beaten pretty dead.
Why do I keep doing the same thing repeatedly for the same result merely for the sake of not quitting? I laugh, where is the glory in that? Why am I afraid of giving up or failing? In hindsight, I think what I SHOULD actually be afraid of is paralysis! Paralysis to adapt and change. Be more flexible and much less rigid in a Universe of flux! You see, those dramatic motivational speeches and battle cries are for the moment, like a narrow lens, and do not address or capture our origin of fear. If fear, disguised as failure or quitting, is allowed to become over inflated, it will enslave me and influence, perhaps dictate, my decisions. I would imagine that leads to a life of knee-jerk reactions. Sign around neck reads: This person kicks frequently. Stand close at your own risk!
Ugh, not good. Not for me.
The Illusion of “Complete”
In his theory of special relativity, Albert Einstein proved that time as we perceive it does not exist. Events occurring at the same time for one observer could occur at completely different times for another observer. That implies there is really no beginning or no end, just varying observers and various speeds of movement. A beginning and an end are illusions created by our brains to cope and survive in our self-aware world of experiences. All things emerge and all things decay. But all things will change forms. Over a century of science has shown on a microscopic or atomic level all things are moving, emerging and decaying, but they are at speeds and levels unseen by our naked eye. For example, our Sun is burning out, but in our lifetime it doesn’t seem to be. The seven continents are surrounded by seas and oceans, but there were not seven before, and there will not be in the future. Everything is constantly emerging and decaying. Perhaps the above sub-title should not read The Illusion of Complete, but instead The Reality of Incomplete.
Below are some pictures of my current home. Is my life at the moment really that bad?
At this point I ask myself, what feels better…what gives me more hope and confidence, and less fear? Is it the battle-cry meaning of “Never say die, failure is not an option,” or The Reality of Incomplete? I know exactly what I would choose. One offers potential doom, disappointment, or pain, the other a never-ending story. One is fiction, the other reality. One stressful, the other calming.
In my procession of perspective I have come to realize there is still more, always. My situation is not complete, nor is my development. Is it ever? Is it wise to assume an experience has only a singular interpretation, one ending? Mmm, the paradox and irony continues.
Side-effects of Flux
I did not come from a wealthy family. However, we certainly did not grow up in poverty. This middle ground has afforded me in my later years a simultaneous appreciation for what is had and what is not had. When one is required to move efficiently and often, you soon wise-up to what you really need to live adequately or comfortably, and what you don’t need. You learn what is fluff or extra weight, and what is truly important. Living in an RV for nine months then traveling over 300 miles to live for three months in relative luxury, soon teaches these gratitudes. My current life of embraced gratitudes are sometimes challenged or reinforced when others, with a different value-system, try to convince me my way of life is sub-standard or unappealing. I beg to differ. They’ve forgotten that all things change, both quickly and/or very slowly, both with intent, and just as much for them as for me.
My current occupational pursuits coupled with their illusive rewards, do not tell the whole story. I have found enormous amounts of value and gratitude for what I HAVE discovered, what I have gained. What I certainly know is that my story does not have an ending, and no destiny is set, especially mine. I can either work with it, embrace it, understand it, or I can fight it and be perpetually frustrated, angered, and bitter with myself and those around me. No, I have much to be thankful for.
I choose to be flexible, adaptable within my current means and unknown untapped means! Besides, am I not a visitor here? Am I not ultimately just passing through in this form? With that said and a grin, this is how I choose to end this post:
…To Be Continued
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D, I loved this post. Probably my favorite of all that I’ve read from you. We have walked similar paths and I think we’ve pretty much gained the same perspective. Great to see you again. xx
My my Victoria, THAT is a comment, especially coming from you…someone I regard as a great writer-blogger. Thank you! Thank you very much.
We do indeed have similar journeys with perhaps more similar perspectives! Is that safe for the world? 😉
“Is that safe for the world?”
Hehe — should we really care? 😈
HAH! My thought exactly! So….
…where can we find trouble? 😈
Find trouble? We ARE trouble!
*looks all innocent*
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Your blog is by far my favorite and this one illustrates perfectly why. You are so beautifully human~
I bow in gratitude Sara. Thank you. I thought I simply shared my recent struggles and successes, few of them economic. But I guess after your’s and Victoria’s comments, sharing experiences can sometimes be far more rewarding than any monetary amount, huh?
Your continuing comments and visits are humbly appreciated!
“What I certainly know is that my story does not have an ending, and no destiny is set, especially mine.”
You lead an intriguing life certainly. :0)
Great to see you again! Thank you Sir for stopping by. We have not spoken in some time. Hope all is well with you.
I will take your comment at face-value. Thank you. To be honest, in some ways it is not the journey I would have envisioned for myself nor my two kids. Not the one I would have envisioned for my parents either, particularly my Dad. I find that in life, mine or others, there is a fine line between fiction and reality, ambition and results. The two can sometimes appear as one, and other times polarized like oil and water. Perhaps the trick, or the task/struggle is to know when there are forces beyond your influence of control, and when there are forces completely within your control, i.e. self. Doing the math (if that is even a worthy pursuit) there are many many more forces (human included) outside our sphere of influence than those within; which makes those intimate few that much more critical. Then the task/pursuit becomes teamwork, productive teamwork…and if it is to be truly impactful, then mastering the art of empathy and love become the two primary colors. How does one attach a monetary value on that, particularly when that ‘value’ fluctuates per each observer? lol
Apologies for my rambling response. Again, thank you Sir for your comment & stopping by. Please come again. 🙂
Definitely meant as a compliment. One of the things I appreciate the most about the blogging experience is learning about the variety of ways in which people approach life (or vice versa). And I think, if we are honest with ourselves, few of us end up exactly where we thought we would (sometimes, not even close). But, in retrospect, I don’t think I’d change a thing…
Here here 365/anglophiletoad! You’re spot on!
I’d tweak two or three things — definitely the time spent together & distance between my kids and me would change — but overall, I wouldn’t change too much how I arrived where I am now. I’m not so sure I’d be becoming more whole a human being, or as quickly(?), if my alter-life and family appeared to have EVERYTHING easily going their way. Does that make sense? One of my all-time favorite quotes sums up not just explicitely what I’m trying to convey here, but implicitely too….
“In every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.”
— Napoleon Hill
We shouldn’t always look at rough hard difficult times as a purely negative experience! It’s during those times that our most ingenious fortitude and true character shines! Or at least we identify our shortcomings to work on! Does that make better sense? lol
I thought this was a good thoughtful post too.
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So much said in so few words. Thank you Roughseas. ❤