On a recent Car Talk episode, Tom and Ray called Victoria to see how their advice had benefitted or ruined her life. Victoria called about how to finance a car for her sons. It was supposed to be a talk of Volvos, but the Magliozzi’s common sense and humor shook something loose in her. Victoria’s follow-up report of what had transpired after the initial phone call was thrilling. Instead of following her original plan of buying her sons a car, she had changed her own life. She ditched her plans of business school and moved to California to be a working artist. And no car for her sons, but now she lives closer to them. I nearly cried when I heard this segment two weeks ago. Listen to the segment here.
For the past several weeks, I have been collecting stories of people who scrapped a mundane plan and ended up following a path of uncertainty. The take away message for me is not that dreams will be fulfilled. But if one follows a passion, the path is compelling and becomes a reward. Lately, every time I work hard and diligently for X, something intervenes and my dream is dashed. Once the initial disappointment passes, I get a rush of freedom. I am on a path not entirely of my own making. And that is a relief because my imagination is not large enough to envision a life I want to live.
Today, I am glad my plans have been scrapped. The pressure is off to DO something to make my dream happen. Instead I am pleased to live for right now and to pour my energy into having a good day than getting some future reward.
This radio is simliar to the boom box I have.
With 13 minutes remaining on a computer housed in the children’s section of my local library on 6th and Girard, I thought I’d dash off a blog post. Going offline was not my choice, but going on week 4 of not having a computer, I don’t miss it that much. I admit my social world has shrunk to include people who have comfort with using the telephone. But my 20 minute check ins on public computers has been sufficient for everything, including IM.
It’s hard to convey deep thoughts when the clock tool bar says 10 minutes remaining and has a green counter pulsing the seconds. I don’t like to write under time pressure.
Not having a computer has freed my time for mingling with people. Now that the baseball season is over, I am occupying my time with thrift shopping, searching out new foods at my local supermarket Cousin’s, and finding excuses to call my friends. I have NPR on in my apartment so much I actually have heard radio shows twice in a day. I get agitated by the endless stream of commentary about the Afghan war, no job’s created recovery, and the latest senseless act of violence. But I am soothed by the endless stream of talk.
Instead of reading from a computer screen, I listen. First, to my pounding heart and shallow breath. Then, to the stream of journalists and artists who spill their thoughts onto my living room carpet.
For several months, I kept my feelings of restlessnes secret. No one saw me on my 3 am rides on the Night Owl Bus back to Ardmore, a lovely spot in the western suburbs of Philly. It’s a lovely bauble on the long strand that is in the Main Line.
I reminded myself that for a long while I was truly happy. And then I was dissatisfied, but I was thought I was too old to make a change. I was resigned to staying in the same place until maybe I’d get rescued somehow.
But a friend made a simple statement, “If you are happier here, why not move here?” And the light bulb went off. And I made a decision, gave my landlord my 60 day notice, and established my escape plan.
And as of 3 pm today, I am now completely immersed in feelings of happiness and love. I am now immersed in where I am surrounded by love. Sitting at the computer in my not yet furnished Kensington apartment, I know I have made the right decision. I needed to follow my heart.
And I will shout it to the roof tops…I love Philadelphia with every fiber of my being. And I’m so glad to be living here.
Avalon NJ at sunrise
Quickie update to say I’m not letting my blog moulder (geez, why did that word pop out of my head. I’ve never used that word. Ever.)…Went to the shore for a week with no internet access. Wow, crazy. The weirdest part is I didn’t miss the internet at all and not once did I look at the ocean and think, “Wow, I wish I could Twitpic that.” I did enable my phone to text tweet, but I didn’t do it at all. Anyway, it seemed kind of creepy to zap in a tweet from my phone with no contact with Twitter at all. Like a deus ex machina thing, but only on a feebler scale.
I’m positively giddy right now from sleeping 10 hours a day and doing nothing but swim, walk, bike, and veg out in front of cable tv. (Don’t have cable at home, so I went on a binge of Food Network and HGTV programming. Actually, came back home with a new vocabulary -eg. remoulade- and knowing new things like every modern kitchens needs granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.)
But I’m buried under a massive pile of grant writing with 5 giant deadlines in October, including a behemoth federal grant AND I’m moving around Oct 3. The past week, I’ve done nothing but throw shit out of my apartment, write, and have those seemingly hours-long dreams induced by the nicotine patch. People who’ve used the patch know what I’m talking about. For people who don’t, briefly: the stimulant nicotine pumping in one’s system at 3 am creates some funky dreams.
The hard part of all this is I haven’t gone dancing for over two weeks. I’m horrified by this development, but plan on amending for this soon.
Ok, now back to work. I have a 9 hour information conference with the CDC tomorrow to prep for. Fun times. I’ll try to stay in touch.