Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Living in My Head

More so then any other time in my life, the last 6 years have been about personal growth. When I think about who I am, what I'm doing, where I'm going, and how I've gotten this far, I rarely look any further back then my college graduation. It's as if I was incubating in some sort of cocoon for the previous 24 years. I've always been that person who performs 90% of their work when the deadline looms near. College graduation was the ultimate deadline. I could no longer wait for life to happen - I had to start living it.

That sense of compressed time that most people associate with their teenage years began in my early twenties. In my case, the stop-motion sense came from the need to squeeze my exploration into the precious few free moments away from work rather then out of radical physical and social changes.

So, now I'm well into polishing the various facets that make up my gem of a life: participating in the communities that interest me, cultivating my career (both during work and personal time), nurturing my long term family and friendships, and learning outside the bounds of my career. In the middle of all this, I've suddenly begun learning how to improve the luster of each pursuit in fitting proportion to the overall whole while still finding time for relaxation and basic life-maintenance.

I didn't discover the beginnings of this balancing act of my own volition. Oh no - left to my own devices, I'd still have a laser focus on one pursuit or another until boredom, frustration, or a landslide shifted my attention elsewhere. I blame much of my sudden attack of sanity on the orange fur-ball who's currently trying to decide whether he should attack my ankle or shred my carpet.

That's right - I'm now sharing livingspace with a cat. Not an altogether unusual turn of events, and I'm certain I'm not the first person to find their life changed by such an experience. Still, I suspect it's not so commonplace to have a feline friend's introduction coincide with increased stability in one's life.

I suppose I shouldn't be completely surprised. Up to this point, my apartment's been a convenient place to sleep and store sundry personal items: books, clothes, random memorabilia, and the occasional beer. I'd check in for a few hours to square away the daily ablutions, catch some shuteye, and maybe fire up my laptop long enough to plan the next outing. I've entertained 19 guests - 9 family members, 3 coworkers, 5 family of coworkers, and 2 woman friends; only one stayed longer then 40 minutes. There wasn't call to use the space for much else.

Now there's this fur-friend, who I enjoy spending time with and who wants some of my attention. This new found excuse to spend time at home, combined with the reemergence of my authorself and the subsequent time spent either staring off into space or writing about staring off into space has me making strange new accommodations in my life. Suddenly, I've actually made good on my resolution to awaken an hour earlier then my timely arrival at the office requires. This last weekend I only left the apartment for about 3 hours, total .

Since I'm now actually living and writing in this space that I've called my own for the last 9 months or so, I'm manifesting ancillary behaviours: for instance, I'm tidying up more regularly. Not that my desk and table aren't still covered in books and papers or my laundry still in desperate need of attention, but suddenly the floor is clear and swept, the counter-tops are passably neat, and my scant few dishes are in some semblance of order.

Of course, the festival season is now largely over (except Tx-RennFest!), so this newly noticed balance and relaxation is just as likely to be a seasonal affect as the result of the little tiger's appearance. Last year at this time I was commuting between SAT, Austin, and D/FW in my job search while ramping up for a trip overseas; so autumnal patterns would have been lost in the flux.

I suspect if The Critter hadn't shown up, I'd probably be taking the fall slowdown between events to explore this huge sprawling Metropolis of ours. While certainly a worthwhile pursuit, no city discloses it's full personality overnight - trying to cram the whole process of discovery into the free weekends scattered throughout a three month period is a lot like visiting 7 European cities in 3 weeks. If I pace myself, I'll be better able to soak up the experience, and it'll seem all the fresher when The SO is in town and looking for a distraction.

Since the The Hairy Roommate is here, and whether or not he's helped me notice a pattern emerging in my free time, a gentle intermission between weeks has been a delightful turn of events.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I have to rescue one of my couch cushions from The Little Predator's loving attention. Take this opportunity to check out the newly inaugurated Minneapolis Public Library. I want one.

1 comment:

The Lady said...

Photo! Photo! We need a photo of that little man teaching you how to live!