January 12, 2008

I Love It Here/I Hate It Here

I had written a long, difficult email to a friend last week, sharing the struggle I'm having about living and working in this unique and complex environment. It was cathartic to write it all down, and it helped focus some of my wandering thoughts.

Last night, I was talking on the phone with my best friend. I was trying to articulate to her some of the things I find difficult about being here, and why I might consider leaving. I knew I wasn't thinking clearly, that I was caught up in a frustrating moment, and so did she (that's one of the many reasons why she's my best friend). As a balance point, she challenged me to list some of the things that I love about my situation.

I'm turgid with morning caffein, and I've had chocolate cake for breakfast, so this seems like a good time to do just that -- quick, before I crash!

What I Love About My Situation
  • I live right next to the ocean. I can stroll to the edge of the continent before breakfast, with coffee mug in hand, and watch the waves roll in. An amazing way to start the day!

  • I can hear the ocean waves through my window as I lie in bed at night. An amazing way to end the day!

  • In the year that I've lived here there have been rainy days, sunny days, foggy days, frighteningly stormy days, and even one memorable day with hail. There has never been a day that has been anything other than astoundingly beautiful. Being outside in dramatic weather wakes me up and puts me in touch with God.

  • Nobody cares what I wear to work. Nobody cares if I wear makeup. Nobody cares if I wear a bra. Everyone here dresses for the weather. Period.

  • At night, I can see a trillion stars. You have to be in the far reaches of boonieville to see stars like this. I get to see them every clear night. Awesome!

  • My commute to work is a quarter-mile walk with the most scenic view on the planet.

  • It's safe here. Nobody locks their door.

  • There's something comforting in knowing that every person I meet "belongs" here. Even people I've never met before are not strangers. Everyone makes eye contact and nods and smiles. Some stop for a hug.

  • The food is not to be believed. And I don't have to cook it! All I have to do is show up in line. I've volunteered in our kitchen here, and it's shockingly hard work. People do it every day so that I can eat. I do not take it for granted.

  • Toilet paper is free. (Little things count, yes?)

  • Everyone here is on a spiritual path of some sort or another. Every single person.

  • I can have meltdowns, and people don't think it's the end of the world. They have them too. Then we all get back to work. Liberating!

  • I have a claw-foot bathtub on my deck. Bubblebaths under trillions of stars are wonderful! Hmmm... Maybe tonight...

An incomplete list by far, but enough for now -- I am meeting friends in town for lunch. Let me bask in this. Counterpoint to come.

1 comment:

SeƱor Bozo said...

Very, very interesting ... if for no other reason than that, after we talked last night, I had the same idea: that what you needed to do was make a clear assessment of both the pluses and the minuses of your situation. Events intervened today or you would already have had a note from me to that effect. I look forward to the 'negatives' list ...