I have an unquenchable thirst… I want to do everything, I want to go everywhere, see every corner of the world / a city / a neighborhood. I want to know about everything, silly things and useful things equally, I want to build on my knowledge consistently; I want to speak as many languages as possible… How do I do these things in conjunction with ‘making a living’? How would I ever have enough time to research even half of what interests me? How could I even put all of it into practice?
I guess if I’m really passionate about this I would set out to climb this mountain of mine regardless of obstacles, and having a focused outlet helps to organise my thoughts (yay for blogs!). But I despair at all the things I will never have time for, because of the limit of a human lifetime and the restrictions of necessary economic self-sufficiency. In no way does this despair convince me to give up, but I’m worried that it may spur me to a panicked frenzy, to start with as many projects as I think I can handle, then having too much on my plate and not giving individual missions appropriate attention.
Besides this preoccupation that is immediately recognisable in me (not having stayed in one place for long the last couple of years), there are other things that I want to experiment with now, for which I need a more permanent “base of operations”. Changing cities every 6 months – 2 years is awesome, and great for adventure and personal growth, it’s conducive to learning new languages; however, it’s not practical for cheese-making, beer-brewing and keeping a vegetable garden. It absolutely rules out keeping livestock for milk. 😉
Admittedly I probably will never be in a position to keep a cow or a couple of goats, but I’m absolutely serious about my passions. Not only do I want to try these things out, I want to be successful… I may never be an award-winning artisan cheese maker, but I want to be able to eat & enjoy what I make, as well as know enough to tweak and adapt recipes on a whim. In addition to being a surprisingly psychedelic experience, scuba diving taught me to be calm instead of panicking, and that small details can be as beautiful as the bigger picture. I’m counting on that experience when I go skydiving 🙂
I have done some martial arts before, though I never persisted for long enough; now I want to do Krav Maga, and yoga. Meditation is fantastic and ‘floating’ is transcendent… I want to know how to gut a fish and hunt my own meat. I want to meet people who are passionate about something. I want to know about people’s lives, what motivates them and what it is they’ve always dreamed of doing. I want to discuss with people their culture, in their own language; when I was practicing Chinese every day, people who were usually more reserved suddenly seemed outspoken and sanguine about their lives and about experiences they wanted me to share. I want to eat strange & interesting food, perhaps learn how to make it myself – my newly found excitement for making my own cheese, peanut butter, honey etc is definitely thanks to Kiernan’s love of cooking and his encouragement of my paltry skills in the kitchen. I want to hear about people’s tragedies and what helped them to pick themselves back up! Traveling has been an amazing way to meet different people with widely different stories – it is humbling to talk to those who have achieved more than me and built on that, or even lost it all. It shows up cultural, social and personal prejudices and teaches you to see yourself in a more gentle light as you learn to accept and love all those people you come across along the way. The African proverb “I am, because we are” grows into a bigger and bigger truth.
I used to know how to play some classical guitar songs, and I can probably still fiddle with scales; this memory triggers a need to play violin or to become proficient at reading music again. Teri inspired me when she started practicing on a drum set in Taiwan, and soon after picked up a ukulele on a whim and got quite good at it. I hear of people who teach themselves music or new languages – wow!
I want to experience life in every dimension, even if I can’t explain where my mind has been…