Days of Change 

Taking an inventory of my trajectory through life, it would be accurate to say that where I am right now is precisely not what I thought I might be doing at this point. I feel like a messy closet overfilled with out-of-date clothing with a tumble of brown shoes spilling out the bottom. As an earnest and naive youth, I had been planning a little arc through the changes that I was working for and expected to occur. Really, "planned" conveys something too deliberate--it was more of my actively "supposing" where I might be because I also pessimistically and unconscious believed in fate, a type of monolithic stone golem. I accepted it as a reality, but I also tried to ally myself to it in order to lull it into going my way.

But I am not sure if pure randomness, my own mistakes, or a combination of several things, but something happened, and something did happen, to where what I thought and what occurred became like alienated lovers, intense longing between the two that cannot be realized with simple companionship. And the stupidity of this process, this living with what you want but can't have, is something that I know happens to nearly everyone. You can be warned again and again everyone goes through this process, but until it happens you can't really believe it, not really. It's an evolutionary denial rooted in the soil of self.

So, in the larger sense of "right now," I would be comleting my PhD thesis and in my third year of teaching freshman composition, if things had gone my way. I can even picture the afternoon classroom filled with nervous students, roughly half eager to learn the material, the other half already bored. In the larger building across campus is an office desk filled with drab books, "texts" in this official world of theory, books maybe only twenty people have ever read. In ratty folder or notebook are loose-leaf papers filled with half written research paragraphs filled with awkward sentences auditioning for the final work. On this detached and unreal stage of academia, I would be actively perfecting the role of professor. And, as pretentious and arrogant as that world can be, as shaped by cultural expectations as much as actual job requirements, I miss it.

Instead, I have nearly no money and am trying build up my life to a place where I can hang a wholly new, but similarly complex, set of expectations of a future life actively supposed. I am blessed to have a family and a support system left to help me start over as I know many don't. In a parallel universe, with the same circumstances but the absence of family, I would be living on the street, or a tent in the woods, perhaps near the edges of an urban shelter. And I am learning how to be healthier, a difficult process of trying build a meager but actively practiced wisdom. But it is a difficult process, a process that I hope will put me back on the rails of a stable life that is a bit more protected from the random chances and my own mistakes.

03 January 2007
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