Monday, January 10, 2011

In transit

A good friend, wise and true, has recently suggested I rethink my commitment to selling insurance. Easily, I exhaust sixty hours and 500 miles in a week, but the money that was promised to be as easy as fruit is not falling from the vine. Further, although I show up regularly for shows, my fingers are not practicing music on their own. Perhaps a reader has noticed how much time has passed since my last essay.

Today, I am at the Mountain and have struggled intently to pay attention to the tired voice of my body over my disciplined and compulsive mind. Fever battles an infection and aches ravage my spirit.

I have been hacking, coughing and wheezing, moaning and groaning all week. The prudent response is to not skatter with the monkeys this morning, but short of instructors and long on the ability to rise to the need, my typical response is to suit up and tough it out anyway.

Today, however, I listen. I take a transition run to introduce my kids to another coach and head inside to a corner of the lodge to care for myself. I will be incapable, I am sure, of not meeting them at the break for hot chocolate, but in a rare moment of self-preservation, I bow to my own needs.

For twenty years, I lived in a marriage of two people determined to maintain the family at any cost, bullishly optimistic against the long-shot odds that each set-back would be the last. We both tried so hard, but it became evident ultimately that the kids were actually not better for the effort and there are some problems that all love just cannot conquer.

Still, situations—no matter how disorderly—somehow appear far better, much more comfortable, and safer than venturing out into the huge and mysterious unknown. In fact, what may be clearly unhealthy and inappropriate to all bystanders, can seem absolutely normal to the one stuck in the vortex. If nothing else, I proved I can obstinately stick to a plan, regardless of the hardship.

Like persevering to find a substitute on the ski slope this morning, it took all of my remaining strength to remove myself from the home and family I had worked so hard to build. Accustomed to living in light and remarkable houses, I settled into a dark and dreary basement apartment some would describe as “slummy”, all the better to represent my man-cave for soulful healing.

The changes have been huge in these last three years, but so necessary. Making light of his bi-weekly need to uproot and switch homes, my son quips that at least he can sleep peacefully now and no longer feels the need to shut himself into his room. The creative burst of writing and music serves as consolation at least, if not proof enough.

So I question my commitment to the insurance business, wondering if I am settling into another puddle of quicksand. After these sweet years of creative prosperity, it terrifies me to withdraw from something so passionate to become consumed by the dots and tees of making an income.

As much as I want to write and play music, however, even with encouragement from so many corners, the money from that still remains elusive. I want a better car and a nicer home. It would be unhealthy for me in so many ways to continue to rely on my father's support. That fund of trust he has been providing is adequate but not substantial enough to attract the kind of woman who wants a strong and independent man. My own two feet, even as shakey as they are with this bag attached to my leg, must stand on their own.

However much this line of insurance promises to fill my pockets, I have been unable thus far to release the flow. Instead of rising to meet my dreams after months of hard work, I continue to languish in the realm of possibilities. The vocabulary is still strange in my mouth and the subtle techniques to overcome obstacles are not yet immediately available.

My heart and mind consider the many junctures approaching and quickly passing to make a decision. Whether ‘tis nobler to embrace the beast and wrestle good fortune, or quit again entirely, and with snowflakes on my fevered brow, retire to the corner of the lodge, watching other families joyous in their lives, I truly am at a loss to know.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Making life changing decisions based on the hope that doing so may allow someone else to see you differently is never a good thing my friend. You are who you are - find someone who will accept and love that person, no matter what kind of car he drives or home he lives in. Sigh. None of it should matter, unless it matters to you!