We can choose to learn… or not…

…  and learning from the crappy crap that has happened to us.  The graphic above reminds me of when my sister, cousin Em and I were dancing in the rain when we were kids.  We were young and thought it would be fun to get goofy by the side of the road I grew up on… and it was.  Finally our Moms made us stop..

Sometimes the lessons aren’t what we think the will be — and I suppose I’m kind of a slow learner, as sometimes the lessons take longer to sink in than they should.

In my life I’ve had three people die who were very close to me — a parent, a sibling and a friend who was like a sibiling.. I’ve also considered my own mortality thanks to the boobie that was trying to kill me.

As I grow, I find that those four events have marked “before” and “after” times in my mind.  They were difficult to deal with and I learned a variety of things from each one.

Most recently, I’ve come to realize that what I thought would be my life’s path simply wasn’t what I wanted.  I thought I’d be a dean, maybe teach someplace with more prestige than my CC — I was pretty sure the rest of my life wouldn’t be spent in and around Minnesota.  Turns out, that’s not what I want.

How this is connected to the crappy crap I’ve lived with is that it’s shown me that life is too freaking short to be spent waiting until ________ happens.  Nope — life is now, it’s what you do every day and while making plans is important, living a good life while those plans are in the works is important too.

So — what do I want?  I want to travel.. I want to teach philosophy to students who may not want to learn it at first but come to see my course as important in their development.  I want to have close friends and be close to my family.  I want to spend my time with people who appreciate me, who support my current projects and help me see that there is more to life than academia and socially-rewarded successes.

I want to be with people who challenge me to be the best at whatever I want to do — and whose dreams, hopes and fears are both similar and different than my own.

I want to be independent.  I want to be able to pay my own bills and feel good about what I need to do to make that happen.

I think the first real, tangible purchase under this new way of looking at life was my new computer last may — perhaps the second will be an old conversion van… hmmmm…

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