living in the moment

That’s the zen way, right? Focus on your present, rather than your past or future. My present is tolerable, but not great. It’s my future I get excited about.

As an army brat, I grew up feeling the need to reinvent myself to suit whatever circumstances presented themselves as we moved from place to place: Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Belgium, California, Italy. Throwing out whatever had seemed to work in the previous location when it no longer worked in the new (or when I assumed it would no longer work in the new). Trying to make other people happy all the time. These patterns continue into adulthood: grad school in Maryland and then tenure-track job in the American midwest. What do people want? How can I focus on giving them what they want?

John Locke be damned, it’s time to think differently about my life.

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3 thoughts on “living in the moment

  1. On thinking differently. Perhaps one place to begin is to tell the story differently. Is being an army brat the only origin for the particular pattern of behaviour that is being described? Could there be other sources for the peculiar pleasures of the micro-theatre of perpetual self-invention?

  2. Amen, G. We’re obviously at similar crossroads in our lives and approaching things similarly. What academia promises you will not sustain you. Look elsewhere for happiness and let things fall where they may.

  3. As someone who also moved around a fair amount as a kid, it’s interesting to think about this. One side effect for me has been that I’m terrible about staying in touch with friends I meet one place, then move away from. It’s like my mind has decided this = no longer exists (which effectively was the case when I was a kid). I also feel rather restless when I stay in one place too long, while simultaneously having the contradictory yearning for a place to settle in.
    I still get a charge from the process of adjusting to the new.

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