Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dream Cafe Revisited

Last night, after a few stems of Pinot Grigio and some contemplative conversation, I accidentally found myself at what used to be a whimsical restaurant, a bohemian veg mecca that unfortunately cowed to meat, therefore becoming appealing to those of us who are a little behind the curve, trend-wise, and a lot more safe. And there I sat among new friends and old, realizing that what happened to the restaurant was sort of a reflection of me.

Not the meat part.. I've always been a carnivore except for that one week when a friendly Uzbek challenged me to an all out veg-a-thon. That was a long week for me, especially as I only know how to steam veggies and toss salads.. Plus, I had jury duty that week. But that's a different story.

Anyway.

What I mean is that I'm past that age of trial and error, freedom wise, and have settled in to my age group - the one where we are fairly comfortable with the status quo- where we make decisions because we are responsible, and "it makes sense," rather than allowing for surprises, even if sometimes the surprises are uncomfortable. I've cowed to an expectation.

What's worse is during the time when it made sense for me to be most irresponsible, I was completely rational! Ugh. What a waste! OK, so not all was a waste. I did, you know, get an education and travel the (safe, Western) world, pretending to be irresponsible. I did wander down to Mexico City once in college, equipped with nothing but a backpack and curiosity, and then eventually Montezuma's revenge.. That was irresponsible, I suppose, and made the bus ride back close to unbearable. But now I'm all consumed by the fact that that part of my life - the part with those sorts of options - may be over for a while.

I have a mortgage. In suburbia. With a cat. And a kid.

Whatthehellhappened?!!

Can I find my way back to at least a little bit of spontaneity?

Some of my friends have gone back, and I envy them.

We did pack Jack's clothes in a Rick Steeves travel backpack for our Thanksgiving jaunt to the Flatlands, and that gave me some hope for our family's future. Also, I applied for a work visa abroad (and was told I am an unlikely candidate), and searched for teaching jobs abroad. I found one UK match that sounded perfect, except I would have to start January 9th - as in a month from now, if I were hired. No can do with all of my responsibility and mortgage..

I suppose, I'm just looking for a new adventure now. I want to dust off the comfort zone and do something else. And maybe looking is enough of a distraction for now, until I can actually make some life changing decisions.
But I am antsy..

4 comments:

Deidra said...

Just do what Cliff and I did and move across the country yes it was safe in the sense that we were in America and could get home in a couple hours via a plane but adventurous the same. Then we road tripped it to Vegas. You guys could come to Vegas although the schools suck here so you would probably want to commit yourselves after a week. I wish you luck in your antsiness something will come up I am sure.

Amy said...

I feel the same way you do at times.

I stay home with Alyce all of the time. I do love it but like you I would love to have some kind of change.

We shall see what next year brings.

annie said...

just two experiences as a matter of case study: we moved to NYC 6 weeks after I was enrolled to Columbia off the wait list. It was crazy and hectic and way anxiety-producing. We took out loans to cover our mortgage that we'll spend a lot of our future paying off. That dang house didn't sell for 18 months. Neal moved a year and a half after he got his acceptance letter. He sold his house, moved into an apt for the interim, had a baby, and was fully funded by the time he arrived at Princeton. It worked for him and his family's needs, but I think I would have bailed on the plan if I'd had that much time to chew on it. Part of what got us moving was not having time to think about it. I'm the one who had to elope, after all.

There is absolutely no normative aspect to my post. Just two tracks others used when changing their/our path to keep in mind when you get that perfect offer.

Bonnie said...

Being responsible is a scary concept! Don't ever lose that part of you that craves adventure, and know that as Jack gets older you can include him in those adventures.
I left something for you on my blog!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dream Cafe Revisited

Last night, after a few stems of Pinot Grigio and some contemplative conversation, I accidentally found myself at what used to be a whimsical restaurant, a bohemian veg mecca that unfortunately cowed to meat, therefore becoming appealing to those of us who are a little behind the curve, trend-wise, and a lot more safe. And there I sat among new friends and old, realizing that what happened to the restaurant was sort of a reflection of me.

Not the meat part.. I've always been a carnivore except for that one week when a friendly Uzbek challenged me to an all out veg-a-thon. That was a long week for me, especially as I only know how to steam veggies and toss salads.. Plus, I had jury duty that week. But that's a different story.

Anyway.

What I mean is that I'm past that age of trial and error, freedom wise, and have settled in to my age group - the one where we are fairly comfortable with the status quo- where we make decisions because we are responsible, and "it makes sense," rather than allowing for surprises, even if sometimes the surprises are uncomfortable. I've cowed to an expectation.

What's worse is during the time when it made sense for me to be most irresponsible, I was completely rational! Ugh. What a waste! OK, so not all was a waste. I did, you know, get an education and travel the (safe, Western) world, pretending to be irresponsible. I did wander down to Mexico City once in college, equipped with nothing but a backpack and curiosity, and then eventually Montezuma's revenge.. That was irresponsible, I suppose, and made the bus ride back close to unbearable. But now I'm all consumed by the fact that that part of my life - the part with those sorts of options - may be over for a while.

I have a mortgage. In suburbia. With a cat. And a kid.

Whatthehellhappened?!!

Can I find my way back to at least a little bit of spontaneity?

Some of my friends have gone back, and I envy them.

We did pack Jack's clothes in a Rick Steeves travel backpack for our Thanksgiving jaunt to the Flatlands, and that gave me some hope for our family's future. Also, I applied for a work visa abroad (and was told I am an unlikely candidate), and searched for teaching jobs abroad. I found one UK match that sounded perfect, except I would have to start January 9th - as in a month from now, if I were hired. No can do with all of my responsibility and mortgage..

I suppose, I'm just looking for a new adventure now. I want to dust off the comfort zone and do something else. And maybe looking is enough of a distraction for now, until I can actually make some life changing decisions.
But I am antsy..

4 comments:

Deidra said...

Just do what Cliff and I did and move across the country yes it was safe in the sense that we were in America and could get home in a couple hours via a plane but adventurous the same. Then we road tripped it to Vegas. You guys could come to Vegas although the schools suck here so you would probably want to commit yourselves after a week. I wish you luck in your antsiness something will come up I am sure.

Amy said...

I feel the same way you do at times.

I stay home with Alyce all of the time. I do love it but like you I would love to have some kind of change.

We shall see what next year brings.

annie said...

just two experiences as a matter of case study: we moved to NYC 6 weeks after I was enrolled to Columbia off the wait list. It was crazy and hectic and way anxiety-producing. We took out loans to cover our mortgage that we'll spend a lot of our future paying off. That dang house didn't sell for 18 months. Neal moved a year and a half after he got his acceptance letter. He sold his house, moved into an apt for the interim, had a baby, and was fully funded by the time he arrived at Princeton. It worked for him and his family's needs, but I think I would have bailed on the plan if I'd had that much time to chew on it. Part of what got us moving was not having time to think about it. I'm the one who had to elope, after all.

There is absolutely no normative aspect to my post. Just two tracks others used when changing their/our path to keep in mind when you get that perfect offer.

Bonnie said...

Being responsible is a scary concept! Don't ever lose that part of you that craves adventure, and know that as Jack gets older you can include him in those adventures.
I left something for you on my blog!