To Eddie, I said, "Some people after we graduated seemed to lose their minds. Have these people lost all perspective?"
"Yeah, and that one crazy girl lost her mind and moved to Wyoming. Three years later she is still there. What the fuck is she doing?"
Ok, Eddie. I hear you loud and clear. It's hard to miss anything my friends from college say since we all went to school for theater and are trained in not only vocal projection and enunciation, but in being as specific as possible with expression, using words, facial expressions, and our bodies. Even over a cell phone, Eddie can pin me down with his words. Really, three years later, what the fuck am I still doing in Wyoming?
I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming on accident. This happens to a lot of people, only most of the people come out here because they love to ski or hike and then find that they never want to leave. I came out here, not knowing how to ski, having hiked in the past but had traded in my hiking boots for some retro inspired peep-toe sandals years ago. A juice fast and a little meditation were the only things on my agenda when I came out here spur of the moment for what I thought would be a two to three week trip. My parents split their time between Jackson and Illinois, so there was a empty house just waiting to host my mental clarity retreat. The fast lasted two and a half days, was broken by a beer at a bar, where I was asked out on a date by the bartender and the rest is history.
Actually, it isn't that simple. If I had fallen in love with the bartender, he had ended up being a millionaire who just enjoys bartending, but his real passion was financially supporting me and taking me around the world, the rest would be a clear cut history. I guess the rest is the beginning of the adventure. The rest involves me talking to people about their lives out here and learning about travel, outdoor adventure, and living a life that isn't based around a career goal. The rest is meeting people who intrigue me and were open to sharing their passion for skiing, hiking, travel, and heavy drinking with me. This is the beginning of a story about finding love. Not the love of a bartender, but a greater love of life and the me who is living this life.
Three years later though, the honeymoon is over. I'm still in love with my life, but things need a little kindling to keep the fire burning. I'm not learning how to ski, I'm a skier. Sure, I've got a lot to learn, but now it's about the nitty-gritty. About devotion. It's not just amazing that I'm skiing now. Now, I have to get good at it, and that's always been the point in my life when I falter. Trying new things is a specific skill that takes courage and a willingness to fail and be humiliated. That I have. Getting good at something means sticking with things even after your limitations have been fully realized, but still trying and accepting that you are not a natural and you're not going to end up in the Olympics, but you can get good, if you just stick with it. I think. Don't really know, cause I normally don't stick with something long enough to find out. The initial rush of a new challenge is too enticing usually.
The older I get, the more I wonder though, is there a deeper fulfillment that I'm missing by always ditching out when things get tricky and moving on to a new challenge?
Skiing is just an example and not the main focus of this question. What about love relationships? What about work? What about my devotion to eating well and not just meal substituting margaritas and pizza for a full day of nutrition? These questions have to be asked now because something terrible is happening. I'm getting bored. As a person prone to boredom easily, I know the symptoms. Feelings of hopelessness, the desire for cigarettes, extreme quietness, watching hours of Sex and the City on DVD, and just mentally looking for trouble and a good fight. This is not good. This is no way to live!
So, how can I fan my own flame? What changes need to be made to keep myself passionate about life and my love for it? I've got some ideas: finding more fulfilling work, and being open to the possibility that more schooling may be in the future, a nice new dress and some lip gloss, creating some concrete fitness challenges, and trying something new socially like a dance class.
What I really want to know is, what are you people doing out there to keep yourselves motivated, happy, and fulfilled? I'm not about stealing.