Thursday, January 13, 2011

Real life

Okay, time to stop labeling posts specifically as pertaining to Peace Corps. I'm far along enough in the process that it's soon going to become part of my everyday reality, so there's no need to distinguish between 'real life stuff' and 'Peace Corps stuff'.

About a week ago I got an e-mail from a placement assistant asking for my updated resume and that I fill out an education addendum. I submitted them, and I got an e-mail back saying that my file will now be passed along to a Placement Specialist for final review. I may or may not hear from the Specialist before receiving an invitation.

To be honest I've been a bit nervous about the invitation, which is probably normal at this stage of the process. They asked for the updated resume, and my mind suddenly went to: Yeah, what have you been doing to make yourself competitive the last six months. The answer is not a whole lot, but not nothing. Since I got back to Florida, I've been tutoring a couple of students, which is something. But that's not more than 10 hours per week. In reality, I've been mostly on vacation. That, after taking a nine-month hiatus in Europe. There's a one-year gap of careerish activity in my resume. And I suppose that's what makes me a bit nervous.

Still, the time in Europe was not really a hiatus, since I wasn't hiatus-ing from anything in particular. It's not like I interrupted school or left a job or took a sabbatical. And I reject the idea that it was in any way 'taking a break' from real life, or whatever twisted concept of real life so many people have (usually involving some sort of 9-5). It wasn't wasted time. That was life.

I scratch my head when people talk as if doing the things you want to do is the dream, and some day you must wake up and get back to dull routine and reality. It's the other way, don't you see? You're awake and alive when doing the things you want to do, and you're dreaming the rest of the time. It's like when people regard my desire to join Peace Corps as a simple career move -- something I'll do and put up with simply because it will make me a more desirable hire to some employer in the future. But that's not it at all. I'm not sacrificing 27 months. I'm going to be living in them. That's going to be my life, not mere preparation for life.

I think of people who work all year long, or for many years, without taking any breaks. People who save up money for a short vacation or a cruise or a visit to family on Christmas. So much time spent working for a week of living in the moment, indulging curiosities, spending time with loved ones, or being in a place they once called home. Those are the times you remember, but why should they always be the exception? Why should they be the dream, while all the days you'll never remember are waking life? There's something wrong there.

I've been playing a lot of music lately...recording on Garageband. It's a lot of fun. Finally the feeling of having plateaued has left me. After nine months of playing only on classical, I'm quite comfortable playing without a pick. And now having jammed out on electric a bit, as well as steel-string acoustic and classical, I feel better at guitar now than I've ever been before. And, when I'm the only person home, I like to sing, as well. If I ever produce recordings I deem worthy of an audience, I'll let other people listen. For now, I'm just pleased with myself, and that's enough.

Also, did you ever listen to a band that you absolutely loved at first listen, and then begin to fear that other people would start listening to them too and everything would be tainted?

1 comment:

  1. Shhhhhhh... don't enlighten the people; it's their dull routine and reality that allows us to go out there and "live the dream"