Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And the Compass Turns to Nowhere That You Know Well...

In Celtic circles, November is the beginning of a new year. And thus far, the month has been a time of further great change for me. Finding time for blogging hasn't changed, though. Coupled with a dash of writer's block and feeling completely worn down, I simply haven't had much energy to devote to Spooked! Maybe the culmination of all the events of the year have led me to this very point, where I'm back to where I began: uncertain of the future and longing for change.

And change itself is something we love and loathe. While we hope things will become better or different in a positive sense, we are ever fearful of reaching outside our comfort zone. There is danger and risk outside the known bubble in which we exist. Calamity and heartache, rebirth and different scenery. Which is why so few people ever step toward that great horizon and dare to see what could be. It can be a great adventure... or an incredible disaster.

I am often guilty of wavering on issues and directions. I contemplate too much. But there's a good reason for it. I can see all sides of most situations and moves, and there's never a perfect decision to be made. For every step we take, there can be both joy and pain. What brings happiness to some leaves other individuals damaged, battered, or bruised. Change itself is one of those risky behaviors our school teachers warned us about. We hate the people who refuse to change while chastising those who do. We question the purpose of mending the wall while keeping with the status quo.

I often ask myself where I will be in another year, another decade. I have no sure answer. A dozen trails lay before me and I could follow any one of them at any given time. There is no "safe path" except inaction. And oh, how I loathe stagnation. But I'm the dreamer, the surrealist. My life won't follow a course of normality. I don't want my life to be average. Yet I pay the price time and time again. And therein lies the trick to leading an alternative existence: understanding the risks involved and weighing your options. Sometimes, it's important to take the plunge into a new pool. It's up to each of us to decide whether to check and make sure it's filled with water first, though.
As winter fast approaches, I have a great many things to ponder. I have new projects to work on and important decisions to make. And honestly, I have no idea what the outcome of any of it will be. The only thing I know for sure is that any choices I make carry permanent risk and damage. In the end, I will follow what I believe to be best. Perhaps it's being selfish, but they will be the decisions best for my own life. Of course, I will be considering how it will impact everyone else close to me. Given my nature, I can't help but ponder the ripples through my own private ecosystem. Each path we forge or stream we reroute effects our world.

In retrospect, the past year has been a bit terrifying at times. I've taken chances for the first time in what feels like centuries. I set a dinghy out among clippers and schooners in the literary world and managed not to sink, ventured beyond the United States and explored and loved and lost, and navigated the East Coast solo. None of these were without a few bumps along the way, but I survived. Adventure is like heroin, and I'm finding myself addicted. I need more exploration in my life to feel fulfilled. As for what kinds of adventure it will mean next year, that remains to be seen.

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