Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Too much time, too much thinking...

Just now, as I started this post, intending to lament the lack of things there are to do (while I'm at work) I realized that there are plenty of things I could have been doing, and now I feel like an ass. Just the other day I was telling Miss T about my non-exhaustive list of things to do in Juneau and asserting that anyone who said there is nothing to do in Juneau must be trying to ignore the opportunities.

Alas, at the office, things are a little different. I cannot hike, or row, or do anything outside the office. I also have basically no work to do at the office. I've been reassured on multiple occasions that even if I'm just sitting here on my ass, doing nothing, my presence is both necessary and appreciated. The things I determined I could have been doing include: Reading (I keep a book in my over-sized purse), keeping up with news, drawing things, or writing a novel.

Instead I spent my day trying to shuffle around papers to discover if there was something left to be done, using g-chat (which now includes AIM!) and Windows messenger (MSN), pondering my "love" life, and trying to twist my foot around so I can be sure that I maintain the same range of motion in my bum ankle.

Lately, I've been faced with a lot of decisions... not immediate decisions or even life-alteringly important decisions, but decisions nonetheless. I've been asking the advice of my friends and I get overwhelmingly the same responses from the friends. The thing is, I might sort of be leaning in the other direction.

I know I should want to go to DC and do all that exciting stuff, but I kind of want to stay in Juneau and maybe work with the Ocean Legacy project.

I know I should want things to go further with the crush since in so many ways he is a better match for me, but I kind of want to continue with my non-relationship with Mr. CPP.

That's why I'm so torn. I know what I should do and should want, but there is definitely something in me that says, "Stop. You are the happiest you have ever been. Are these things going to make you happier?"

Here are some specifics:

I love Juneau. I mean, I've lived in a lot of places, places with fewer than 60 inches of rain a year, places with castles, places with family, places with roads... Somehow, Juneau has been the place where I have felt most at home and most connected. It feels like I have found a nice place in the community, that I have lots of opportunities, and that I could be happy here for as long as I stay here. That isn't to say that I will stay forever, I still plan to leave, but maybe not just yet.

I really love feeling like what I am doing is making a difference. I know that with the organization I'm with now, even though I've just been whining about having nothing to do, we are consistently doing things that make big changes. We have petitioned the EPA, we have done research and provided input on issues like Arctic Climate Change and Fisheries Management, etc. The input provided will make a noticeable difference. I know that with the Ocean Legacy project, I would have a stable and solid job, I would be working on interesting and stimulating projects, and that within a few years we will have accomplished what we set out to do. I don't know if I would get quite the same satisfaction out of (most likely) doing correspondence and filing or whatever sort of terrible position one starts with in a US Senate staff.

I have dealt with relationship before in which I was completely enamored with the person because he was smart, well read, thoughtful, and had something to say about everything. Because we liked the same sorts of music and movies and similarly wanted to do great things for the world. Because he was intense and passionate and interesting. I got hurt. Emotional baggage like depression and insecurity made me suffer along with the bearer of the traits. It scares me to think of jumping into something like that again. Maybe the current situation I have isn't ideal - we aren't in love and we won't be, we don't fulfill every need the other has, but for the time being, I have some companionship, affection, and a little fun.

I don't see any of this as necessarily permanent, but are the suggestions I'm receiving, are the things I think I should want, are those really the right decisions? Or do they just seem like it? Of course we should all want the most prestigious jobs, the most exciting cities, and the most passionate love stories. Right? Is that happiness?

1 comment:

written by noelle said...

"Of course we should all want the most prestigious jobs, the most exciting cities, and the most passionate love stories. Right? Is that happiness?"

In the most humblest ways, without lecturing, let me say in response to your post, "Not necessarily." There's a lot to be said about jobs that fulfill you personally even if they don't sound awesome or prestigious to others or on paper. If it makes you feel good to go to work every day, that's all that matters. If you feel needed and respected and appreciated, and if you feel like you're making a difference in SOMEONE'S life, one person's even, then that's all that you need to tell you that you have a great job. If you're not bored, that's a perfect job! Also, I'm a strong advocate of doing things because they feel right instead of because they sound right. Intuition and instinct are a big factor in any decision made - trust that. If you want to go for comfort and safety and imperfect but meaningful companionship over thrill and excitement, do it! That's what I love about my life these days - it's very comfortable, very safe, very cozy, very reliable, and it offers me a ton of peace of mind. It might not be changing daily, it might not involve adventure and intrigue, I might not be reinventing myself daily to meet new people and adapt to new situations, but I've adapted my little sphere of universe to be quite pleasant and it makes me very happy.

So if you choose Juneau for a little while longer, thumbs up to you! Just be happy! Be content.