27 December 2008

my great unanswered

so, i meant to use this weekend to finish my novel. and here i am contemplating the great question of my moment…

part of me can’t even believe i’m putting this into my blog where all two of you are going to see what i’m thinking. but as sonya would tell me, ‘we win big and lose big, but always go big’ so i’m just gonna close my eyes and jump big with the hopes that even if you can’t help me, i can listen to myself for a minute and see what it is i am really trying to see.

is it better to be alone or is it better to share life with someone else?

on the one hand, this is a no brainer. like, who wants to spend their entire life alone, right? that way i answer the question with another question with no answer. the thing is, i’ve been living alone (mostly) for almost three years, and i kinda dig it. i like that i’m spending most of this weekend locked away in solitude. i like that in solitude is where i’ve sorta spent this entire past year, which, incidentally, has been the greatest of my life. yeah, i’ve been around lotsa people, in lotsa places, but i did it alone, and gave way to the circumstances to keep myself locked in solitude.

and even today, i like that the only sounds in my apartment are the heater working overtime (that is one noisy bastard, btw) and my fingers tapping the keyboard. i like that i eat what i want, that i drink too much without interference, that i can sit in my sweatpants all day, that i can keep myself safely tucked away from the woes of the world.

i’ve been so disappointed with love the past few years, have been so disappointed in myself for the choices i have and haven’t made, for the way i’ve let the emotions and words of others have such a profound impact on my being true (or not being true, as the case may have been) to myself. and i don’t know if i can really trust me enough to go back out there, give love a fair shot, and keep about me what i’ve grown to love so much this year.

and to be perfectly honest with me and both of you, i’m not 100% sure that i want to share my life. i have these moments where i _know_ i do, where i _know_ i have so much to give and want to share this crazy big heart of mine. and then i have these others, where i feel content with the way things are, with me on my own, and i like the way it feels to be succeeding in life all by myself. and i don’t know if the scared in me is looking for an excuse to “choose” to be alone as opposed to practicing my preachings and taking a real leap of faith, or if this is a serious question to seriously ponder.

i also can’t remember how much i liked sharing my life. i do know that i don’t remember ever being as happy as i am now. and i don’t know if that’s because i am alone, or if it's taken me this long to find the place where i can be happy enough to share. i just don’t know.

oh, and this is a good one to leave a comment if you have anything to share :)


21 December 2008

a letter to a humanitarian

dear humanitarian friend -

in our last conversation and in your blog, you have expressed grave disillusionment in the way some of the rest of us view your work. you don't want to be viewed as someone who is saving the world. i try, but i'm not sure i understand why. is it because you really don't feel that the work you're doing is saving the world or is it that you're not sure you deserve such a label because you chose your path and find love and excitement in your work?

the thing is, you make sacrifices most wouldn't make. you spend weeks living out of a suitcase in dangerous and remote places in africa and the middle east, trying to make inroads with and for people who move as slowly as molasses. you do it because you are trying to do what you can to make those places better for the people inauspiciously resident. you write op-ed pieces and a blog of your own on the atrocities and challenges within the aforementioned parts of the world. you keep your own emotions and even personal reward in check because you have chosen the life of a wandering pauper over that of the wall street lawyer you were educated to become and offered.

look, i understand that martyrdom is not what you seek. i get that maybe it's not fair that you mostly enjoy your work. but really, is it all that great? i mean, sure, there are moments you love what you do, see the results of your labors, look into the eyes of the people you are trying to help, but you suffer. you live a lonely existence for weeks on end. you are exhausted when on the go. you find occasional moments of serenity now that you've found a place you can call home, but don't have the time and energy to forge new friendships, build a relationship, and revel in all of the other elements of a rooted life.

people like us sacrifice a lot to make the world a better place. it's where we find the greatest sense of personal achievement, but the costs to our personal lives are untold. i have no regrets for leaving my life behind to do everything in my power to change the course of my beloved but drowning america (and darlin', my work is far from finished), but i lost as big as i won.

i lost friendships i'll never recover. i lost the freedom to live a carefree life. i will never again look at the woes of the world and not feel responsible to work to correct them. i will never stop working to be the best and most charitable me i can be, and i will never reach my own ideal because i am too mired in the rat race. my relationships suffer terminally because i carry the weight of the world atop my shoulders. someone recently told me i'll never actually have the life i want because i'm too accomplished, too driven, too successful, that i will never find the requisite strength and confidence within the fragile ego of the truly fairer sex to build a successful relationship (the lonely christmas i bring about is set to be like all the others before it, a pity party of epic proportion).

it makes me angry that my talents can mobilize people. it makes me angry as hell that what i do best pays nothing, keeps me up at night, and is pushing me into the pernicious world of american politics. it makes me angry that people now have expectations of me, hopes for me, and are making demands of my time, energy, and passion they don't even realize they want and need. and it thrills me so much that i can't help but throw myself into the thick of it. i am energized by it, i feel accomplished, i feel like i'm contributing, that i'm making the world a little bit better, and i need that. i need it to feel personally, professionally, and intellectually satisfied. and i hate it just as fervidly.

a crossroads lies in my path. in one direction, i see and fear a life of lonely political success. in the other lies personal reward that will dim the fire in my soul. i am being pushed and pulled toward the former, while wanting the latter. i just don't know if i can live with a dim fire in my soul, but i sure as shit don't want to be a fucking martyr either. i really don't.

so, i guess what i'm trying to say is that as much as i try to understand what you're saying, i'm not sure i do. and as much as i love you and want to respect you, i still can't help but see someone changing the world when you stand before me.