I am working a rather insane schedule lately, packed with 12 hour days and very few breaks (if any). But I am not exhausted. I am actually thrilled. I love what I am doing and I feel a great sense of relaxation in this hard work.
I don’t deal well with stress or pressure. I am a naturally anxious person – that’s just who I am. One would think I’d be a wreck right now, what with all this work. The work, though, is so fulfilling that I actually enjoy pretty much every moment of it. I am teaching and listening and helping and relating and laughing and contributing. I also live in a place (geographically, physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, mentally, goofily) that allows me to be me – which is happy. Content. Here.
I find that living in a rural environment removes the tension and stressors in my life that were damaging to both participate in and resist. I’ve gone from having everything I could ever want, whenever I wanted it, right at my fingertips to a much slower pace. For me, that is a more human pace, a more manageable pace. I may not be able to see my favorite bands play live or get a decent burrito, but as I drove in to work this morning and watched the sun steam the frost off of sleeping fields, I knew I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
This isn’t for everyone, this dropping out business. For me, though, it has created a monumental shift in perspective and priorities. What was once important to me is trivial. What I took for granted I now relish (i.e. lattes). I feel like I have a deeper appreciation for all things, which also brings a certain kindness/softness to all I do. My interactions with students, coworkers, friends, neighbors, and strangers are open and real. There’s no posturing on anybody’s part. None of us are thinking of angles or benefits or anything other than the human interaction at hand. My former urban self would have seen this as naïve or somehow lacking savvy. I see it now as genuine, authentic, true, comfortable.
Here’s the thing: everyone has to find the place where he or she can just BE. The place that nurtures and never judges. Here’s a big secret, though: that place is already in all of us. We carry it around with us all the time. But sometimes we need to put ourselves in an environment that assists us in knowing this truth. Then it’s not a secret anymore. It’s just life.
Namaste, assholes. You know I love you.