I like to think I’m deliberate.
That I labor over decisions, both big and small. That I’m meticulous and make well-counselled decisions.
In something approaching 50% of the time, though, I think I operate more on impulse. This tends to be OK, as I trust myself in most matters. Deliberate, impulsive, these are things I’m used to both striving for an being, respectively. One thing I’m not, or at least up until recently have not been, accustomed to is calling. A decision calling to me is something than an impulsive one. Impulse is fleeting; I didn’t buy those new $150 earbuds even though I liked them and seem to collect such technical doodads – better judgement, nay, deliberate decision-making, intervened. A calling, on the other hand, does not fleet.
When there’s this feeling… in your chest or somewhere approximate. It’s a nagging thing, isn’t it? Even tainted around the edges to make you feel like not doing it is somehow wrong. A calling, being willed from the inside or some outside force, as near physical a thing as a pinprick. I was called to do the RV trip, did you know that? I don’t say it, but I felt like we were supposed to do that; meant to bond and explore. Yeah sure, you’re thinking that I’m likely also “called” to my daily bowel movements, that I’m some crystals and auras new-age type getting messages from the Pleiades. I’m not; as much as one can impartially judge themselves as such a one. I knew that trip was the right thing to do, while on it everything felt right, and looking back at it there’s no denying the overall correctness of it. It was a calling I chose to heed.
Is “calling” even the right word? Not sure. When someone chooses the seminary, what’s that… a calling? A desire? How do you tell the difference. In my life, I also desired (greatly) that past summer’s trip. Called, or wanted? Maybe it’s the persistence of the feeling that leads me to want to dub something a calling versus a desire. I desire a steak, medium rare, salt and pepper only. I’m called on a journey. What does one do, then, when one feels some compelling urge to do something seemingly irrational… like a drastic career and scenery change?
Why do I daydream about teaching middle-school math in upstate New York? What is that kind of fantasy. I even see the town in my head, all Bedford Falls and Mayberry. My kids know your kids and your wife and mine are in the same PTA meetings and church committees. I don’t work until 10pm. I don’t work until 11pm. I don’t work until midnight. I don’t think about work in the shower. I don’t think about work on the weekend. My fucking till balance at the end of my grocery-checker shift doesn’t weigh on my shoulders like an anchor. My paycheck loses decimal places. Our saving stalls. I wouldn’t be able to do things like that RV trip I was “called” to; I’d have to pass-up the calling because I couldn’t afford it. Right? Little devil on the right, little angel on the left. Warring.
I can’t even write one-minded about it and I’m just manic-depressive enough about it to where it’ll likely never happen. There is this part of me that wants it like an ideal, though. To get closer to my family, my God, my planet, the things I like about myself and the things I feel my time is best spent on. Why waste it working until 10pm, 11pm, midnight? Why waste it rebalancing my 401k? Why sow or reap or store away in barns? Why labor or spin? How long can I keep pretending to seriously ask myself these questions before I give up and admit I’m too scared or convince the family to take the first steps with me? I’m not serious, surely.
Self-indulgent catharsis. Feel better. More coming at a later time. Thanks for reading.
3 Replies to “tomorrow will worry about itself”
You could take that RV trip as a teacher… and you’d even have two months to do it. And you’d have Christmas break, and spring break, and snow days (in upstate NY). You would still worry about work in the shower though. You’d worry about lesson plans and test scores and papers to grade… and whether your students have enough food to eat and warm clothes and kind friends. And Sunday’s would always suck because you will run out of time to get all of your schoolwork done over the weekend. But on Monday morning you can walk into the building and see all those smiling faces and teach a kid something new and know that you have made a difference… Just my opinion though. 🙂
This made me happy, and also sad. Favorite comment in a long time.
We just got back from two weeks at the ranch in MT and we long to figure out a way to move there and enjoy a simpler life. This post strikes very close to home for us. Sigh. we daydream at least weekely about making a lower paying, less stressful job work in order to live in Heaven-MT, not the real one! Not sure we’ll ever make the leap, but we can dream…