Thursday, March 23, 2006

Comfort Versus Contentment Amidst Confusion

I’m feeling kind of confused right now. Confusion is nothing new to my life. I’ve grown used to it over time. In fact, confusion has been one of the few constants of my life. It seems that I live in moments of great peace and comfort that are followed by incredibly long moments of confusion and unknowing. It’s been this way since I graduated from the 8th grade and had to start attending the larger county high school that fall. Minute moments of comfort followed by large conquesting periods of confusion seems to have characterized my life ever since: the first time I asked a girl on a date (and was rejected), when I was trying to decide where I should go to college, when I graduated from high school, when I went to college, when I was originally rejected from the theatre department, etc.

I’m kind of in one of those periods of confusion right now. I’m trying to find a teaching job for the fall. I honestly have no idea where I’m going to end up. I have some idea where I would like to be next year and though there have been some prospects, nothing has been anything close to a definite. Ideally I would like to stay somewhere semi-close (within about a 125 mile radius) of where I am now so that I can act in a play I’ve been wanting to act in for a long time next fall. In all honesty, that’s the only real reason I want to stick around (the show is a dream show for an actor and opportunities like that don’t come along very often). I’m willing to relocate to other parts of the country, but I really, really, really want to do this show in the fall. The opportunity to perform in a show like this is rather rare. So, there’s that whole thing going on. That struggle is tied to my summer as well. Summer plans and hoped for plans might not come to fruition (e.g. returning to Camp Timber-lee) if things for the fall don’t come into line.

There’s also the struggle I find myself facing between comfort and content. Contrary to general perception (and as is the case with happiness and joy) comfort and content are not the same things. One can be quite comfortable and not at all content and by the same token one can be quite uncomfortable and totally content. Ideally one would like to be both comfortable and content, but that requires great temperance (balance) and is difficult to attain and even more difficult to retain. It’s easier just to be comfortable and to fool oneself into believing you are content. That’s what most people do. We go through our lives not pressing out the best in each moment because of some unknown, tricking ourselves into believing that because we’re comfortable where we are at, we’re content. In actuality our souls are crying out to live inside, but we refuse to listen because it would make us face things we don’t want to face and so we muffle our souls’ cries with the downy softness of modern comfortability. But I don’t want to just be comfortable. I want to be content and if I had to choose between the two my heart of hearts tells me I’d rather be content than comfortable.

I do know what it is to be content. I’ve been content before. The problem right now is that I don’t know if I’m currently content and am struggling with a bit of discomfort or if I’m just comfortable and am trying to hide my discontent. I can go anywhere in the world if I want to and begin a completely different occupation and career than I am in now. I’m once again at a crossroads and people wouldn’t think it too strange if I set off west right now. This could be my chance to completely get away. There is so much I want to do in life. I want to travel more. I want to make a movie. I want to see some of the things I have written published. I want to write for The New Yorker. I want to meet, befriend, dine, and discourse with the elites (whether they are movie stars, publishing giants, athletic elite, etc.). I want to run The Amazing Race with my cousin. I want to get on Jeopardy!, beat Ken Jennings winning record, and gain for myself a footnote in the annuals of pop culture. Yet, I also want to settle down. I’ve lived a fairly nomadic life for the past several years. I’ve lived in four different states and have worked at a variety of different jobs. I’ve seen a bit more of the world than many people in my hometown even know exist. I need a home base of operations. I want to have a home of my own. I want to fall madly in love, get married, and spend time building a different life with my wife (whoever that woman might be).

So, what will happen? Will I get an English teaching job in the southern Illinois area for the 2006-2007 school year? Will I return to Camp Timber-lee for another summer? Will I end up packing all my worldly belongings in a wagon and towing it behind my dying car out to Oregon? Will I act in the play that I’ve been wanting to act in for the past several years? Will I finally get that call that gets me the interview for Survivor, The Amazing Race, or Jeopardy!? I do not know. Right now, dear readers, I’m just struggling between comfort and content amidst confusion. It’s not easy, but it sure makes things interesting.

1 comment:

pieces of me said...

try to get hold of the book "Unlocking your Sixth Suitcase":)