“And remember, too, you can stay at home, safe in the familiar illusion of certainty. Do not set out without realizing that ‘the way is not without danger. Everything good is costly, and the development of the personality is one of the most costly of all things.’ It will cost you your innocence, your illusions, your certainty” (Kopp, 1976).
“Home,” of course, should actually be taken in both the literal and metaphorical senses. Getting yourself out of your comfort zone doesn’t really necessitate moving to Southeast Asia, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. So interesting to me, too, how much the idea of getting on the path means letting go of some innocence: if my path is self-discovery or self-realization (whatever that even means) through the emotional and spiritual journeys that started in my young adulthood, there’s no question whether a loss of innocence occurred. Mostly here I’m thinking about the loss of idealism I experienced during Peace Corps. It’s easier, in many ways, to be more at home in idealism than in realism. The cost is, arguably, a jolt to one’s own sense of meaningfulness and importance, but what’s gained, maybe, is maturity and vision (in the sense of perspective). Not that I’m mature and understand much, though.
I’m very tired today. We’ve been fixing up the house and organizing things. I think I’ll be able to start living there at the end of the week… and I decided today that I’ve got to throw myself a housewarming party. I think I’ll make some pasta.
Tomorrow’s the start of the semester, both at UMM and with the online tutoring gig I’ve got going on. It’s going to be a rough and exciting week, I think. Trying to hold on to Kate and SK’s optimism that once I establish the routines and get my home furnishings in order, everything else will fall into place.
What’s most exciting to me about this semester is that I’m “just” working! No hot and heavy academia stuff (though I’ve got some goals for myself on that front regardless), just focusing on tasks, teaching, and bringing home the bacon. It feels good to have what feels to be a lighter load; I think it seems “easier” to me since I’m not putting any intense pressure on myself, or at least not pressuring myself in the same insane way I do when I’m doing academic work. I’m in a magical place of feeling very competent and confident in my ability to do what needs to be done and not having to constantly judge myself or worry that everyone is thinking poorly of me. So, really, I’m back in a comfort zone, then, aren’t I? But maybe not; “just” working and seeing where it takes me, going out into the world without much of a concrete plan, and allow myself the luxury of doing things slowly and focusing on pleasure, achievable tasks, and mental health (self-care!) aren’t things I normally do so much… to my own detriment, I think.
Well, my eyeballs are about to fall out of my head from tiredness. Three for three on the daily blogging thing! Feeling great about that! #babysteps