Monday, April 28, 2014

Unsticking

On Friday, I came across an article entitled "Navigating Stuckness" by Jonathan Harris. The concept of occasionally becoming stuck and breaking free of it resonated with me. Over the last few years, I have definitely had periods where I felt life becoming repetitive and mundane. The problem, of course, is not a specific job, location, or friends. Instead, it is a much harder problem to overcome and change: outlook.

My time teaching at the Oliverian School has been a great example in comparing being stuck or unstuck. When I taught during the summer session in 2012, it was new and fresh. Northern New Hampshire was displayed in all its glory and as a new space, I explored it constantly. Every moment that I had time off, I was exploring nooks and crannies throughout the Upper Valley and Vermont.

Comparably, when I returned last winter, I dug myself in. My explorations and adventures were anomalies instead of the norm. Despite loving springtime in the northeast, I did not get out and enjoy it the way I should have. There are exceptions of course, like gardening often at Kathy's house, but my zest for exploring and appreciating everything around me was not as high as I like it to be.

Much of this year, the worst of winter excluded, I have been incredibly unstuck. Something about knowing I am leaving this area and the opportunities it presents have me constantly on the look out for the chance to make more memories and enjoy every chance I have to enjoy life. Whether it has been connecting with friends and family during Spring Break, saving salamanders with students, or leading a weekend trip for sushi, I am up for every activity that comes my way. With barely five weeks until I begin training with the Peace Corps, I have had plenty of impetus to un-stick myself. The challenge I cannot embrace right now is unsticking myself when I do not have such an incredible force pushing me to maximize my life.

Having read Harris' manifesto on Friday, I went into the weekend mulling over the idea of being stuck while comparing it to my opportunities. For the third time during my time at school, I made the always shorter than I expect it to be drive up to my friends Will & Carrie's farm. We shared an amazing weekend complete with incredible cooking with food grown on the farm including pies and perogies, joining Carrie in her studio to create some gorgeous silk scarves, startling the brand new piglets, a night of new-to-me games, and a visit to my new favorite brewery, Lost Nation, for another stamp in my Vermont Brewer's Passport but sadly not a growler of their Dark Pitch. I particularly enjoyed my firsts of working with a pasta maker and silk. Most valuable, of course, was spending time with these two people who never fail to inspire me with their stories, experiences, and opinions. I cherish the memories of winter Saturdays holed up in my apartment in Charleston enjoying their company and delicious food we always seem to be making together!


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You should choose as your life's work whatever feels the most like play.
-Harvey Oxenhorn