Friday, September 26, 2008

I found the art of doing (almost) nothing in Chile (Part I)

Anyone who knows me well, will know that I love being busy. It keeps me entertained and challenged, and for the most part, it keeps me happy.


But the past 2 years, I began to feel differently about being busy. My life was being taken over by “shoulds.” I should go to class; I should go to work; I should clean up this mess. But it didn’t feel like my idea anymore to do any of those things. I had a life full of obligations I had created and no longer wanted.

I began to try to change things with my New Year’s Resolution, which only consisted of two things: to have fun and be funnier.

I actually have had trouble keeping this easy resolution. (I know, I know…half of you have your mouths open and are just staring at the screen in complete incredulity. The other half might actually understand.)

Here’s the thing: I had to keep at bay my incessant need to plan six months in advance. I had to ignore the feeling that if I did not have some ultimate goal or if my life was not on a five-year plan I would escape Earth’s gravity and float up into open space. That without all my “shoulds” I would be lost. And if I were lost, I would feel terrible.

Every time I felt the urge to take charge, take on more responsibility, push for a management position, start some amazing new business, I resisted (do not try this if you want a spectacular career). I played videogames with my brother instead. I jumped on trampolines. I pursued the fun parts of work first. I cut class often. I came home and played with my dog. I felt better.

For my thirtieth birthday, I wanted to do something that would be a symbolic gesture, a message to myself to continue down this very scary (yet fun!) path.

So it was the combination of my 2008 fun resolution and a secret childhood dream to live in a foreign country which led me to Chile:

  • I now work around twenty hours a week instead of forty
  • All the classes (design, writing, dancing) I took on top of the forty hours I don’t have here
  • My dog is safely with my cousin, my cats with a friend in Davis
  • This house is not mine. This furniture is not mine. These rules are not mine. This language is not mine. There is no car to drive, fill up with gas, to wash. No mail to open. I don’t even have a plant.

And I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. So how did I go from being “on the go from the get go” to this new space?

Find out tomorrow! To be continued… (haha, I’ll write the next part soon…just wanted to keep it in bite-size chunks).

1 comment:

nacho said...

ok, like most of the people who see your page speaks english im going to let you my comment in Spanish, haha im kidding. No im not.
Es dificil hacer comentarios de lo que has escrito, jaja son muchas cosas, para no ser aburrido, me rei mucho con tus comparaciones entre usa y chile jaja, tambien con lo de tu sonrisa cuando no entiendes lo que alguien te esta diciendo jaja.
Me parece muy bien que le enseñes a tus compatriotas las extrañas cosas que se pueden ver y hacer en Chile.
Espero que lo hayas pasado muy bien en las fondas y en la semana del diechiocho, estuvo muy entretenido el paseo por el museo de hoy, cuidate mucho y nos estamos las proxima semana, keep writing, i really like it.
"La forma en que hablamos refleja nuestra educacion, clase social, cultura, etc..." i have heard about it... i dont remeber where, or who said so haha.
Nacho.