January 3rd, 2007

Don't Hassle the Hoff

The Seattle Reflection

My temp agency called and e-mailed me this morning, but I've yet to listen to the message. Suffice it to say, I believe work is on the immediate horizon; so I better crack this out in the meantime.

Have you heard the new Beck album? For as bad as "Guero" was, "The Information" is equally as kickass. Word to the wise, Beck hasn't completely lost his magic.

I may have mentioned that I read a book on the flight back here, entitled "The Tao of Pooh." It's a rudimentary explanation of the principles of Taoism using Winnie The Pooh (the books, not necessarily the cartoon/movies) as its primary example of a Western writer getting it right. Since I didn't necessarily read the book to learn so much as to pass the 4 and a half hours in the air, I'll need to go over it again to have the information soak into my brain. But, as best I can at the moment, I'll try to explain Taoism at its most basic simplicity. The Taoist chooses to let life come to him. It's the practice of "Going With The Flow"; not spending all of your time looking to the past in regret or looking to the future for all the answers, but appreciating today for what it is. Not necessarily needing material possessions to fulfill your life, nor needing to be constantly entertained with outside stimuli, but being able to exist, doing nothing, and enjoy yourself. Obviously, there are endless details I'm leaving out, but this little 150 page book has got me thinking a little bit.

First of all, I've never been one to be able to answer those "Where will you be in five years?" questions. It's not something I like thinking about because if I knew the answer then where's the fun in getting there? It's one thing to have a goal, but you can't necessarily map out your goals the same way you could map out your status in life in five years. Too many variables. So, in that sense, I'm in tune with the Taoist ideal. My problem lies in the fact that I put all this pressure on myself to be a success in the things I want to be successful in, so I'm unable to enjoy anything else I'm doing in the interim because I'm so focused on what I want to become and the fact that I'm not there yet.

What does this have to do with thinking back on my trip home to Seattle?

Lovely barbecued pork fried rice from next door. $4.60 for a large, eat it. I will.

I was all ready to second guess my actions upon returning home a couple weeks ago. See, I'm a totally different person when I'm there, compared to when I'm here. As I've said before, I'm a creature of my surroundings. I adapt (or fade into oblivion) as well as anyone in any kind of situation. So, when I'm in Seattle/Tacoma, I'm quick to revert to my Old Ways.

Even before I got on that plane to fly back to New York on New Year's Eve, I was all ready to get on here and rail against myself for falling back into the same habits I had and loathed before I left originally. Because, what it all boils down to, the reason why I left in the first place was because I didn't like who I was, what I was doing, or where I was going. I'd spend all my time fucking around, drinking too much, watching too much TV, sitting around being a lazy ass, being the resident doormat for all others to walk on. So, yeah, at the end of my vacation this week, I was pissed. Sure, it was JUST a vacation and I wasn't meant to be getting anything else accomplished except to see friends and loved ones and party party party. But, in the same sense, I saw my two weeks at home as a microcosm for my entire life there. Getting drunk until I puked, eating too much/exercising too little, spending every available minute on my ass in front of a TV/Computer, on autopilot with my writing.

But, then I got on that plane, I read that book - and while it won't be an excuse for my bad habits - I realized that I need to stop being so concerned about where I've been and where I'm going and simply enjoy the fact that I am. I am here, now. That's it. I'm alive, it's Today, and that should be reason enough to consider today to be the greatest day ever until tomorrow becomes Today.

The truth is, every day I was at home was the greatest day. I mean, I was just thinking about the moments, while I was having them, I felt amazing. Seeing everyone that I hadn't seen for a few months or longer, being in that environment and having it feel as good as it did when I lived there, it brings a couple things to mind. First, it reminds me of what was the hardest aspect of moving here: moving away from there. Also, it made me a little disappointed in myself for not being of the ilk to have whatever it is I need to have (will-power, self-esteem, direction, drive) to live there and continue to do what I'm able to do while I'm here, just because I'm in a place now without nearly as many friends or distractions.

I have nothing bad to say about the vacation whatsoever. I got to enjoy at least one quality day/evening with almost everyone I wanted to. Pretty much, the trip kicked off strong: partying with my brother, with Julie and Eric, and over the weekend at Jessica/Eddie's party. On into the next week, Kon and Juli and Colin got into town, so we had some mid-week festivities. Slowed down into the weekend with Christmas and family time, but we picked right back up at the end of it all. Hardly a wasted moment; that's all I ever wanted.

Of course, according to the Taoist philosophy, there's no such thing as a moment wasted. Just moments.
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