Beyond my peripheral vision

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May 18, 2008 by 8junebugs

Having a parent diagnosed with an aggressive cancer is a little freeing, believe it or not. It makes you reevaluate everything you hold to be true and right. We build our own little worlds with bricks of experience and expectations, and we don’t often go back to inspect them one by one.

Funny thing about bricks… They are not indestructible. (Note to self: refrain from building with stone.)

Here is what I know:

  • I have a 14-month lease on my apartment. I cannot afford to break another lease. But I have learned that time is a construct and June 2009 is, cosmically speaking, about two weeks away.
  • In five months, I need to file a divorce complaint in the Commonwealth of Virginia and be available for a court date.
  • I have a dying mother and I need to stay within driving distance of Vermont for what remains of her life. This is not negotiable.

Everything else is subject to change.

Life is too goddam short to feel locked into a place, a job, an unhappy relationship, and a dining room set. I am not locked in, and I have begun to realize that happiness, in the end, is more important than a long-service medal and money is only as important as what it allows you to do.

It’s true that I love my life. I have an awesome job and amazing friends and I live in a dynamic and exciting place. I have been blessed in some ways beyond my ability to comprehend them.

But if I have a shot at happiness that requires thinking outside my comfy little world, I’ll be damned if I’m going to try to force a square peg in a round hole. With the exception of my birthplace and anywhere with more humidity than DC, there are few places where I could not build a life the same way I have here. My friends are irreplaceable, but they’re also the kind of friends for whom distance is irrelevant.

Nothing puts your priorities in order faster than a dying parent. I have an awesome job, but there are other awesome jobs. I have a master’s degree on the hoizon, but credits transfer and programs continue to evolve to incorporate what I do. I have a butcher and a cheese shop in walking distance and my favorite restaurant in my basement, but who knows if I wouldn’t be as happy — or happier — with a park, a corner market, and a ballroom dancing studio?

All bets are off. That’s all I’m saying.

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