Jun 12, 2013

Spontaneous Combustion

I felt the twinge right when I said.  "Yeah, we should check tickets."  I've said that a fair amount of times.  I've almost never actually checked tickets.  I got a text from my buddy about an hour later.  "$575."  He had checked tickets and was ready to book.  That was Saturday afternoon.  

My lovely fiancee is very intuitive, frighteningly so sometimes.  She could see I was stressed about something.  I told her that I had been talking to a friend I haven't seen in a long time, a friend I won't be seeing for a long time again.  He suggested we check tickets to fly to Seattle three days later for a one day trip to see the USMNT vs. Panama.  It would be a last minute trip.  I told him I would check tickets.  

And I was seriously stressed about it.  I began looking for reasons not to go.  My fiancee wouldn't allow it right?  We've got a baby on the way.  She's seven months pregnant.  Good Dads to be don't up and leave their pregnant fiancees on a moments notice for a day with the boys.  I told my fiancee what I was thinking.  Without hesitation, she told me to make it happen.  She told me to go. (How lucky am I to have a fiancee like that?)  

Ok, fine.  I'll just text my boss.  He'll tell me it might be a bit of a hang up at work.  It's not policy to take two days off in the middle of the week with only one day's notice.  Plus I probably have meetings, and meetings are important.  I texted him, "Hey bossman, any objections to me taking Tuesday and Wednesday off this week?"  I received an immediate response, "Nope, go for it."  (How lucky am I to have a boss like that?)

Alright, fine.  I'll check ticket prices.  Surely they will be $1000.  Surely the game would be sold out too.  It turns out airplane tickets were $350.  With a little maneuvering and some credit card points, I could get that down to $60.  Tickets to the game were sold out, but I found some seats on the old Internets.  We have another friend who lives in Seattle.  We could stay with him and eat and drink on the cheap.  I could do this whole trip for $200.  It'd be only $200 to get some much needed face time with some of my very best friends, and spend time enjoying one of my most enduring passions, soccer.

Any yet, I was still stressed about it.  I hmmm'd and haaaa'd.  I tried to justify it one way or the other.  I annoyed my friends with stupid questions like, "Are you sure?",  "Should we?",  "Should I?" and  "Can you really?"  I annoyed my fiancee by being indecisive and stressing out over something that should be a simple decision to make.  

By this time, it was Sunday afternoon, and I sat down to write a blog.  I stared at the blinking cursor for almost two hours before giving up with nothing more than the word "blarg" on the screen(incidentally that word perfectly describes what writer's block is like).  Can you imagine sitting for two hours in front of a computer screen and being incapable of thinking of interesting to say?  I've had some kind of epic year, and I couldn't think of one damn thing to say about it.  It's soul sucking when that happens.  I shut down the computer and began watching TV.  I still hadn't committed to the trip.  A few hours later I was laying in bed disappointed with my inability to write anything that day.  I was frustrated by my inability to make this fairly simple decision on my own.  Annoyingly, I asked my fiancee one more time if it was ok for me to go.  Her answer was still yes. 

I still wasn't convinced.  I wondered what the hell is wrong with me.  Why can't I make simple decisions?  Why can't I live more spontaneously?  Why do I look for reasons NOT to do something that would be an epic, meaningful time?  Why can't I act without annoying the crap out of everyone around me?  And then it occurred to me.  I'm a human being and like all human beings I really suck at being one sometimes.  That's something I can write about.  That's a blog.  

I booked my tickets, and now I'm sitting on a plane to Seattle.  I'm writing.  

I guess life is richest on the margins of perception, the margins of personality.  Our worlds expand and contract, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, but the edges are always there to be explored.  Those margins are the human condition, where the world around us collides with the world inside us.  Good writing comes from the exploration of that place.  I spend too much of my life in the place of what is the right decision and what is the wrong decision.  Right decisions too often feel wrong, and wrong decisions too often feel right.  To use them as a harness for our lives is ineffectual at best and fraudulent at worst.  Framing decisions in those terms considers only what already is, not what could become. 

The better questions to ask is, how will I grow from this?  If the answer to that is anything other than, "nothing," then it's probably something worth considering.  If nothing else, you can always write about it afterwards.  And for me, a life spent dancing in the margins of my world, and reflecting upon that dance is the kind of I want no matter how much right or wrong I do.  


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