Solitary confinement

February 23rd, 2013 | Tags: , ,

Little room is left for side pursuits when you are burning the candle at both ends. I see this in my friends’ lives, and I see it in my own. I wear a set of blinders–no, truly, a cardboard box with two eye-holes cut out so I can see only what is in front of me. I have cut myself off from Twitter, and I ditched facebook long ago, because the lives and thoughts of other people are so intrinsically interesting to me that I end up doing nothing but watching and engaging in those, at the expense of the things I need to do to fulfill the requirements of my ambitions and the obligations that those requirements incur.

Sparrow and I have had a number of conversations about missing the boat, and the need to build one. I have, just as I was most terrified of missing my biggest boat yet, been granted a ferry ride to the ultimate cruise liner, and yet there are still so many opportunities I must simply allow to slip by. I have tests to grade and the week to plan, so I must eschew the company of my friends in Raleigh tonight. I have a literacy intervention report to write, so I must sacrifice the hope of catching the last show of a local performance of Julius Caesar. Instead, I must stay home and work, and not brew beer, and not play Minecraft, and not talk to my friends, and not expand my horizons. It is this confinement that will bring me to a place where I can do all of those things. But when I get there, will I still be the same person who wants to? Or will I have changed to become someone who, by habit, does nothing but what is right in front of me?

I have become all too aware of the passage of time, and my remarkable ability to waste it away in paralysis. But what cost to my future hopes do I incur by acting on the opportunities I miss today? What cost to my well-being will I pay in the future by practicing austerity in the here and now? Theognis, I think, would understand.

The right answer is to be happy with what I have, and accept that I cannot have everything I aspire to. There is no point–but we keep on anyway.

Or so I tell myself.

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