{Insert dream here}

Hey Sarah,

If you recommend “Fierce Conversations,” I will check it out as soon as I can. It sounds like something I could use. The biggest problem I have (as do a lot of people) is a lack of self-discipline. Mine happens to be in regards to committing to a line of work. I just came back from my Columbia visit. Found myself in countless conversations regarding nutrition. I’d had a feeling that I’d always have a more receptive audience there. It seems like the perfect in-between place, where people know they need it but haven’t yet followed through with learning a lot of stuff. I guess that’s most places, though in Columbia there aren’t a whole lot of health coaches, I know. Don’t think I’ll ever live there again, though I might go for long visits. But who really can say? Life could always change dramatically . . . and lead me back to sameness, ha. Thanks for the long letter, i love those.

Yeah, you say sacrifice in regards to the boyfriend and the distance, but I’m thinking if I don’t know where I want to be, anyway, the only sacrifice is the one of giving up sitting, waiting for shit to happen to me instead of going out and making it so. Make sense? I think since I travel a lot most people don’t see me that way, but that is truly how I see myself. I’m all about renting my property but it’s difficult to keep it rented in the winter because if the tenant doesn’t have 4WD they are stuck hiking a ways in and out every day, and trust me, I did it for months and it sucks big-time. In the snow-free times it’s great, but it sticks around for at least three months. I hope you get to visit sometime in good weather, because it is an amazing place. Too isolated, I’m realizing, at least for just me, but really good when there are other people around. I am picky, of course, about who I live with, so the pickings are often slim in the housemate department. I’ve had great ones, so far, but only temporary. Very few people want to spend the winter in this town, including ME.

Re: your recommendation, I have a hard time telling the difference between brutal honesty and debilitating self-criticism. Obviously one theoretically gets things accomplished and the other one makes me just want to sit and hate myself and leave town and face nothing and no one, just stay transient. I’m realizing I cannot deal well with conflict on anything above a very small scale, and it makes me feel especially claustrophobic in this small town. I can’t handle gossip or negativity and I think it’s often simply a constant by-product of people all living within metaphorical earshot of one another. I feel as if I grow more private every day to protect myself from criticism. Paranoid and silly and isolationist, I know, but I still do have good friends (if not great) and usually it’s not a problem. I cannot supress my social side, either way.

My main challenge lately seems like it’s staying relaxed when my boyfriend appears to forget I exist because he’s so wrapped up in school, and I’m 2.5 hours away and only know that I feel forgotten. I just need more going on, basically. I don’t even like him to see that I feel this way, but then I keep it inside and it grows.

I am working on starting a nutrition/health blog, and have been energized by my trip to Columbia and the encouraging feedback I’ve received. Trust me, though, if I could start with “I’ve always wanted to {enter dream here},” like you said, I would. I guess I’ve been presented with so many options that I feel too paralyzed to pick something. Nothing satisfies what I think I want out of life, so far, anyway. My mom told me a couple of days ago (post her long Africa trip) that my values are out of place. I think that she’s at least halfway correct, but I don’t know how to do something totally fulfilling and still stay in the world I want. I don’t think it’s possible and yet I know it’s necessary. In other words, to feel truly fulfilled one must learn how to give as much as possible to others through one’s work, and to do that you have to go far out of your comfort zone. Not necessarily true at all, but I guess that’s how I keep myself safe. She wasn’t even necessarily referring to work, but more to how I’m relating to Brooks and our future together. She actually said some useful stuff that day . . .

I think part of the problem is I want to do EVERYTHING, and that’s impossible. So I’ve done some cool things, but they haven’t really led me to much greater things, yet, due to my own inertia. I am working on a proposal to do an article on climbing in my hometown, and am being prompted by a pretty successful photographer who wants to team up, so I plan on following through with that. We’ll see how that turns out.

Later,

Lydia

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