Tuesday, September 11, 2007

So it appears that we're moving

Not right away, but we've started talking about the next chapter. What new challenges do we want to tackle? I know us, when we start having this conversation, it's going to mean some changes.

Over the past few years, we've talked about Portland, Seattle and Denver. I'm not thrilled too much about Denver or Colorado in general. For one, I've lived there already, it was ok, but nothing that draws me back. Second, James Dobson and crew all headquarter out there. Frankly, I'm tired of providing an income to a state that doesn't want me or that merely 'tolerates' me. Fuck that. I want to go where I'm valued for more than the tax revenue I can generate (way more than these hateful tax exempt churches, for sure).

Here's what I want in the next location. Small town feel, big city services. I want a condo in the heart of downtown and a farm outside somewhere - no freaking soul sucking suburbs. I want skiing and the beach within a 2 hour drive. I want a place that not only values "green", but worships it. Somewhere there is no "gayborhood", the queers simply fit in. A place for the artists, the freaks and the weirdos. They make living in an area fun.

I want a college town, somewhere we can capture the energy we have found here. I want subways and bike trails, lower taxes but would gladly pay more for more than average services. I want to be surrounded by people who don't require a preacher to tell them what their opinion is supposed to be.

I want active people, not apathetic jerks waiting for someone else to fix the problems. I want enough of a tourism base to be able to make a living, at least at first. I want the great unwashed masses vs the 'cosmopolitans' - people who know how to live, rather than those who have learned to project the appearance of living well.

People who can admit their flaws, their kinks, their fears and wonderments vs those who always subscribe to the latest fashions and trends. I want to be surrounded by those who will not be afraid of the new idea or experience. Those who embrace the side of themselves that needs to live in balance and harmony. Those who don't worry about 'political correctness' as much as they do simply treating others with dignity and respect.

They say you get more conservative as you age. I swear I seem to be doing more to nurture my inner hippy. If I think that I've reached the halfway point of this lifetime, then I'm doing all that I can to grab it and embrace it and make it mine - not what other's expectations are. And if they can't handle that, fuck them - it's their problem, not mine. They can apply whatever labels the choose, it's up to me to accept them or not.

I love being the practical reality to the kids idealism. Not to shoot down their ideas or dissuade them in the least bit - simply to temper them a little (sort of like you hammer a sword into shape on an anvil?) into knowing the limits of the practical, enducing them to look at some things differently than they may be, adding a few more shades of grey to their black and white worlds. Helping them to understand that the best way they can "beat" unbridled capitalism is to succeed as small capitalists. Or that one of the best ways of feeding the poor is to eat well enough to have the energy to go to bat for them again tomorrow.

Some days I feel as though I'm juggling eggshells while simultaneously wanting to reach out and give them a hug as fiercely as I possibly can. To stand back and watch the thought processes (or occasional lack of one), to see the attempt and the subsequent smile and sense of accomplishment is an incredible boost. I often said I didn't have the patience to be a teacher, but my life now has turned that into a lie. To stand to the side and poke, prod and praise another to be able to do something new has become such a thing in my life. Job satisfaction? More than I may have ever known before. So much that I may have missed insisting that I had to do it all myself, that no one could ever do it to my satisfaction.

Just as important, to hear some new, fresh ideas and ways of looking at a situation. Being pushed and encouraged to try something new (fire juggling? watercolors?) from a crew who clearly believes in me as strongly as I believe in them. May there always be a place in my heart and brain for youthful idealism.

News flash to the cubicle dwellers. Eat your fucking hearts out. Long ago, you traded everything I have, everything I live - for what? Security? Benefits? A future? I've got 2 words for you - you're fired! It could come down to that and honestly, it would be the best thing that could possibly happen to you. Sadly, so few of you will probably ever see it that way, but I can name a dozen now who won't when they are your age. Something for my tombstone - Here lies one who freed a dozen. You should have been so lucky to have been able to say that.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

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