Monday, June 29, 2009

Get On the Bus


In my 20's I bowed down at the alter of higher education. It was a ticket out of where I came from into the world of adulthood. For years, education remained a hallmark of legitimacy and success amongst my contemporaries, an essential in the development of an adult persona worthy of admiration and praise. As it turns out, what it isn’t, for most people, is a direct path to either a viable vocation or a sense of self definition and fulfillment. As it turns out there is no intellectual or financial shortcut to happiness or the pursuit of an authentic life. There is no end point, just the journey. Now, with all my tangible success as defined by modern society, I find myself out of pace with my contemporaries. The fruits of my previous labors have satisfied my early ambitions, and the expectations of society at large, but no longer satisfy my soul. For all the middle class comforts I may have available to me based on age, career, education, and situation, I appear to be unable to settle, either down, in, or for something less than a true manifestation of myself. I find myself, so to speak, unable to get on the bus. Ironically, I am returning to the University as a place of refuge. No longer a means to an end, education is now a way to practice and hone my craft, to live a life that satisfies my soul. I am often asked, with regard to my returning to school to dance, “And what will you do with your degree?” As a geologist, I was asked this question often enough, and was quite keen to answer it, with all my professionalism and all the things that make me look good on paper, to prove that my choices would serve a greater purpose, push me ahead, in to a new tax bracket, into a new house, a job, stability. I was keen to prove that the fruits of my labor would justify my path, that I would, in fact, be on the bus. Now, my answer is far more simple. What will I do with it? I will dance. I will not wait for outside fulfillment or validation, I am not working towards some future goal of happiness, I am manifesting it, right here, now, as I walk my path. I will dance as though no one is watching, and as for the rest, I’m not particularly worried about it.

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