On Doing

If there is a choice between doing or thinking, I do. It’s not always the right decision but it’s the one I make almost every time.

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I’ve written here about moving to Spain as a fantasy. It’s something I think about a lot. Last week, I found an opening for my exact job title at the same company, in the Madrid office. Readers, I applied. Everyone is being very supportive at work, and since it’s technically a transfer, it’s a bit less complicated than applying for a job at a new company. I am not sure that I’ll get the job – and if not, it’s fine – but now I know it’s a real option. I have a target that I’ll continue to aim for until we make it.

I’m not sure if that’s the right decision, by the standard measure. After thinking about career decisions for a long time, something unnatural to me but which I have been pushed to do by my supervisors, I’ve come to the conclusion that my true goals are not to become rich and powerful. I crave adventure and exploration and time with the people who love me. These are the things I will shape my life around. It’s strange because I always thought I was more ambitious. I am, but not for career progression, competition, and the admiration of my superiors. I want projects that speak to my soul, I want to nourish my family with beautiful memories, and I need the satisfaction of having tried, even if the experiment is a failure. I need to reach until I hit my limits, in every facet of my life.

I created this blog to record my experiments with acting on crazy things I conjure up. For the past few years, I’ve been focused on exploring a different career path and raising my child. I’m beginning to understand things, what I want, don’t want, what I need. I’m making more money. I’m designing the best version of our lives for my child’s sake. It’s all a mess, but a lovely one, if I find ways to step back and contemplate it. And there are no limits. I guess this is my statement of intent.

Springtime love and unease

Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day as a mother. It was a beautiful day. We ate breakfast out. We walked to the garden shop and I bought plants for my little window garden. Charlotte finally took a nap, and I quietly enjoyed a beer, watching the sunshine filtering through the tree and my lazily blowing curtains, and my baby asleep, and listening to the sounds on my street, and enjoying the soft warmth of the new season.

This year, I am growing geraniums, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes, and I’m attempting to sprout some mizuna, arugula, and radishes from seed in another box.

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Sometimes I want to quit my job and become a secretary for a finance firm. My job would be to look very pretty and make tea and go for coffee runs. I would be able to write and create and get up to no good during the rest of the time.

If I had a good enough idea (I don’t), I would try to start my own business and be accountable only to me and my family.

But I am here at this job, and I’m actually trying, and it’s actually working, and I will have more money and more options and more responsibility soon, if I continue to play my cards right. And oh, is there a lot of card-playing to be had. So much. It is stressful and makes me feel far too vulnerable. It’s scary and I have to impress people without seeming to try too hard, affect a nonchalant and confident attitude while grabbing onto as much as I can get away with a little bit desperately.

I feel like I COULD do big things. I feel like I’m full of potential. I feel like I am really, really dumb and want to hide forever.

Instead I will plant vegetables and look at the sunshine, and think about the stock options, and stick with it. Darn start-ups.