Changes-Are Afoot?

I wish this were true.  I have been contemplating changes for some time now; but I can’t seem to settle on which direction to take. Return to school for a Masters or re-open another cafe, I can’t land on either one.

If I return to school what degree should I take: English, Creative Writing, History, Law, Business?  I am interested in them all.

If I go for cafe where should I open it: in my hometown, or Portland, or somewhere else?  I mean if location is undecided, why not throw all options out there?

Part of my decision is affected by a sense of duty to my father.  I have not always suffered this feeling, in fact I have usually done what made me free.  I keep people at arms length; this makes leaving easier.  I suffer no entanglements.

Of course my greatest regret is walking away from my son.  The courts called it abandonment, while that was not my intent; that is what it was.  And it still stings.

I believe that moving back to Quincy, IL is the World’s or the Universe’s way of giving me a chance not only to mend fences with my father-our relationship has been rocky-but an opportunity to rectify that decision to walk.

The chance is there to make a better decision.  To prove I am different, more mature, I feel I must stay.  Yet I wake up almost every day looking for a way to escape.

It is not the relationship I look to escape-our relationship has never been better.  It is the town and the people, I seek freedom from.

A few weeks ago, my father and I were talking over morning coffee.  I often walk over to his house to check in and chat about life, and work.  Part of the conversation had to do with what I would do next.  He wanted to know if I planned to open another restaurant.

“I don’t know, Dad.  I am scared that I don’t have it in me.  I am scared I will have another Shanghai experience”.

“What is a Shanghai experience?”

I told him. “When I was in China, towards the end of my second year, I went up to Shanghai to look for a job.  There was a big job fair at the Shanghai Library, for foreign workers.  Now I suspected it would all be teaching jobs, but I went hoping there would be one company looking for a foreigner to do a non-teaching job.”

By now my second cup of coffee is finished brewing, so I retrieve it.

Continuing, “When I get to the library it is all schools.  I am dressed in slacks and a freshly pressed button down.  My shoes are polished; and my face is shaved.  I am ready to impress.  And I do.  Many of the schools’ representatives question me at length.  I pick up applications left and right.  I troll the room twice, just to make sure I haven’t overlooked a company which is not a school or private tutor business.  There are none. ”

Dad remains quiet.  My mom would be asking all kinds of questions.  And to every one of them I would answer “I am getting to that.  Wait a minute.”  Of course she would wait about 30 seconds and invariably I would get sidetracked and ramble on some tangent for 5 or 10 minutes.

“So I sit down at a table, with all my applications.  I have my resume, head shots, references, passport and pens.  As I look at the collection of papers in front of me, I begin to think of all the energy, perseverance, and charm I need to complete the process.  I delve deep inside to gather all I need and nothing.  I almost cry.  In a daze I put all my belongings into my bag.  Leaving the applications there, I numbly leave the room and the building.  I am scared to think of opening another restaurant.  I am afraid there is nothing inside if I look.  So I am not even thinking about it.  Instead I am thinking of getting a Masters Degree.”

Dad was supportive of the idea.  He has been supportive of me since I moved back.  It has been a real change for him.  I appreciate the support and the change.

If he hadn’t changed, and still tried to tell me how to be and what to do in life; it would be easy to leave.  I could say I tried and made the effort.  Perhaps I haven’t changed.  Despite all my travels and all my readings, and efforts to improve and become a different person, a better person, I am not that different than the young man who left Quincy 20 years ago.

My mother says that we should bloom where we are planted.  And I have worked hard to be planted some where. anywhere but Quincy.  Yet here I am.  Here I am fighting being planted in this spot.  I work hard to see every deficiency this patch of ground contains.  I long for other ground.  Every spot seems preferable.  Even though I know this to be false.  For I have found spots which contained many deficiencies.

I try to change my mindset, but I find I can not for more than a day or two.  Part of my failure to change lies in the uncertainty of where I want to go in life.  I can’t choose at this time.  My focus comes back to leaving, and the certainty that I will be better able to bloom, if only I where planted elsewhere.

At least I know what I have to change-my perspective.  I just don’t know how to do it.  For when I wake up and see where I am, I can’t block out the deficiencies.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Challenges My Creativity?

Besides life and second jobs?  Nothing else really…except myself.  The voice of doubt is forever going off in my head.  Anxiousness.  When this strikes I can’t sit still and I make a bazillion trips to the fridge.  I walk aimlessly around the house.  I channel surf and on the plus side I begin to clean my rather messy house.  I even do dishes, but I just never seem to get to the bathroom.

Another problem is the amount of time I use trying to write a paragraph.  I can use an hour.  Then I get frustrated that I could have been doing something else.  Then I get frustrated that is whole writing thing is a farce, and that maybe I should move on and forget it.  And it all sort of spirals away from me.  I will spend more time reeling it back together, before sitting down and picking up a pen.

I have recently begun thinking about a potential problem, well problems.  How do I know I am done?  Where do I send my finished stories?  What format do I use?  Where do I find the answer to this question?

Naps.  I love my naps.  I have been working on writing  for a couple of hours, then napping, then getting up and begin writing again.  I am much better at this.

Embarrassment.  I have returned to my hometown and I find I don’t feel comfortable sharing my writing with anyone here.  I feel out of place here.  I have always felt out of place here.  It is one of many reasons I moved away (I should write them all down and see how many there are).  I feel embarrassed to share what I have written.  I am embarrassed to find how critical I consider others. and the situation I have found here.  I am embarrassed how little I have accomplished in writing.  I have begun 20 stories at least, yet I have to finish one.

Feeling trapped.  i feel trapped here.  I feel trapped by money.  I feel trapped by lack of activities here.  I feel trapped by lack of friends.  I feel trapped by not blending in.  I feel I can’t go out to eat alone, or to the movies alone, or to the small events this place has, alone.  I feel trapped by that.  I feel trapped that all I can think about is leaving.  And I feel trapped that I have an obligation to my father.  Of course most responsibility leaves me feeling trapped.  Though I don’t feel trapped by making this commitment to writing-in fact it is freeing.  I feel trapped by life here.

Alone.  I have been alone a long time.  Yet until I moved back here I never felt loneliness.  It leaves me scared and full of despair.  It makes me question if I have made the right decisions.  I know when I travel every aspect of life feels right.  I know living in Portland feels right.  Almost nothing about here feels right.  Only looking after my father feels right; and I still feel trapped by that, which in turn leaves me feeling guilty.

Despair.  I despair that I am stuck in this town until I die.  While this town is great to raise a family, and is fairly safe-hell i still leave my front door unlocked and windows unbarred-it is no place for me.  Yet I keep coming back to my father.  For I despair to leave him here without family.  There is no lesser of two despairs.  He is in his 70’s and is a big rambling house and while he is the absent minded professor-by type and literally-I believe it to getting worse.  But I am not sure, if it this is true.  Perhaps I am seeing what is not really there.  My grandfather on my mother’s side suffered Alzheimer’s and I was one of the first to give voice to this fact.  Of course I was young and dismissed.  Now I see similar things but not as severe as my grandfather. My dad has always been forgetful.  I am not sure what to do, or say, or should I say anything.  While our relationship is fairly good these days, it wasn’t always.  I have never been his favorite son, that distinction goes to my brother.  But he is on the coast, with a family, and new job, and isn’t here.  My brother’s and I’s relationship has been rocky too.  I am still peeved that he didn’t answer my pleas for help.  I more or less insisted that he move here to help dad.  That way I could move away and travel the world.  It might have been selfish but I know if I travel everything will feel right again.  And maybe in that rightness, the answer will come to me.

I am sure I have other blocks to creativity.  I am sure I will touch upon all of this again.  In fact I have been writing about the second job, and the situation with my dad.  All I want at this point is  to leave here.  And the guilt of that desire is crushing my soul.

Enhanced by Zemanta