Tuesday, May 17

love in mexico…

I was thinking about balance and careers yesterday. About how I could learn to hate something I love if I fell into treating it like a career.

I think my vacation metamorphosized into an open yet sub-conscious rebellion, one that is tempting me away from getting back into a blogging routine, from committed Twitter sessions, from freelance contracts, and absolutely, without equivocation, from dealing stupid cards at the stupid casino.

And then I remembered that I still hadn’t finished blogging about Mexico and the wedding. The wedding deserves a post of its own, as do the amazing people that made the trek to be there, but I’ve been lolly-gagging for a whole week now, laying back, enjoying the slow current, not worrying about where exactly it was taking me. Languishing. Happily…

Yesterday, driving into to Kelowna to meet an old friend for coffee, I realized this was happening – this sub-conscious resistance – and allowed myself to explore it, feel it, probe it  with my mind’s tongue, as if it were a cavity or a chipped tooth. I found a photo-album in a crevice and opened a mental folder full of those things I’d promised myself when the life inversion started: that this was about creativity, about creating; that success would be measured in days wearing flip-flops, not by counts of commas and zeroes; that victory would be measured in sighs and smiles; that I would not miss the ties or ever be sucked into thinking they were important, at all, ever again…

If you’ve seen the pictures on Facebook (and if not, why aren’t we friends yet? See below and to the right), you already know that the wedding was amazing. Beautiful. Awe-inspiring. Travis, my brother, and Kate, his bride (my new sister) have a unique love. They’re both thirty-ish, so they waited long enough to know. They’ve been together for six years, so they made sure. And they’ve already weathered storms, so they know how to find their way out/hold on/let go when those hurricanes inevitably hit.

I think that they have the real thing, found it and grabbed on and made it their own. They awe me, did I mention that? But I knew that going in. Their love is wonderful to watch, and it does awe me, but it doesn’t surprise me any more. 

Here’s what did: Their friends. Thirty-six of us made the trip to Mexico. Eleven of us were family. That  means that twenty-five friends – co-workers, buddies, amigos, bff’s, what have you – took the time off and forked out the money to travel and stay so that they could be there for a wedding. Consider that six of the people all work at the same salon in West Van, including the owner, and that she actually closed the salon down for the whole week, and an image begins to form of a very tight group.

I was never one to belong to large groups of friends, at least not with any aplomb. I was a fringe-er, a hanger-on at best. Mostly, I was just a loner. Loners, no matter how imagined, rationalized, or real their comfort with solitude, still have moments when they envy those idealized group dynamics. Mostly we tell ourselves that those perfect group moments only exist in ‘90’s sit-coms and movies.

Subsequently, I spent a week in Mexico in blissful envy, happily a fringe-er again, on the fringe of something unique.

I once wrote a post about a Japanese proverb regarding gauging the character of a person by the quality of their friends and I was reminded of it again and again. I wrote then that I have amazing friends, and I stand by it. But I have those friends in ones and twos, scattered across a wide geography.

To see that depth and quality of friendship concentrated among friends that live a work together daily was, well, weird in a beautiful way. That shit’s not supposed to happen in real life. My brother Troy, who acted as best man, noticed it and mentioned it in his speech. The parents all see it. I’m not hallucinating, not alone. It’s abnormal in the best ways.

So this is a toast, sort of, to Trav and Kate who are indescribably beautiful to me, and to their friends, whom I hope (and believe) appreciate how rare and precious is their love for one another…

And I thought, yesterday, maybe it was the quality of that time away that was making me reluctant to get back into the swing, to lean into the yoke, to bend to the plow. And, of course, it was, at least in part. But if I’m doing what I love then why would I resist at all? And I thought; maybe I’m just not quite doing it right. Maybe I’m off mission again, just a bit. Or worse: Maybe I’m trying to turn it into a mission.

I’ve been dancing around this concept for months now, rebelling against concepts of efficient utilization of social media, against the idea that writing is a career, or even a vocation (which is ostensibly better, like it involves a calling or something). But I think that I rebel against the idea that something I do could or would ever define me. That’s absolutely not what the inversion was about.

Writing was and is a facet of that, telling stories, reaching out – absolutely a part and, hopefully, one that funds the rest of it – but it doesn’t define me. I don’t ever want to work that hard at it, devote so much time to it that anything else has to suffer.

The inversion was about searching for an authentic life, a creative one, full of adventure and markedly lacking in the kind of focused self-discipline that results in dynamic careers. That kind of thing works fine for many people, and I’m not knocking it, but it’s not for me. At. All.

No more ties. No posting schedules. No worrying. Flip-flops always unless the activity requires something technical or the snow is deeper than a three centimeters. Zero pretense. Heavy on the adventure.

The inversion was and is supposed to be about no reserve, no retreat, and no regret. Good choices, no monopolies, all variation, always looking for the next adventure, perpetually learning. No rules. Living it, not achieving it.

I may need a new tattoo to remember this.

So here's to life and love. And let the cards fall where they may…