Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hello Lampost

Once an adrenaline junkie, always an adrenaline junkie.

I was walking along the Mississippi River this morning, just taking in the sharp air and liquid sun, thinking that I have turned another corner, or perhaps just come around another bend. This time, my landscape is larger. It surrounds and dwarfs me in a way I have not known since I was young, and I love it. This must be what it is like to be free of VLPs. I am boggled!

VLPs, or Very Large Projects, have been how I met my adrenaline needs for most of my adult life. I just assumed it is the only mode I know, but I see now that is not true. That I LEARNED to need VLPs in order to keep myself focused, because I needed to be focused to get myself out of trouble. 

I can tell you that I remember now how fricking distractable I am at my core. I flung myself full-tilt boogie at whatever the wind blew into my way from the minute I left the tower of my childhood. I fell in love at the drop of a hat, read the great books cover to cover with no sleep, wrote anguished but hopeful trash poetry, and hitch-hiked to wherever my feet wanted to go. I poked, toked, and folked my way through the first half of my twenties, a sponge soaking up exotic sights, sounds, and smells, saving any thought about it all till some later occasion. I was a child of the universe. 

By the time I'd not got to Woodstock, however, I was embroiled in my first VLP, extracting myself from the absolutely lethal situation I had barreled naively right into. Took the whole rest of that decade to make it all better, and I have yet to do a harder thing or had to focus more. By the time I could focus on building family, I was already in the mode, so I did that hell bent for leather as well. When my nest emptied, I smooth-moved directly into a master's degree, followed by my first job out in the world for years, moving 3.5 million natural history collections into a new home across town. Now THAT kept me busy:)

And ever since I have dedicated my focus to one VLP after another, most recently my five-year, full-tilt foray into publishing. I took a big long breath after that; I have refused to think about the future for months now. 

And to my delight, I emerged from my cocoon into the river landscape this morning feeling a lot like I did when I was young, before I started down the VLP path, like I can look at whatever shiny distraction I want to now, like I don't need another VLP at all, ever. Like there is more wonder and beauty in my life than I can possibly soak up in the time I have left. More than enough to meet all my adrenaline needs.

Silver Fox will be shocked:)