I’m having fun.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote that we should notice it when things are good. Seems like good advice. Especially to a kvetcher like me.
I like my job. My jobs. I like the things I’m doing. Am I busy? Busy as hell. But busy in a way that is different than it used to be.
Ten years ago I was waking up at 4 in the morning, teaching high school all day, working in a high school theatre program all night, and walking around in a daze. Sure, I was younger. Better looking. More energy. But I was spending myself with too much abandon. Spreading myself thin. Always giving away my time and energy to others. I’m not hating on those days. I learned lots of things. Had fun. Grew up. But I was always going from one thing to another, mostly doing what other people (or institutions) wanted me to do. It’s exhausting to exist at the behest of an institution. Especially a public high school. You know?
Incidentally, behest is a sweet word. Behest.
The things I’m busy with these days are different. I’ve made choices that have led to the life I’m living now. Hard choices. Leave my home in the Twin Cities? Start a new career in Central Pennsylvania? With a toddler, a pregnant wife, and enough student loan debt to suffocate a small nation? Oi vey. Oh no. I’m starting to kvetch. I’ll catch myself.
The choices I’ve made have led to more autonomy with regards to my time and energy. Yes, I have a job. Jobs. But my jobs let me work with others to learn more about the things I care about. I get to write. Writing can be a chore, but writing can also be a way to channel the anxieties and experiences and thoughts that emerge from moving through the world. Improv can do that too. Teaching as well.
I’ll be honest. I never imagined ending up at Penn State Altoona. A small, commonwealth campus of Penn State? Nestled in the mountains? Who knew? But I’ve worked hard over the last four years to build a life here. And I keep learning how to be a professor, a teacher, a writer, an improviser, an artist, a dad, a husband, a man who doesn’t kvetch as much as he might, and notices it when things are good. That’s honest work, I think. Important too. We’d be better served by noticing joy instead of howling our complaints. It’s easy to complain. To destroy. Harder to build. And to enjoy building. See?
So I guess I’m happy. And that’s gotta be enough for a blog. Right?