You can be whoever you want, but for the next few minutes, I’m going to be Frank.
There may have been a bit too much nuance in my last post. That’s mostly because life is nuanced, and my feelings about it are equally so. It seems, however, that such nuance does not come through via this medium, and this blog, which is little more than a glorified diary, is having negative repercussions.
So let me spell this out clearly: before the end of August (that’s about four months from now), I will be boarding a plane from London (or other major European city) bound for New York. From there, I will catch a bus (or maybe a train if I have enough money left over) back to Colorado where I will start to put my life in order. If I have not already secured employment, I will be looking for opportunities within the US (or Canada; energy companies up there often work across the border) to begin a career in developing renewable energy. I will remain in said career with the intention of making non-emitting technologies the primary source of American electricity. I expect this to take 10-20 years.
There it is, plain and simple. I’ll be Stateside this year, and I won’t be going abroad anytime soon.
The emotional struggle here is that I have been obsessed with this idea that I need to find a place where I would like to settle my life. It has perturbed me for almost three years now, and I have finally ended up in a place that mostly fulfils my criteria just in time for me to rush right back to where I started. It leaves me with a feeling of dissatisfaction, a sense of missing the opportunity I had been searching for. I feel as though I’m committing myself to a prison sentence during which I must while away my time as I wait to be released to return to this promised land.
With all the deep thinking I’ve done over the past several months, I don’t know why it never occurred to me that this is total bullocks. It’s completely nonsensical. What’s the point of all this self-reflection and mindfulness practice if I’m just going to bitch and complain about a self-imposed relocation? I know that I can make myself happy just about anywhere because the place where I’m truly satisfied is in my own mind.
I can think back to the most horrid times of my life and still have nostalgia for the moments within it. Even when I working that awful job in Denver last year, I remember the feeling of stopping at the grocery store and heading back to my host’s place to make a delicious dinner, a much-needed reward after another long and wearisome day. Even if I do end up in the Midwest or worse (e.g. Texas), I’m sure I’ll be able to find ways to occupy my time outside of work, whether it’s getting back into cycling, music, or whatever else those people do for fun.
And this idea that my life is going to slip away if I don’t get myself to a final place to settle before I turn 40 doesn’t even line up with my own life philosophy! I haven’t spent more than eight months in a place since I graduated college (and if you count winter holiday as sufficient separation, we have to go back to high school). Should I really expect that I’m just going to plop down someplace and stay there till I die? I’ve said many times that the act of doing so is death in itself. Plus, I’ve already decided that I’m probably not going to retire. If by the time I reach “retirement” age, I can’t make myself useful enough to keep up an income (if we still have such things as a labor market by then), I may as well just lie down and go to sleep for good. Whether in North America or in Europe (I haven’t even really explored the other continents!), my life will keep me moving. I’m probably only about a quarter of the way through this thing, and the best years are yet to come. I ought not to be in any rush.
So, hello, America. I don’t need any reasons to run away yet again, but I won’t promise that I’ll stay forever. So come hell or high water, I’m coming home.