Sunday morning, first Sunday after the end of the first year. Well, there is Summer Greek class, but the two full semesters are behind me. I’ve been asked to help usher at the school’s commencement, and so I have this one obligation between me and unfettered relaxation with wandering thoughts. At least the books I am required to read for the next two weeks will be whichever books I require myself to read.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how we humans originated on the planet and came to have the kinds of cultures that we do. I’ve always had this keen sense that our present day understandings from archaeology and DNA and linguistics only tell us so much about where we came from and how we’ve come to be the humans that we are. I don’t necessarily think that we’ve been star-seeded by aliens, but I do often wonder if stories of angels, gods and giants walking the earth among us were born out of gateways into the spirit world or other worlds that we’ve closed off in our insistence on being utterly empirical and rational about who we are.
Most people tend to believe in at least some mystical provenance for humanity, even if what is accepted by the mainstream science and academy no longer holds to this sort of thing.
Who wants to believe that the plateau they’ve reached in their middle age is as far is they will ever ascend mentally, spiritually and even physically? This ever-present urge to continue to press onward and try to develop more, to transform, to make myself bigger than who I presently am–it never goes away. To be for sure, it has been transfigured into something less egotistical, where I no longer am seeking power and fame and glory as the rationale behind my transformation. Nowadays, it is all simply because the urge to not remain the same person persists.
The three main facilitators of transformation for me are: other people, my thoughts and books. Beyond this, things like music, art, nature, novel experiences are mostly secondary and act unevenly upon my transformation, sometimes acting radically for brief bursts of time, and sometimes not having any affect at all in spite of the promise that they make. Even church doesn’t really act to transform me most of the time, accept where I am bumping up against other people and being transformed by the Word of God.
The ages old inability to understand people. People who you would expect to be nice, friendly, have even a polite word when you see them. People who you connect with, sort of, but they never become real friends. The world of being an adult is so tough, and I don’t think it was really that much easier being a child.
A feeling of great, aching weariness. This past year has been so much harder than I ever imagined it would be. It was easier to be back in the office job, taking what was given to me, blaming my lack of a career on people who wouldn’t listen to me properly. With this abandonment of the autopilot career and foray into grad school at 40, the problems are all of my own doing. Where I lack each day is due to my own decision not to participate more. My being tired comes from not eating and exercising properly, which I know, is a death knell once you’re in your forties.
But then, I get so tired, too tired to do anything but the minimal that’s required of me, though I know that this isn’t really enough to see me springboard into a completely new and entirely different career. Occasionally, the old career still calls out to me and asks me “wouldn’t it just be easier to cash out, and then you could read whatever you wanted in you free time and volunteer a little bit on the weekends to cover your ass in the good works and deeds department?” And, I give in, and submit a resume, and talk to a recruiter who doesn’t know anything about what I used to do, and so he or she passes my resume on to the hiring manager who never calls me back, or calls back for one phone interview and that’s it.
I am not making the right kind of effort to demonstrate to anyone that that is really what I want to do. I am not throwing my all into the passion and zeal equation, and they can hear it in my voice. I am here in a no man’s land–stuck between careers, between lives, and the fact that I get so tired makes me wonder if I really have what it takes to go on and be a pastor, chaplain or professor–keeping up with so many needy people seems nigh impossible in the face of barely being able to keep up with myself and my family and classes.