Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 0: Patience

9:22AM here in Cary, North Carolina. I'm writing this sprawled out on the guest bed in the guest bedroom of Leslie's house. I've been here a few days now, having left New York on Friday to take a healthy nine hour train ride down the coast. I love trains. They have a way of making you think and yet not think at all. Just lean your head against the window and watch it all roll by. It's nice, particularly when you find yourself in a place of over-thinking everything. It's a much appreciate respite from that.

But it comes back. I'll likely be dealing with it - this overactive mind of mine - until I'm sure I'm going to make it back to the work I want to be doing, and making my life mean something. That's going to take some patience though. A conversation I had with my brother yesterday made that clear.

I have a dog. His name is Mac. He's the coolest dog in the world.

Hi, I'm Mac, the coolest dog in the world.
For the last three years, Mac has been living with my brother in San Francisco, given I moved to New York to help open the office there. This worked for all parties - Mac got to stay with someone he loved, I had my mobility (even though I missed him) and Cort had a great dog to keep him company. About a month and a half ago Cort moved to Los Angeles and is currently living with my dad and stepmom while he works to save up some money to get his own place. Mac stayed in San Francisco with Natasha, my old roommate and Mac's adopted mom. Natasha, however, is gaining traction as a singer and performer so she's currently touring and obviously can't bring Mac, so now we're at a bit of a sticky spot. Long story short, Cort had originally told me it was time for me to come back and get my dog. I was planning on doing just that. Yes, it throws some wrenches in my plans for Nicaragua and the biosand filter project, as having a dog does limit mobility, but he is my responsibility at the end of the day, and I love him, so I need to do what needs to be done. Besides, in my head, I didn't see having Mac as a major issue in regards to that project. Instead of flying down to Nicaragua, I could just buy some crap truck, load it up with the gear I need for the project, and Mac, and drive down. That was the original plan in regards to the pooch. Another option has surfaced, however, and it is a better one. But, it is going to require me to suck it up, check my restlessness, and plant myself in Los Angeles for three months.

Cort wants to take Mac. He doesn't like the idea of me taking him down into Nicaragua. "If you want to go die, go for it, but Mac can't die with you." My brother isn't too keen on me driving through some of the grittier parts of Latin America, particularly Mexico right now, with the drug gangs. "If you can come to LA and get a place that allows you to have Mac for three months, that's enough time for me to get the money I need to get my own place that allows me to have Mac, then I'll take him and you can go." It makes sense. In the long run, I love Mac, but I know he'd make certain things impossible. I very much intend to go to grad school in 2012, very likely in the UK. Mac wouldn't make that very easy to do. I also intend to have a lifestyle that involves a lot of mobility. Mac would definitely make that difficult. By taking three months now to allow my brother to do what he needs to do, I'll be benefiting everyone in the long run. I can work some crap job and save money while I focus on my project on my off-hours, and try my best to learn some French (I have Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone and Fluenz installed and ready to rock). Mac can be with me instead of sitting in a kennel. Cort can get his finances saved up without feeling insane pressure to get out and get a place because of Mac. In the long run, Mac has stability, I have mobility, and Cort has companionship and peace of mind. It makes sense. I'm just going to have to be patient. Sitting in the United States is just about the last thing I want to do right now, but hey, sometimes you gotta pay your dues. I'm lucky for the fact that this one is obviously the right choice in the long run.

So yes, patience. Something I can be good at in moments, and something I struggle with in others. I woke up an hour ago and found an email in my inbox telling me I had a comment on one of my YouTube videos from Haiti. This one:

It made me smile, even if it did tug at heart strings. I miss Little Venice. I miss those people. I miss Marites' daughters. The little girl at the end of the video, Jenisse, is his youngest, and one of the coolest girls I've ever met. She loved me. She'd come and sit on my lap and we'd rap together. She loved my music. In the video, she just so happens to be sitting next to another one of the coolest girls I've ever met, Ms. Mathilde. Needless to say, she's missed too. That particular video was shot during the All Hands mustache growing phenomenon, hence all of us rocking ugly as hell facial hair. God bless it.

Yea. Miss it. Good memories from that place. Little Venice is also the spot where Caelin, Simon (in the video), Christina (in the video) and I got stuck during the torrential downpour in early August. That was hands down one of the best experiences during my time in Haiti. Such wonderful people. Jenisse was there, crawling all over Caelin and me trying to get warm and dry while we all huddled together. So beautiful. So real. It changes you. I got a fairly lucrative job offer from some friends of mine when I was in New York last week. I turned it down. It would involve staying in New York, working in an industry I simply don't have any interest being in, even if my wallet would benefit. "Sorry guys, I really appreciate it, but I can't. My heart's not in it. I can't stay here. I gotta get back out into it. The First World is a temporary proposition for me right now." It is. Besides, I got an email recently, the most beautiful thing anyone has ever written me truth be told, and in it it was made very clear that if I stayed in New York and didn't pursue my dreams, the person who wrote me that letter would fly over to New York and personally knock me out. Being knocked out doesn't sound like a lot of fun. I'll take the other option thank you very much.

So there it is. Patience. Planning. Perspective. I have to take a slightly longer view of this thing. What I want to do isn't complicated in my head. It's once I start to think of the many moving parts that the complexity of it starts to reveal itself. Truth be told, three months of being settled may be really beneficial for what I want to do in the long run. Make money, plan my project, learn French. Not the worst plan, and once it's done, my dog will be happy, my brother will be happy, and I'll have my mobility again. I need that right now, and I love Mac and Cort too much to put them both in a shitty situation because of my own lack of patience. Entonces tengo que tener paciencia. No va ser por mucho tiempo, y cuando termina, todos van a ser mejor. Hell, I may even be able to write that in French once it's all said and done.

OK, up and at it. Leslie and I are going to go play with tigers today. Leslie's much prettier than I am, even if I am a more substantial meal. Let's hope these particular tigers value aesthetic over quantity when it comes to their food.

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