Living between two or more places makes me keenly aware of perception. Amongst one group, I live an unconventional life of adventure and travel. In another group I’m following a career path. And in yet another group, I’ve sold out to “The Man,” and am now part of the big machine.
In a conversation with a newer friend, she marveled at my ability to go from thing to thing. In my current locale it’s still common to have a single job for twenty or more years. Jumping from job to job seemed brave to her. In my mind I was simply progressing.
I have progressed, from the military to administrative work, to non profit director, to desert carnie, to communications consultant, to website developer, to news and content writer, to ferry bartender, to line cook, to Maritime cook. There are a few more things I want to do, if I find time and opportunity.
I understand how doing all these things requires a kind of fearlessness. New endeavors don’t really scare me. They never have. I often stress more about getting to an endeavor than the endeavor itself. My mother use to say, I would jump into a pool without checking for water first. In my mind, when I jump I assume I’ll land one way or another.
In spite of any attributed bravery, I also have a keen flight response. I attribute this to a combination of fatigue from years of fighting for accomplishment, and wisdom gained in the process.
Knowing when to fight and what to fight for is a matter of self preservation at this age. I care less about what others think. I’ve learned that perception is more a method of translating actions to one’s own experience. And in my experience, flight is acceptable when there is no net gain from my efforts.