Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Universal Kick-in-the-Butt Jumpstart, December 15, 2010, Day 167-Nomad Existence

As noted in previous entries, I am purposely homeless to assist forward movement, which was to teach abroad. In 167 days, I purchased my passport, completed TEFL certification, vacationed, and researched teaching abroad job boards. I’ve been stuck, until the universe decided on the kick-in-the-butt-jumpstart.

It’s said, when making dramatic lifestyle changes, for example, quitting smoking, you should tell people for support. I’m not sure the benefit is support. I think it’s accountability. The more people you tell, the more hold you accountable. The actual benefit to accomplishment of your goal is vanity and embarrassment. This only works if many people are involved. As a smoker, I’ve told a few, repeatedly, that I was quitting. When I started again, it was simply an “oh well” when confronted.

I’ve not read The Secret. I don’t believe that merely thinking of something will manifest it in my life. Every season I change my computers wallpaper to a Western North Carolina scene, where I hope to retire (soon), establishing a constant visual reminder of my dream. I’m not any closer to the reality. Action is the key, coupled with a large amount of accountability (read: vanity).

Since June 2010, I’ve told everyone “I will be somewhere” by January. I’m still homeless in Kenosha. Activity has flourished in the past two weeks. I’ve applied for jobs in Taiwan, Costa Rica, Italy, and Germany; housesitting positions in the Smoky Mountains, Wyoming and Australia; installed Skype so I can tutor online. I’m writing daily, and have even submitted. What happened? Vanity!

In July, I relinquished one of my workshop leader positions with the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA), and this month, I relinquished the other. I’ve been with them eight years, starting as a writer. I acquired the first workshop when our facilitator retired, the other after campaigning for an offenders or ex-offenders group, resulting in a unique one at St. Leonard’s House. Additionally, I perform most of NWA’s tech stuff: website maintenance, the monthly newsletter, weekly update to workshop leaders, and most recently, development of Every Person Is a Philosopher Blog. I am fairly well known around the organization. So, when they dedicated the annual holiday party to me on December 15th, day 167 of my nomad existence, sending me off with poems, reminisces, warm wishes and hugs from people all over the city of Chicago, I felt the drop-back-and-punt-type kick in the butt from the universe.

Hence, the flurry of activity to make the future actually happen. When asked what I’d done with all the well wishes from that tearful send off, what will I say? Nothing? I’ve done nothing? I’ve done nothing with several opportunities, but my vanity won’t allow me to be that embarrassed.

Whether I teach abroad, volunteer and live in a National Forest, visit writer’s retreats, or do that North Carolina retirement thing, I’m moving forward thanks to that reliable universal-kick-in-the-butt jumpstart. Thank you!

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