I haven’t allowed my change of scenery to interfere with one of the true loves of my life.
Just walking, with my headphones on, just enjoying the ambiance of the night air, and the sights and sounds around me as a cast of characters whisper in my ear. Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Job for a Cowboy, John Legend, Floetry (oh my….Floetry….mmmm), they all stimulate the thoughts pulsing through me, becoming reflections of my thoughts and emotions. The night time is the right time……
….and it isn’t too long till my mind reaches that point when those topics come to mind. You know…THOSE TOPICS! Life, love, relationships, people, sex….the whole gamut of those pieces of life which intertwine themselves so deeply into the fabrics of the human heart.
So, recently, the last young lady I was in a relationship with recently announced her engagement. I absolutely couldn’t be happier for her. She is a wonderful young lady, and she absolutely deserves all the fortune and happiness that life has to offer. On the exact same day, an acquaintance also announced her engagement. Once again, I couldn’t be happier for her and her mate.
I suppose it’s only fair to mention that within days of these two announcements, I’ve had a friend announce their intention to divorce. Two sides of the same coin I suppose. I always find affairs of the heart to be most intriguing and captivating, in both their joy and sorrow.
And all of these ideas, and events eventually swing my thoughts towards myself. One thing I can say with true certainty about the fair town of Tok is that it surely is not an ideal place for a single person.
It has taken me a while to fully fathom the ideal that has been mentioned to me so many times in my short tenure here: Single teachers don’t last long.
I now understand why. This place, especially in the winter, can become extremely lonely, extremely fast. This is quickly exacerbated by the simple geography of this place. Cold, desolate, and sparse. Sometimes I find myself looking out the window and thinking, “How romantic would it be to take a walk out there in the snow, holding hands and just talking, about anything and everything, letting the stress of life just roll off as you get lost in conversation, and each other?”
And then I look around my room. It’s me. Just me. These moments usually are the worst of any I’ve experienced here. The things I love most; chatting over tea or cocoa, cuddling up to a movie, just laying under the blankets and talking about what is to come and what has been (What’s one of your most embarrassing moments?) on a Saturday afternoon, or watching cartoons until the wee hours of the morning. I suppose I need not mention the simple pleasure of someone looking at you affectionately, and leaning over and kissing you on the cheek ( I personally think kisses on the cheek are woefully underrated in terms of their sweetness and “wow” factor).
And then I look around my room. It’s me. Just me.
Fortunately, over the years I have developed a fairly decent strength of character and intrinsic motivation. I attribute this to my family. My parents were hard workers, who often exhibited perseverance, and strength of spirit.
So, the question becomes, how long can I endure? I imagine three or four years (if given the opportunity), but is that simply false pride rearing it’s head? Hmm…I do know that one year isn’t my limit. I’m way stronger than that.
Fortunately, I do have things which bring me joy, and on which I can focus my attention and emotion. BJJ. My physical wellness. My books. My friends. My family…
…..and walking. It is so true that love exists in so many forms, and they all provide nourishment.