Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Last week I wrote about change and how good it is, how it keeps our minds agile and ready for what devil may come. But today I want to write about the flipside of so much change, where so much is uncertain that you end up doing the same thing every day.

A lot of people experience "travel fatigue," where they stop absorbing new experience after a long period of time on the road. That is when you feel like a homeless person instead of a tourist, and all you can focus on is getting a cup of coffee, resting your feet on a sunny bench, and finding a clean place to go to the bathroom. Inevitably, you start to think to yourself that every place is the same--and why the hell do you need a clean place to go the bathroom, anyway? Isn't that counterintuitive?

I'm having another one of my many days of frustration at being an un-salaried worker. I spent another day hustling, trying to simultaneously research something and sell myself, and although the prospect of getting this plum assignment is pretty exciting, I have to admit that part of me feels like I'm wasting my time; I'm not going to get it. The other part of me says "Not with that attitude you won't!" My second-grade teacher would be proud.

I am still not used to the ups and downs of freelancing. I was sort of relieved when I didn't get called back for a second interview at The Perfect Job For Me, since that would have led to, you know, me...working in an office. I guess it was really The Perfect Job For My Skill Set, and not Me per se...but being offered the position would have been good for my self-esteem, which always suffers when nothing is happening. These are the days when I feel like, in foregoing a traditional job because of fear of routine, I end up doing the same thing every day: freaking out, scattershot research that leads to dead ends, half-assed attempts at self-representing, baking cookies. In the end, it feels like trying to find a kernel of corn in a swimming pool by scooping out cups of water and then throwing them back in.

I think I need some popcorn. Where the hell did that analogy come from?


bill said...

part of me is asking, "so you left Buenos Aires for this?" You must be smart enough to know that you don't get applause (or even readers for that matter) by clinging to the coast while traveling the world. Sometimes you must go out to sea all alone despite the odds.

You had that spirit once, and it's why you're worth reading. However, if you feel stuck, it is your own damn fault.

seriously said...

hi bill,

I didn't leave Buenos Aires for "this," "this" being "struggling to make money." I was struggling down there as well, only now I am struggling while closer to my family and friends, whom I missed terribly when I was down south, and living with a man I love.

In my experience, life does not progress evenly. There are times of craziness and times of rest. I felt stuck in Argentina in different ways--obviously, living the expat life is not the cure to all personal problems, and it's certainly not sole grounds for a perfect existence.

We do plan to leave the USA soon, but it's just one plan of many. Whether I am here or there, I will always need to find ways to make a living. And if my priority is to stay out of a cube, there will always be an element of improvisation that can be simultaneously exciting and repetitive--just like travel itself.

It is not about garnering applause; these days mostly extremists elbow their way into the limelight for a few fleeting moments. It is about going with the rhythm that is right for you.

Thanks for your encouragement. Where are you now?

Luis Celestino said...

great response, seriously.