Monday, August 08, 2005
As I'm fond of telling people here, I'm not from Iowa originally. This past week marked six years that I've been in Iowa. How I got here is a story in itself, but for now, I took a moment to reflect on what I've experienced. Moving up here was (and was for awhile) a happy time for me. I'd just finished graduate school, I was moving to be with my fiancee, and I'd just gottten a job that paid above 33k (just in time to start paying off my student loans). It should have been the point in my life that any good storyteller would have called a happy ending. Since then: I'm still single (the ex had some bipolar issues), still have the job, and I've by and large made a good life for myself and had the chance to experience quite a few moments where I was "in tune with the rhythm of the universe" ... a last-minute choral concert at a local church featuring two Lithuanian/Latvian choirs, one of which (with only seven vocalists), created a moment of perfect beauty. Or a Saturday morning practicing Tai Chi after sunrise at a nearby park. Or being able to enthrall a congregation with a soaring tenor voice in harmony. But sometimes, I do think about life currents ... the decisions that led me to be "here", and I think about choices that could have led me in different directions ... cases where I should have acted on my feelings and told someone I cared about them. Cases where I could have done something different, or gone to a different part of the country. Would I have had similar experiences? Or would something completely different have awaited me? I suspect somewhere out there, there's an alternate quantum version of me who's sitting in Chicago, where I'm working for the National Archives, or out in Las Vegas, living with a soulmate who in this possibility track didn't realize it, and thinking the same things.