Friday, June 21, 2013

Society, Have Mercy on Me

Being honest and open has always been a trait of mine. Maybe honesty and openness is a nice way of saying I don't think before I speak, but I'm okay with that. It really is part of who I am. I think ahead enough to not get myself in loads of trouble, so I'll keep going with what has worked so far.

Anxiety has been a theme in my life lately, but not for reasons you'd generally expect. Some of the top causes of anxiety (work-related stress, financial struggles, relationships) are not of too much trouble for me these days thanks to great friends, a great job, and a great girlfriend. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty happy!

Instead, my anxiety can be linked directly to simply learning how to be an adult in today's society.

When I first arrived in Tacoma, I wanted to get busy and fast. I had not lacked community to that degree in my life and was certainly not used to free nights with no one to call and nothing to do. Without getting into many details, I've certainly filled that time. Between two band practices a week, time spent with Aly, and evenings dedicated to friends from church, I have little free time left (especially when compared to the last chapter of my life in Pittsburgh which was 4 months of funemployment).

With summer has come busy weekends full of fun activities, but still not enough time to do the things I need to do to keep anxiety off my doorstep; mainly relaxation that comes from seclusion.

When my friend, Andy, suggested wanting to leave Nashville to move to a smaller city like Asheville, NC, or Santa Fe, NM, I didn't believe him or think he'd actually do it because, like me, he craves community, energy, and activity. The more I think about it, the more I realize how nice it might be to actually live in a place with less people, less opinions, and less of society. Places like Nashville and Seattle can be overwhelming with the desire for people to share their opinions (myself, the blogger, included, for goodness sake).

This coffee is better than that coffee because of this flavor that you and I have different opinions about.

This band is better than that band because of this objective opinion I have about what makes a band good.

This beer is better than that beer because that brewery is trying too hard or is available in too many places.

In short, society is wearing me down. I care too much about what other people think, which is a problem most of us have in this what-are-you-listening-to-on-Spotify world we inhabit. I wear the same jeans and shirt every day; lay off!

What I'm learning is that instead of craving the action of the city, maybe all I want is a porch, a cheap beer, and a Buccos game on the radio. That life that Christopher McCandless was pursuing in Into the Wild becomes enviable from time-to-time. I doubt I'll be lighting my car or money on fire any time soon, but there's something to be said for keeping a few important people close and the less-important people at an arm's length.

I don't expect any On the Road sort of experiences any time soon, but a day trip to Portland should help and  also the thought that if I want my next job to eventually be in Seattle or Missoula, MT, those options both exist. Right now, I'm leaning towards Montana.