Thursday, May 13, 2010

Finding ourselves

When I attempt to categorize myself, very quickly things get confusing.  It's why I don't talk much to others about politics and other topics that seem prone to categorizations.  Until they come up with a political party that reflects SB's Complicated Philosophies, then I just vote where I see best. 

It's odd, too, because it's not about an apathy. I'm pretty passionately involved in thought processes, think through my perspectives carefully.  And then get to the end and look over the checkboxes and think: "Hey.  I'm not any of these!"

What to do?

The grand thing is, I married an equally confusingly-categorized man. And I can only point to divine intervention that we appear to be wandering down the same complicated path. 

Last week, I confessed that I wanted to give away even more of our things.  Like, the Things In Storage Because We Love Them Dearly things.  We were driving home from Deng's birthday party, and there was a catch in my voice when I said: "Steve.  I want to give all our furniture to the Sudanese.  That's all we need to talk about right now.  I know it's nuts, so I'm not really asking to do it.  It's just a feeling."

A couple hours later, he looked up as he was washing dishes and said: "Let's give them our furniture."

I called my dad to confirm things, because sometimes my passionate side makes weird decisions.  But then 2 days later, we found ourselves in an apartment complex in Hampton, unloading our leather couches, our desk, our tables, everything. 

It was  There's this whole other side to the story, about how it spoke to my humanitarian side.  I'm sure that will pour out into another blog post soon.  But for right now, it did something changing to my Minimalist side.  The side that is finding what I really need/want to feel joy in my life and for our family.

I don't know where we go from here.  We're really feeling a revolution in our life, and for the few moments that come up that scare me, I'm mostly feeling a surge of amazed joy at what is ahead of us.

A friend told me that the 20's is where you seek yourself...the 30's is where you find yourself...and the 40's is where you fall in love with yourself.  In your 40's, no one can mess with you, because you're too strongly aware of who you are.

In my 30's, I'm learning that I don't love things. In fact, I feel trapped by them.  We've tried the big house and the Nice Stuff.  Now, I have this vision of my backpacker days, carrying everything I own in one sack.  Living in winter rentals and travel all summer.  Using financial security to buy experiences and help others.  Not to buy more stuff that just keeps us rooted in a way we don't want.

Last night we drove past this big, nice neighborhood.  The kind of neighborhood we used to look at back in our Poor Newlywed days, when we spent more on tuition than we made some months.  We used to think that was the goal.  We were saving and penny-pinching to someday have that big house.  I looked out the window and said to Steve: "I don't really see anymore how that's the American Dream.  It does nothing for me."

With an unexpected (to me) clarity, he said: "Me. Neither."

"So is this just some phase we're going through?  Or is this a new realization about who we are?  Will we ever own another house? I just want to live in smallish, really nice condos and then spend 2 months in Europe or Egypt every year."

"That's what I want too."


"Okay, Europe. Not Egypt."

Aha.  *That* is the Steve I know and love. :)

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