March 18, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on March 17, 2018

Sunshine and still very cold outside (but lots of heat from the sun at my desk: I’m baking). The rhododendron leaves have curled in on themselves, reducing their surface area exposure to the frigid air. Yesterday W. left very early for Cambridge, but no sooner was he on the train than he learned that his 9am interview was canceled. The 1pm was still on, though.

I took the time to myself to write my five-year plan, or at least a version I can now look at more closely. What I learned: I really don’t know where I want to live given my (partly by now age-determined) parameters of what I deem essential in terms of living space and creature comforts and beauty. Millman emphasized describing in detail how and where you live (to make it real), right down to the type of dwelling, furnishings, etc., and I did learn that I want a TOWN (read: city) HOUSE. But a house, as in: a building I can modify (solar power, radiant floor heat, etc.), but not a SFH (because the latter wouldn’t give me the urban street wall and streetscape with shops and commercial venues I crave. I also learned that I want to travel light in my work, i.e., not be involved in things that require huge amounts of equipment, a shop (workshop), supplies, etc. I wrote about writing, about creating cards and artwork from my photo-blends. I learned I want to travel, period. I’m conflicted about owning a dog again. I wrote that we did have a dog, but given the emphasis I put on travel, I wonder if that’s in any sense “realistic” (not that much of anything I wrote into this blue-sky scenario really is). Okay, I want a dog again. Maybe. Forced to pick a place, I wrote that the townhouse I described is in Montreal. I’m not at all sure that’s the right place. But the townhouse I describe can’t be found in B. or in Victoria or anywhere around here, except maybe in Beacon Hill/ Back Bay, or NYC, or Georgetown, or maybe Philadelphia (which I’ve never visited, and I’m not sure why I’m even mentioning it), and, frankly, all those places are either too expensive, too surrounded by other problems (because they’re US cities in the throes of financialization and increasing class divisions, or too volatile in the face of climate change). Montreal has a lot going for it, but I’m not really into it… I’m aiming crazy-high here, I know that… But identifying these desires is important (even if the adults in the room might tell me I’m childish), because, in a way, if they’re allowed to run riot unidentified, you end up making decisions that work against achieving them in the long run.

You can say that such-and-such a move isn’t wise. But if you don’t know what you want, nothing ever is.

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