Tuesday, May 06, 2008

One step closer

This weekend I will experience the shift of mine to yours... I am adding some of my stuff to a garage sale of a friend. It will be interesting to see what is valued by the near random sampling of people who happen to come by.

Most of my clothes are boxed up now, trinkets gone through, and wheat separated from chaff.

So what will I really be leaving behind? Well the easy and just shy of glib response is "my past," but this is too quick despite the degree of truth in it. I am leaving behind myself in some ways. I am leaving behind a comfortable, relatively easy (by my own standards) life, full of fine wines, very nice scotch, even wonderful bourbon, aged cheeses, delicacies I never imagined I would enjoy. I have managed to find myself wined at the finest homes worth more than I ever thought to earn myself, yet without me they would not be the homes that they are. They would be less regal, less comfortable, and less an expression of the spirits of the homeowners. I leave behind customers who are much more than customers, even though perhaps not quite friends in the conventional sense yet still quite important.

I leave behind the hidden spy holes into lives I will never lead nor fully understand, but which I can still appreciate. I leave behind much of the association with the movers and shakers, though I was never really one with or of them.

I leave behind the rugged beauty of a landscape which shapes the people even more than the people shape it. I leave behind the sweet and savory prickly pear, the crooked and stately live oak, the heat and heart of the the real Texas, the only place I ever felt at home as a child, as well as much of my adult life.

I leave behind an era of my life. I leave behind my business time. It was here alone that I truly tried my hand at business, to some degree of success. It was here that I was convinced to create a corporation, and here that I abandoned that corporation as inappropriate for me, to discover that my business is my own knowledge and experience. I created my remodeling and design company which has provided me great rewards, only some of which has been financial. Most times the rewards came in the faces of those who saw their dreams and desires given life in their own homes, sometimes even better than they dreamed. This is not a trivial thing to leave behind me, but I leave knowing that a great deal of joy can be found in my footsteps on this limestone laden land. Leaving more than footprints is good.

I am not crowing about my accomplishments, merely examining the reflection I see looking back at me. Mostly good, but not without flaws. That is what I leave behind but what do I take with me?

Experience, knowledge, and hope are the easy answers, but surely there is more. I take with me a greater understanding a appreciation for the land and the seasons, which I believe can only come from living where life is not easy. I take with me the beauty of the struggle to live, to survive where life is not given half a chance.

I take with me the friendships I have been privileged to enjoy from the happenstance of time and location, combined with the intention and deliberate nature of each of us. The individuals may stay here for now, but they remain with me as well. My door will always be open to them, and I expect that they will one day join me again even if not in location. These ties will not be broken by the miles or by whatever flag is waved on the pole.

On the same note, I know that I am severing many social ties which are more like anchors than buoys. People to whom I am polite, but who add nothing to my life, yet I still feel the social pressure to tolerate and associate with. I leave behind the expectations of specific others in this regard, while realizing that new expectations will arise, though hopefully less binding ones.

As is clearly evident, I have not central point in this posting, rather I am simply revealing some thoughts I have had about this decision and this choice. While I am clearly of mixed emotion on it, rest assured that I know that this is the right move for me now. The mixing of emotion comes from the respect of what I have experienced, the love of the land here, and the appreciation of the people who have helped shape my life while here. This is merely a glance back, probably not the last, at what it is that I am not choosing at this time. It is a grateful look at what has been, at part of what has made me the me of today.

It is the beginning of a thank you which may never be fully spelled out, but is none the less for that.

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