I am my own biggest conflict of interest
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Someone presented my mother with this quote a few years back, and while it seems that every person searches for his or her own way of saying just this sort of thing, or at the very least, conveying this type of sentiment, it was this particular quote that struck me as eerily applicable to my oft decision tormented life.
Perhaps it is the curse of a child born of two individuals, each critical thinkers, and analytical by profession, but I find myself paralyzed by the process of decision making. Within me I harbor the constant wish to evaluate, weigh, analyze, list, and categorize. I value these skills and find them to be priceless when they are called upon to lead somewhere productive, however, those who know me well can attest to the fact that when they are utilized in the decision-making arena they are angst producing, not only for me, but most often for those around me, as well.
It seems that I have two major conflicting interests: I love to travel, to explore, to see, to learn, and I hate to be disconnected, far away, alone. How does one desire, so often trump the other, and why? Because in the end I have to believe that I will not be disconnected from my surroundings for long, because home won’t feel so far away after just a short time, and because you have to give something to get something—of that I am certain—and while I have constantly traded in the very securities I long for in moments of homesickness, and my family and friends who have been invaluably kind, and supportive, I believe that no matter how cracked and battered I might feel in the process of getting to each new place, in the end it is always worth it.
I don’t have words more eloquent than those above, or any others who have wrestled with the same sentiments, and so I offer you their words, combined with mine, in this medium so deeply rooted in the height of the technological age. I give to you excerpts from my cracked and quilted life, glimpses of the people who will connect me to my chosen place, and the moments that come together to make the experience whole. I invite you to share in the trials and tribulations, the inevitable crises, and hilarity of life abroad. As was the mantra of our first months in Australia in 2003, a phrase coined by the wise father of Ms. Rachel Retrum: it is all part of the experience! Every crack and fall—the forgotten perfect offering—my life.