Fall thoughts

Fall, and a young man’s thoughts turn to existentialism.

You know I leave for a living
Music is what I do on the way to the door
Ani DiFranco – How Have You Been?

I find myself already looking to the next move, the next job, the next set of goodbyes.

Experience has taught me that jobs and friends are transient at about a four year frequency. I’ve moved from VA to MI, from MI to MN, now from MN to RI. Does this continue? Do I move 8 more times in the next 30 years? Probably not … after all … each of those moves was motivated by an educational opportunity. They could easily slow to a ten year period. Only four more to go then … pre the notional retirement age, which I suspect my generation will find ourselves chasing upwards into meaninglessness. Perhaps it’s the jobs that come and go every four years … and the friendships are ancillary to that.

Whatever the root cause, I’ve developed a healthy aversion to excessive attachment. I make a couple of close friends in each place, but not too many. I don’t become too much a part of whatever community I happen to be in, since I’ll just be moving out in a bit. Some people stay in touch over the years, some don’t. Some send a signal from time to time, but it gets increasingly trivial: How are the kids? The wife? Did you hear about Jack? Real shame, that…but you could always sort of see it coming.

This is the first time I’ve really seen myself setting up for the next move. I guess I’ve done it unconsciously before. Deliberately keeping the set of social ties small and somewhat superficial. Keeping my daily habits centered around things I can pick up and move rather than around the seasons and tides of a community.

This isn’t the “I’m afraid of death” rant, though that’s still fully in effect. Though, both feelings are best coped with by simply living one’s life as best one can. In the end, the “well adjusted” people seem to be the ones who don’t gripe terribly much about the realities that we all confront eventually. Life is difficult and scary, and fundamentally lonely. You either find a way to deal with that, or you go insane. Some people cope through a lot of bitching, screaming all the way down. Others convince themselves to believe in some sort of redemption or faith. Still others never even seem to realize that there’s anything to worry about. The rest of us identify with each other and do the best we can. There are lots of us out there … far more than we usually credit. Just living out our lives.

Must be Fall.

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