It’s been two and a half years since I felt inspired to write. Why?
To be honest, I was exhausted. I returned from the tour and entered straight into Covid. I went from spending every day surrounded by more people than I could manage with my limited social energy daily allowance to nearly no interaction with humans outside of my immediate family. There is a balance in life and instead of feeling that, I transitioned from one extreme to the next. Simply put, it was too much for my body to endure. It was too much change. It was too much shifting. It was just too much.
But here we are, years later. Life has changed. The world has changed. Our jobs have changed. The people around us have changed. Are we better for it? Some, yes. In other ways, no.
Today I sit in a swanky bar in Boise, Idaho,
having just finished my third marathon the day before and
having spent a wonderful weekend with my oldest son, and
for the first time in years, literally, I feel the compulsion to write.
But what to say? Where is my focus? Where is the focus of our nation? Our world?
If I could encapsulate what I’ve seen, and to be fair, what I’ve experienced, I’d say it’s “change”. The world, our worlds, our lives, and ourselves, have changed. Some have evolved. Others have devolved. Which are you?
For me, it’s been both. I’ve dived deep into the design space. I’ve fully remodeled a house that is intended to highlight design in every way: It boasts high ceilings to elevate the mind, many windows and sky lights to let tremendous natural light in to the inspire the mind, it is covered in paintable and writeable white walls to encourage creativity, and it is covered in big, bold paintings, pictures, and original drawings meant to tell a story about me, my family, and my views of the world. In a phrase, I love the space and all that it stands for. I’ve also dedicated myself to physical and mental health, spending time working through former traumas, changing my diet to fit the needs of my body, and becoming a long distance runner. I started out running for my kids but found that I truly love the personal challenge of these races and well, what can I say, I’m hooked.
But there is also the other side – the places I’ve devolved. Most of it stems from the confluence of getting older, seeing the underpinnings of our nation, and Covid – but can be summed up in the realization that much of what we try to do to help the world falls short of making an impact. It’s a sad thing to come to terms with but fairly typical as we age. And ironically, freeing. It frees one from the rules, expectations, requirements we all try so hard to meet as young people.
And so, I am free. As I hope everyone is feeling. Perhaps not because laws are being written as they need to be. Perhaps not because politics has made more sense. Perhaps not because any one of us has more money. But perhaps because we’ve all learned that no one can own our minds. We do not live in the dystopian world described in 1984 and so, we are not obligated to believe what we are told. We are free to have our own opinions, be our own selves, and love as we wish. Everything can be regulated, controlled, even forced, but our minds…our thoughts…remain our own.
Images by Patricio González and Alfonso Cerezo