Unsurprisingly, as I have aged and grown, the definition of what is (my) “normal” has changed. If you are like me and are constantly pushing your boundaries, constantly moving and evolving, this happens. It’s when this process gets unexpectedly accelerated that it becomes tricky to find balance.
Take, for example, being passionate enough about something that you risk getting arrested for the cause (take a look at my last post if you don’t know what I’m talking about).
My last year or so has been a whirlwind of changes, most for the better, some happier than others; I’ll touch on most of these as I continue to write here. The difference with these past four weeks is the speed at which my perceptions changed. It’s been three weeks since my release, and I am still processing what happened. I don’t know how long it will take, or if I will ever completely be able to process the experience.
I’ve had this discussion with many of the other “Tar Sands 65” – my fellow jailbirds – and many of us have found that the experience profoundly changed us. Those 52 hours lie outside the realm of any experience before, and they opened up a whole new level of consciousness for me.
My previous “normal” now feels somehow stale; this is meant in no way to be disrespectful to those who inhabited it with me, but rather as an internal reflection. Now that I have experienced what it means to stand up for something that I am truly passionate about, I don’t want to look back. I have known for some time that I stand outside the social norm, and I’m okay with that. In fact, I love it. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being normal. Life is too short.
Trouble is – this is where the balance part comes in – there are still “normal” things that have to happen. I have to pay the bills, I have to feed myself and my dog, I have to keep some sort of shelter over our heads… those basic human needs still exist. No matter how much I want to throw caution to the wind, I realize that I have to find the balance that works for me in this moment.
So, for the time being, I’m doing what I can to be involved in smaller ways in the environmental arena, even if it means not getting paid. I’m working toward finding a paying job (or jobs) that allow me to make a substantive impact, and I’m doing what I can to find happiness along the way. I’m finding my balance as I continue to evolve. I’m positive that once another year has passed, I’ll have a whole new “normal”, and I think that’s pretty awesome.
How about you – how do you find balance in this crazy and sometimes overwhelming world? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!