It makes me think of one of my NYC singer-songwriter friends who loves fashion. She told me about a temp job she held, shortly after moving to the city, at a fashion company. Each day, she would carefully select her outfit, hoping to impress the higher ups. Apparently she was successful, because they offered her a job at the end of her temp contract, which she declined because she knew that a career in fashion would take her away from her true passion, music.
I can see her in that world, decked out in designer, carefully selecting and putting things together and negotiating, traveling around the world. Carried far by her impeccable taste, steel work ethic and keen business sense.
I probably should have been an English teacher. I'm sure I would have loved it -- the kids, the books, and being part of a school community. Almost across the board, I loved my English teachers. They were intriguing, artsy folks who introduced me to many beautiful things that I loved, music and poetry and literature, and helped me to explore and nurture the creative parts of myself.
But I've never been able to seriously consider a job that gave me too much incentive to stay forever.
And then I fear that the dreaded "forever" will come anyway, and I'll look back only to realize that I'd have been no worse off making a commitment.
I can somewhat wistfully imagine my face inserted in the happy wedding, baby, and family vacation pictures I see on Facebook. But then I think, if that was my life right now, at least a piece of me would be imagining my face in the photos of girls with guitars and bands, wondering how it would feel to make the music I never made.
You can't win.
I get off the train at Union Square and see a group of the Hare Krishnas of NYC gathered outside, chanting "Hare Krishna...Hare Krishna..." and beating on various percussion instruments. I like Hinduism plenty well, but the Hare Krishnas look kooky to me, bald heads and flowy garments and gleam in the eyes which suggest they are far away from here. I can't imagine joining in.
(As I write this, I realize the outfit I'm wearing today would have totally fit in.)
Anyway, I'm standing there watching them, feeling their chants and drum beats, and I can't deny I'm soothed by it, peaceful.
I'm going back to my neighborhood, to my favorite bar, to get a happy hour drink.
Is that going to make my happy? What is the correlation between the things I am inclined to do on a daily basis and the level of happiness that results?
My longing for a new romantic relationship -- would that ultimately make me happier, or is it just another craving I'm motivated to satisfy?
Are the things I rally against really the things that might truly make me happy?
Or is happiness less about my external choices and more about the choice to find happiness, regardless of my circumstances?
Hare Krishna....Hare Krishna....