I was in Denver last week at the headquarters of my Antarctic employer. It was a heady experience seeing the familiar faces & feeling as if I were rejoining my "tribe" again - though I was not there for deployment purposes. The office is in a generic suburban office park, barren and sterile, the people your average slump-shouldered office workers, but this building & these people represent my Great Love. I can honestly say I would work there for no pay - that's how much I love it. I used to use up so much energy explaining to folks who thought I was crazy to want to work there how awesome & life changing it was - but I don't waste my time doing that anymore. I think the non-Ice life is crazy: traffic, house tending, gardening, having to feed myself - it's all so weird to me now. I was always so uncomfortable with my life when I worked 8-5 in an office & went to my home every day. I always knew it wasn't me - and when I found the Ice I found what was me - at least what was important to me. Life is pared down to so little down there that my soul has time to flourish! The energy usually spent driving around, grocery shopping (which I never did anyway), messing with a domicile (was never interested in it) is completely freed up to find new heights of creativity and solitude in the mind. I took a season off. I miss it like I'd miss my arm if it were missing. I've learned my lesson: no more "taking a season off." It has f&*d me up!
Not to say there isn't something to learn from doing things which go against oneself. It is fascinating to get off track, to get lost, to feel like the bottom has dropped out, even to fall apart. It is ok to do something different to see what happens. It is interesting and probably necessary to "fail" now & then. In improv class when we make a mistake, we bow and proudly say "I failed!" and everyone claps. It is the only time we reward or applaud in class. Failure meant you took a risk. So, really, you didn't fail. I used to be terrified of being thought of as a failure because that is what I thought I was deep down. Now I feel more like I just try different stuff & some of it works out & some of it doesn't, and in the grand scheme of things it's all really okay. I mean, I'm just a speck in the Universe. Who the heck is going to care about my paltry little life 5000 years from now. What a relief, no?