Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Adventurous Path of Uncertainty

I never cease to be amazed at how quickly things change for us here. If there is one constant I can count on 'change' is it, and almost daily.

When we first arrived in Buenos Aires our plan seemed so clear. We were going to start a yoga and art studio. When the life of acclimation got confusing, that plan was always where we fell back too. "This is what we're here to do and we're going to do it" seemed to be our philosophy. We were not stubborn, but we were (and are) determined.

However now, as recent weeks have played out in the global economy, our entrepreneurial plans are in flux and we have begun to adopt a plan, that when broken down to it's most basic level, is more about survival. I have to admit that hasn't been the easiest pill to swallow. It is an interesting thing to walk through the course of a day and not know whether the assets you thought you had still exist or not, or knowing there won't be immediate answers available regarding their existence, and then further beginning to plan in case they don't.

I have never been one to walk with fear, although I have met up with it from time to time for brief conversations, many of which seem to have taken place this year. Having reconstructive knee surgery. Moving to another country. Betting everything on a dream. Fear is an interesting thing. Even as I write this it drives people to the banks here to withdraw their money because they believe the Argentine economy could collapse in just a couple of months. (Read more about that here) Dorothy Thompson said, "Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." For me, I think that is what I've had to get over once again this past week. I've had to have one of the those conversations with 'fear' and decide where I'm gonna stand with it. It made me think back to a time in my life about 9 years ago. In a span of two weeks I had broken off a wedding engagement, lost my job, and learned that I would soon be without a place to live. I remember a friend asking me back then why I was still able to hold onto a smile despite the fact that the world I knew was crumbling around me. I told her that I had come to a realization. I said, "You can take all those things away from me and I'll still be me. I am not my fiancee. I am not my job. I am not the house I live in. Hell, take my car too. You can take all those things away from me and ultimately I am still me and that no one and no circumstances can change. No matter what happens, somehow, someway I will survive." I remembered feeling empowered by those thoughts and I have carried them and the belief in myself with me ever since.

The truth is we don't know yet what's going to happen here in Argentina, with our assets back in the States, or with the economy of the world. We hope for the best but we don't rule out the worst. There are certain things we can control in life and there are others that we can't. I can control though whether or not I keep wearing a smile. Or what colors to paint the background on the next painting. Or how much ketchup I put on my fries. I can control what chords I strum on my guitar. In other words you have to keep moving forward, even though what moving forward means isn't always clear. I've found that growth most often does not derive from comfort and ease, and life to be more interesting when walking the never boring, and always adventurous path of uncertainty.

Currently Reading:
"Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

Currently Listening To:
Robb Deez

1 comment:

firmtofu said...

Right on mijo. You hit it on the head!