The last post for 2010

Christmas in Mexico City

2010: Looking Back

The good

2010 has been a good year of transition. I'm back to being an east coast boy although, until I get a car it'll be a little different than I remember Vermont. Then perhaps I'm a different person than I was then 🙂

I did my 4th triathlon after being in Georgia for a month. See the race report for Ironman 70.3 Augusta if you haven't already.

More than I thought possible this year was a year of growth and a year of learning. I've learned more about myself in the 5 months since I moved to Georgia than I had in the 3 years since I left Chico.

I've relearned the value of independence and how much more satisfying it is to get results for something that you really busted your ass off getting rather than it being given to you.

I have learned the value of being a friend and being there for the people in your life.

I've learned the value of friends and the difference between your "friend" and the people who really are your friends, no matter what.

I have been reminded over and over that perseverance is a virtue worth pursuing.

What wasn't so good

I've let anger get the best of me several times, particularly since I moved to Georgia.

I'm homesick twice. I miss California and I also miss Chile (I may even accept the baggage associated with going back to do Pucón in 2112 or later)

I'm lonely... part of it is my own damn fault but I'm getting to the point where it does matter

I would like a little more definition to my career. I feel I'm still up in the air in terms of what I want to do and where I want to be.

2011: Looking Forward

2011 promises to be an interesting and challenging year. I start Team in Training for Ironman Arizona January 8 with stops at REV 3 Knoxville in May and Ironman 70.3 Augusta in September before the big daddy in November, the weekend before thanksgiving.

Work is also going to be interesting with a coworker leaving sometime in Q1 and leaving a big, big, big pair of shoes to fill. That added to the amount of work training for the Ironman is going to make things interesting (in the chinese proverb sense) for a while.

What needs to change

Where do I start? There's so much that needs to change and so little time for me to do it?

I need to control my temper. It's gotten the best out of me a few times since I moved and, while I don't advocate bottling everything in, I don't suggest just letting it out either. This is one reason why I think that IronTeam is going to be so good to me, it'll allow me to channel energy towards something other than anger and that'll help me overall with sleep and stomach issues.

While I have agreed that I won't make any decision as to what/where/when I'll be doing (it) until the end of 2011 I also don't want to be surprised by what I find out in the field. It may be a good idea to narrow the search a little bit so that when December 2011 comes I can be informed and ready for whatever comes. Some of the questions worth asking are:

  • Do I want to stay in Georgia?
    • If I do then do I want to stay at UWG?
    • If not then where do I want to go?
  • Do I want to stay in education?
    • If so what role do I want to play in an institution?
    • Is it worth getting a PhD or EdD to work in a University given the time investment?
  • If I don't want to stay in education then where do I want to go?
  • And in a completely different note
    • What am I really seeking after in terms of relationships?

As you can see the questions haven't changed much from the last time I asked them but the difference is that now I'm ready to actually do something about it. I am ready for a longer term commitment and the move of to being a full time student again. On the other hand I also want to enjoy life, I want to go back to Naginata so I can finally test for ni-dan and san-dan and be able to open my own dojo to practice and teach. I also want to pick up Kyudo in a more serious and systematic way. I want to find a Zen center were I can sit meditation as well. As you can see I'm a full of contradictions.

Kyudo
Image via Wikipedia

The other big question for 2011 is still whether I want to settle in terms of relationships... Do I want a purely physical relationship, a relationship that is 100% intellectual or a combination of both? Regardless of what I want I also have to find who I want that relationship with (which is the hard part, ain't it 🙂 )

I'm also worried about my mom. She's not getting any younger and the years seem to have been less than kind to her. It's another version of those 'What would you give up to get what you want' questions or phrased differently Would you give up everything you build in order to do what you know it's right?

Physically and spiritually my goals are simpler in appearance and harder in execution: I will complete 3 triathlons: an olympic, an Ironman 70.3 and a full Ironman. The training will be hard but welcome... I need training discipline again

An here's a stab at the questions I asked earlier.

  • Do I want to stay in Georgia?
    • If I do then do I want to stay at UWG?
    • If not then where do I want to go?

Too soon to tell one way or another if I'm staying in Georgia or not... in a way it's the same situation than when I moved to Chico. The change was necessary and good but I don't really know if it's going to be a permanent one. But then, again, I won't be the same person if/when I decide to move back to California (or anywhere else)

There are things that I already don't like but it's too soon to tell if they are going to be deal breakers or not. I hate being put in a position where I am not comfortable saying things because the might piss people off; I wasn't allowed to apologize to the person when I did it and, as a result, I am not comfortable around this person anymore. This might be me being too touchy but I really expect better of people in a professional capacity.

  • Do I want to stay in education?
    • If so what role do I want to play in an institution?
    • Is it worth getting a PhD or EdD to work in a University given the time investment?

These ones are interesting because they, more than anything else, point to the core of who I think I am and who I want to be. My dream has always been to teach at a 4 year university and to do that you're almost required to have a PhD and that was ok when I was 20 or even 30 but now... now I'm not sure if that's the way I want to go. Even though people may be right when the say that 36 is not old it's not young either. I'm getting to the point where I don't think that long term gain is better than short term enjoyment. In other words I don't think I should sacrifice the here and now for a nebulous future down the road.

A doctorate (either one) is still attractive but less so than it was even 2 years ago when I applied to UGA. I may do it again just to prove to myself that I can. I am still interested in Stanford and NYU for Anthropology in Education and maybe Utah State for ID. That's about the extent of where I want to look at. If neither of those work then I'll think about a complete change in careers.

I want something that will allow me to search for happiness or at least contentment. See, each one of the choices I have for school has its reasons for me to want to pursue them. Athens, GA (UGA) is close enough to Atlanta to allow me to still do Kyudo at Emory and it has the possibility of starting a Naginata dojo. Stanford is home: Tango club, Naginata, Kyudo, more anime that I know what to do with and a challenging course of studies. NYU is exploration and spending time with people I care about, I also have Naginata, Kyudo and Broadway :-). Living in Logan is a challenge in and of itself but I can still look forward to Naginata (I think) and the possibility of continuing training for triathlons (even if I don't do one, training is where it's at for me.)

  • If I don't want to stay in education then where do I want to go?

If it's not education then what? That's a question that's been hounding me for a while. Am I the education professional? Am I too late for a career change? If I'm not too late then what am I changing to? I've thought about changing to International Development and doing work in Africa or Southeast Asia but I know that would definitely make my mom heart skip a beat or 5 or 10. Anthropology continues to be the draw it's been since I worked with Ybarrola and Yanner in Euskadi 14 (OMG, has it really been 14 years?) year ago.

In my craziest days I think about doing something completely off the bat. I think about getting a degree in international development like my friend Lorea and then pursuing wrk overseas in areas where the need is great and the bullets fly. I remember I used to worry about my friend but now I realize it was more jealousy than worry, it was the feeling that deep down you know you should be doing what she does but you're not 'ready' for it.

I have a lot of people to thank and continue to look up to this year. People like Chris Guillebeau who first showed me it was possible, Seth Godin who continues to show me the power of thinking differently, and Jodi Ettenberg who reminds me of the power of dreaming and taking chances; they have all taught me when to push and when to let go, when to hold and when to release.

  • And in a completely different note
    • What am I really seeking after in terms of relationships?

It's kinda hard to know what you want in this area when you can't really dedicate the time it should have dedicated.