09/20/2006: "No matter how far down the wrong road you go, you still have to turn back eventually"
OK, those of you who fall into the “Keep Your Commitments No Matter What” camp will probably lose some respect for me but I’ve decided to stay in Juneau after all. I asked my boss “is it too late for me to keep my job” and she said “no”. She seems very happy in fact, that I am going to stay.
The *really* tough part was contacting the person who had hired me in Centralia. He is such a great guy, I know he would have been wonderful to work for and the fact that he was so gracious when I declined the job…only made me feel worse somehow. I just know that I wasn’t the right fit for their institution and I know it wouldn’t have been fair to them if I went down all half-hearted and miserable.
So, what have I learned from all of this?
1. I am an Alaskan and I doubt I will ever be able to leave here; the very idea of it makes me unbelievably sad.
2. Happiness is not about the constant drive to attain or accomplish “more”, it’s often about the appreciation and enjoyment of what you already have.
3. People are actually more important to me than my art (this was a true revelation!).
4. The artistic inspiration that I derive from Southeast Alaska is priceless to me.
5. I *love* my job at the University of Alaska Southeast.
6. It’s never too late to change the things we don’t like about ourselves. (i.e. being an eccentric reclusive painter).
I know that the things that made life in Juneau difficult in the past (constant rain) will still be here. Things aren't magically going to get and stay better forever. There may even be days I regret this decision (though I highly doubt that). But when those days arrive I'm going to remind myself of how I feel right now, basking in the rosy glow of a community that I love, and that apparently loves me back.
Now I'm all verklempt...talk amongst yourselves...the Surgeon General is neither a surgeon, nor a general...discuss!