Spring Awakening is a famous pre-expressionist German play by Frank Wedekind, revolving around the onset of puberty among some schoolchildren in a deeply repressed 19th Century community. It has a new life as a somewhat simplified or dumbed-down Broadway musical. Since I first read the text about a decade ago in College I've been borrowing the title, which has an appealing lyrical quality, as a shorthand for the semi-cyclical (re)emergence of my lust for life.
It is the vernal time again, and Humboldt County isn't disappointing. The sun is shining, and last night I went out to a kick-off party for our nascent roller-derby league. Our friend Hanna is participating (around her regular gig down in SF learning to tattoo; that's dedication) and there are a bunch of other good second-degree connections. The place was loud and full of ruckus, rock bands and dance-teams, a silent auction of art, desserts and donated items. With a minor amount of cronyism and a little but of quick bargaining, we managed to score a truly atrocious/awesome USA USA USA blanket: the flag, the eagle and a FDNY truck marked 911. Made in Korea. Amazing.
It was the first night of spring and also the full moon, the club chock full of attractive people with ambiguous sexual agendas. Mine was/is rather nonexistent. Much as I relish the return of the sun and the verdant fertility on display all around me, to-date I'm personally untouched. I'm sure that if I gave myself enough rope to get all boozed-up and wild like the old days there's an odds-on chance I could hang myself sufficiently well to at least make out with someone. It's an occasionally appealing thought, but it hasn't happened.
These days I'm traveling more regularly than ever. I'm trying to hire people. The muscles on top of my cheekbones involuntarily twitch from time to time, which I assume is stress-related. As is to be expected of such desperate declarations, my new-years resolution of "less work, more sex, flossing" is falling flat. Even the flossing has become spotty, though twice a week is much better than never.
The above reads like a complaint, and I suppose it is, but actually I'm feeling pretty upbeat lately. If I quit cudgeling myself for being such a workaholic for a second, the sweet kick of being busy and engaged lifts me up. I have a feeling something similar would happen in my pants if I quit preemptively busting myself down for being a Lothario. It's an occasionally appealing thought.
Work and Play: New Perspective on Relationships
On top of being conventionally successful, the process of starting a business with two other equal partners has been an incredible learning experience. It really is a relationship, and not always an easy one. We're friends, just like you'd want in most any relationship, but there's a whole lot more being piled on top of that friendship.
I realized the other day that this endeavor has gone on far longer than any sustained romantic relationship, and that I've been undeniably more generous with my time, energy and patience in building the business than I have heretofore with matters of the heart. Not that I see (or want to start seeing) Love as a business proposition, but it is a revealing contrast.
Another aspect of this is the how these various pursuits intersect with the inner drive of my ambition. The connection with work/career is fairly obvious, but it occurs to me that in my more romantically prolific days much of that action was aided and abetted by my desire for personal accomplishment. It's a crappy and egotistical thing to admit, but for a lot of my young adult life I wanted to prove myself a good lover. It was a brass ring to reach for, and that was part of what drove me.
Today I don't have that ambition, nothing to prove. Indeed, getting back to that preemptive bust-down I mentioned before, I'm more worried about just what might happen. While I have theoretical ambitions to be a family man, that's not the sort of thing that translates into day-to-day real world behavior. Indeed, to the extent that this ambition creeps onto the scene in influencing my actions, it's more of a buzzkiller than anything else.
To conclude, I really need to loosen up and have some fun. Probably that means setting some boundaries for myself, figuring out a more reasonable goal to reach for. Is there anything wrong with just having a good time? And isn't it through simple acts of openness and joy that greater truths and possibilities are uncovered? This is what my experience tells me, and what my written beliefs profess. My habits of action are currently misaligned; have been for some time.
The question is how to let go lightly, forget the cheek-twitching stressors and let myself be once again swept up in the truth and beauty all around. Good question.