Note To Self

by Chris de Serres


Chill the fuck out.

I work at a college.  September is a monster for anyone working in education.  It is where students converge like sharks on a bleeding sea lion.  I am bleeding.

So I stop every so often and close my eyes.  Then I take three deep breathes.  This is the month where I always regain my interest in meditation.  I’m just trying to stay afloat.  October is that far off light I see down the tunnel of hell.

This is always the month where I start searching for other places to live.  This morning I found New Zealand.  I hear it is alot like the Pacific Northwest.  Dry summers.  Wet, temperate winters.  It has mountains and beaches and nature everywhere.

I wonder how can I get to New Zealand.  Maybe I can be a teacher or a mountain guide.  I would love to see my daughter running around on one of those beaches.  Kiwis are so laid back.  Almost anyone is more laid back than us Americans.  I imagine being in a place where they work to live rather than vice versa.

Yet, no one I know moves to New Zealand.  No one moves to exotic and exciting places.  We all simply move to a new job.  Why can’t we move to a new adventure?

I hate comfort.  It contains us.  It makes us doubt our capacity to take risk.  To try something new.  We have little faith in our ability to adapt.  We accept the status quo out of guilt that we will be uprooting our families and subjecting them to hardship.  That’s what we see.

None of this is true in the way that we believe it.  We worry too much.  Our gods are different from the Aussies, Kiwis, Germans, and many others.  Our god is work, comfort, and repeat.

We believe that everything that we have in America is everything that we’ll ever need in life.  It’s our exceptionalism.  It’s why we know so little.  We speak only one language.  Why we don’t travel.  Before we know it, life goes zinging by.

New Zealand is exceptional.  I know.  I see thousands of pictures on the internet.  I dream about it.  I see myself there sometime.  Especially in September.