Contact Me Here
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « Fat Grief | Main | Prescriptions For Disaster (part 2) »

    A New Rebel

            This is my third time in Burlington, Vermont. The first time I visited was over twenty years ago. My band in college, The Albino Skunks, traveled from Philadelphia in a rented Winnebago and did three shows in the northeast during a week off from Villanova. I suppose it was my first rock ‘n’ roll tour. It didn’t disappoint.
             This time, I’m here because I’m chasing a snow storm. Just like I did when I came up here with principessa in December of 2007. It was a more spontaneous decision this time around. I had to be in Boston, for business and pleasure, on Tuesday. When I heard that a storm was coming north, I packed my bags and threw them in the car before I left. While in the city, I went on the web and did some weather research, trying to determine who was going to get walloped the worst. Because that’s where I was headed. My instinct for snow is rivaled only by my passion for it.
             I’m certainly the only person at the Sheraton Burlington, and probably the only person in town, who’s here solely because it’s supposed to snow. My situation is therefore unique. But that’s usually the case. When anybody that I meet asks me what I’m doing up here, or anywhere else that I chase a storm, my answer often baffles them. “Are you a skier?”, they ask. I tell them “Yes, but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here because there’s going to be a storm and I want to be a part of it.” They usually reply “Oh!”, which is undoubtedly more polite than what they’re probably thinking.
             As I explained in my first post about my obsession with snow, Confessions Of A Blizzard Junkie, I just love to be where there’s a snow storm. But I realized something at exactly 6:34 this morning as I went down to the lobby to grab a coffee. My life is flexible enough that I can do this when I want to. That’s incredibly rare. That’s a unique situation. And it’s a metaphor for how I see myself. And of how I want to be seen.
             I like to think of myself as unique. As different. For better and worse, a rare specimen. And maybe I’m afraid that if my life were more “ordinary”, that if my life wasn’t such that I could take off and chase a storm, that I would cease to be so unique. That I would be less different. That I would be just like everybody else. And if that’s the case, then how much is the fear of being common keeping me from taking on more responsibility and more commitment? More of what everybody else seems to be doing.
             In a way, freedom has become somewhat of a prison. Just as the walls of responsibility and commitment can limit freedom, and could keep me from doing something I wanted to, the walls of freedom can limit my ability to commit and take on responsibility, and can prevent me from doing something I want to. A big exciting project, say, that involves lots of time but also limits my flexibility. And because I tend to polarize, it becomes an all or nothing type of deal. So I become unwilling to give up anything. But in reality, what I’m giving up is what I really want to do. I’m giving up that time consuming project that excites me. Which is a big something.
             My mercurial nature is a part of whatever boyish charm I possess. I’m afraid if I lose that, I lose a part of myself. Again, it’s a polarization. I look at it as a zero sum game. If I gain something (responsibility and commitment), I have to lose something (freedom). If I tackle the big project, I loose flexibility. If I become too much of an adult, I’ll lose my boyish charm.
             Being an extremist is how I made sense of the environment I grew up in. So little made any sense to me unless I put it in terms of good or bad, black or white, adult or child, saint or satan. I don’t have to do that anymore, but I still sometimes do. I know that way of looking at things doesn’t serve me anymore, and I’m changing it. But it’s a hard road.
             I’ve been blessed with opportunity and freedom, and I’ve therefore lead a very interesting life. Most of it I chose consciously, because I’ve practiced self-awareness for many years. I know I’m different, and I’ve chosen to express it. I’ve chosen to live it. But some of my choices to lead a different life have been unconscious reactions. They’ve been rebellions against not doing what everybody else was doing. The problem with rebellion is that the rebel doesn’t necessarily do what he wants to do. He just makes damn sure he doesn’t do what everyone else does.
             I’ve done a lot of work on myself around this issue. My heart has opened up and revealed much to me. So I’m in a different place now, and I’m negotiating my way around this exposed area. I’m trying to make the unconscious conscious and ask myself what exactly do I want. If I can create the type of life I really want, then I don’t have to frame it in terms of either/or. I can change the paradigm of the zero sum game. I can move the whole continuum to a new plane, to a new level of consciousness. I can change my old way of polarizing it. Then it doesn’t become a matter of freedom vs. commitment, or anything vs. anything. It simply becomes living the life I want and doing what makes me happy.
             I know, because of my nature, because of who I am, that my life is naturally and without pretension going to look very different from most people’s. It’s going to be somewhat lunatic fringe, because I’m somewhat lunatic fringe. But it’s also going to look similar to many people’s lives in some ways too. And that won’t be a bad thing to me anymore. I don’t have to judge that. I don’t have to make that mean that I’m just like everybody else. I don’t have to unconsciously rebel. I can just be me. One-hundred percent Clint. Every moment.
             In our society, being fully yourself is plenty rebellious enough. And what makes me truly me comes from the inside. It’s born within me and naturally manifests itself in the outside world if I simply honor it; if I live from that core place. I know how to do that. I don't do it every single moment, but it's what I aspire to. If I simply continue to do that, then my life will be unique. My life will remain unique. I will remain unique, because there’s no one like me.
             And ironically, that’s precisely what’s the same about each of us...

    ©2009 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a rebellious amount of Wrongs) Reserved.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>