Random musings on a Monday

Life moves on in cycles: things that are important at one time, fade over time, and then other important things take over. Always new things come, not necessarily quickly or even noticeably, but as sure as anything, they do come.

Same goes for things that are hurtful, or confusing, or... anything, really. Life moves on. Time moves on.

For a time, a while ago, my passion was skydiving. I didn't do much, both for financial reasons and because of the timing of it, and I am not sure if my instructors and skydiving "buddies" even remember me, but for several years it drove me. 

I used to drive out to our dropzone each Friday (when the weather was okay and we were jumping, anyway) and I would then patiently wait, for weather, for empty loads, for gear. I would watch skydiving movies and listen to senior skydivers' stories - or anyone, really - and I would feel it fill my chest. 


At nighttime, I would dream about skydiving. 

So much of what I did back then was driven by skydiving and so much of what I learned over that time's to do with skydiving! Not just falling itself, but... people. Relationships between people.

There is something entirely fascinating about people that skydive, something I have never come across anywhere else before and doubt I will in the future, either. They just... I cannot even put my finger on it now, but there's some sort of a quirk about them - and not even always the same sort of quirk, either - something that makes me look at them, tilt my head, squint my eyes and sort of go, "Hmm, you're interesting..."

The thing that kept me in New Zealand, essentially, is skydiving: a skydiving company was willing to take me on as staff, and then to keep me on as staff, and to prove to Immigration New Zealand, on a yearly basis, that I am worth keeping in the country. That, in essence, kept in the country not only my husband, The Man, but also my baby, The Kid.

My whole family is in New Zealand because I had that driving passion - that passionate drive? - to find my way to get up in a plane and then to fall down from it.

Now I think back to it and I remember that spring season when I was supposed to spend my holiday in Motueka (even had money set aside for it), earning myself a B licence and the right to jump independently - and how I ended up spending that springs season vomiting instead because I was pregnant, instead.

...and how for a while, skydiving was still up there. I hadn't done it for a while, had started to dream about it less frequently, but how I hadn't forgotten about it - I was just, sort of, postponing it.

...and how then, one day, I found myself thinking that it had really been a long time since I had last thought about it.

...and how then, one day, I recognised myself thinking about it with less vigour, like it was somebody else's job/life to be getting passionate about skydiving.

...and how then, one day, I knew that sometime in the last few years, the time had passed. I had allowed myself to postpone something long enough that I had, essentially, missed the time of passion and had therefore lost a lot of the drive - and without the drive, I wasn't going to do skydiving any more. It is a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy to be putting into something without having that underlying push of... drive.

And just like skydiving, other parts of my life come and go like that.

It is one thing to allow myself the freedom to choose differently and to change and to postpone something because something else feels more important at the time - but I should not forget that along with time, so do passions change, and so does health, and many other things.

I will not be tomorrow what I am today, and I was not yesterday what I am, today.

***

The other day, The Man showed me a documentary called "The Ghost in our Genes" and it essentially says that gene markers which get switched on or off due to environmental changes (as opposed to stuff that's more permanent, ie whether you have an y chromosome or not - I am not a geneticist here, so I'm really quite stumbling for the right examples) can get passed along to children alongside those other, more "permanent" markers.

So, for example, if a mother was part of 9/11 in New York and her gene got switched on because of her cortisol levels, then her child would also get the marker in "ON" position, though the child itself didn't experience 9/11.

Say, my grandmother got some of her genes switched "ON" because she grew up in rural, soviet Russia and experienced stress - unless my mother then experienced a remarkably calm upbringing to switch those markers to "OFF" again, those markers could've stayed "ON" in my mother, and then in me. 

And many more examples like that.

To The Man, the idea seemed quite groundbreaking; to me, it seemed somewhat... intuitive. It's, like, nature's way of making sure that changes in the environment get passed along efficiently enough for species to be able to react to them and to, you know, survive.

***

For over a year now I have worked in a position where though it is not my singular/primary task, I am part of a reception team, so for over a year I have had the opportunity - alongside the rest of our team - to pick up the phone and say, "Good morning, [insert company name here], Maria speaking." 

It has given me an opportunity to see the relationship from the other, picking-up-phone side, and to work out my reactions/attitudes towards phone conversations in general.

And where it's been quite educating and fascinating is that I have learned to recognise a pattern of speech in the attitude of... salespeople.

I don't know, maybe it's not such a "Wow!" moment for you, but I had so far always been on the other, the making-a-call side, and it had never occurred to me that receptionists would be anything other than... accepting of me.

Let me try to explain.

I am well familiar with the feeling when I have been trying to track someone down or when I've been trying to speak to someone who is hard to reach, and I start feeling somewhat sheepish because I will be, say, calling and saying "Hello" and the receptionist recognises me from that single "Hello" because she's heard so much of me lately!

And I will then be, on my end, thinking, "Geesh, she must be so sick and tired of me..."

I had always thought that receptionists keep dealing with me simply because it's their job to do so and that they're only accepting of me, but nothing more - until I was in a situation of a receptionist myself and suddenly found that, hey!, dealing with people on the phone isn't actually that horrible.

And so I sometimes get salespeople call, with stuff that is genuinely worth it because it's better / cheaper / makes more sense than what we currently have, and I hear them talk to me in that sheepish voice, almost like they're about to apologise for calling at all, and it's been a real "Wow!" moment for me to receive those calls and to recognise that, holy bonkers, I can be in a role of a receptionist and I can actually like dealing with this stuff. That making a call doesn't necessarily feel on the other end like it's a burden that has to be tolerated, suffered.

***

Sorry, a few more things on my mind, but it's late and I gotta go make dinner, so... yeah.

6 comments:

  1. I used to be all 'yeah I'm gonna bungee jump'. Now, it's the last thing on earth I want to do. I wonder about things like maybe that's nature's way of preserving myself because I have other priorities like a husband and a son who need me much more than my wants right now.

    Just a wonder...

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    1. But is it actually weighing of the risk involved - or something else? Because I'm just thinking, driving a car (over the many hours) adds up to way more risk than what bungy jumping involves. In bungy there's that rather extreme feeling of stepping off the ledge and tumbling, but looking at it - big picture - it's not actually very risky towards your health and wellbeing, as long as you're doing it with a good, professional company. So I'm wondering: is it self-preservation or something else that's kicked in?
      PS. I've jumped six times.

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  2. You are not forgotten. Come on Mann! You are such a gem and hard to forget person anyway. Someone has even changed your new last name to the new manifest :)

    I've noticed the same thing in skydiving. Now I have been around long enough in the sport to actually witness the passion die out in some people who were really driven for a while. Sometimes it makes me sad and it makes me wonder - when will my passion for skydiving die out? I don't feel it going yet ... Mostly I feel annoyed and frustrated that I can't jump as much I want to. It isn't because of my little baby girl. Other factors ... I've also noticed that life goes in waves for most of us. Interests come and go. I hope I stick around skydiving for a bit longer. I have so much more to still learn!

    BTW - I started the whole deal when I was as old as you are now :) You never know when your interest will spark again and you find yourself at the DZ. You already have your eyes turned skyward.

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    1. Thanks girl =)

      If my life somehow blew up in some major way leaving me challenged and confused and frustrated, I'm fairly confident that I would turn back to skydiving - I would just make it a priority to get myself up there, time-wise, financially, emotionally, and I would just do it.

      Skydiving has that beautiful... quality of sorting out what's important from what's not important, so if I were puzzled along the lines of "What the hell am I doing with my life!?" then skydiving, I think, would just naturally fall back into my life. Sort of like back in 2008 it created so much understanding about my life and what I want and where I'm headed, it would do it again.

      It's very difficult to try and tell a skydiver how they should be living their life, because - I think - if a person has made space in their lives to skydive, they've probably also made space in their heads to dismiss a whole bunch of people as bossy a$$holes, so to me, skydiving is like a way of taking charge of my own life again.

      At the moment I feel like I am in charge of my life and I don't feel bossed around. Maybe that's why I'm not skydiving any more?

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  3. Anonymous5.2.14

    Langevarjuritesse on maru kerge armuda. Isegi kui nad on kaabakad. True story.

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