Dreams of a Different Life: Charlotte, Part 1

l stopped in Charlotte to visit an old friend and jam with some new ones, glad to leave the panhandlers of Asheville. I did not expect to find new visions of the life I want to lead.

I met Amy in college. My friendship with her is one of those rare ones, where our lives rush by in years at a time but we talk like we last spoke yesterday. My week with her passed rapidly, as I slipped in sideways to the everyday of her life.

On the surface, Amy is a dog walker and owner, and a rabid fan of Norman Reedus. In fact, you can find all the Reedus eye candy your sweet tooth can handle at her tumblr blog, here.

She lives alone in a fastidiously kept apartment. She has loyal friends, but other than the company of her dog and her family, she keeps mostly to herself.

Now, I am not Amy. I cannot speak for her inner life. But, from the outside looking in, I want what she has. She has cultivated a quiet, uncluttered life. She has an outstanding collection of music by singer-songwriters. She likes her work, and it affords her freedom and flexibility at the same time. She has a set of interesting hobbies into which she pours her creativity and intelligence. She is a deeply thoughtful, intelligent, and moral individual.

All that, I wish for myself. If this adventure has taught me anything thus far, it’s that I overcomplicate everything. I surround myself with superfluous things. I would have a new hobby every week if I could!

Yet the more belongings I shed, the more hobbies I resign from (no, I will never be a calligrapher), the less stress I feel. My head clears, and not so much so I can spend more time on myself, but so I have more mental resources to lavish on the people and world around me.

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Amy, walking her dog.

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