22 November 2011

FTX + The Price of Greatness

Amazons from Xena: Warrior princess. Pic from here.
“There is no place or companion in the world, then or now, for a woman of implacable will and focus who will not compromise or yield in her determination to pursue her vocation.” – Athena Andreadis

We got back from our week intensive of field training. We all smelled pretty ripe—it was most noticeable once I got in my car at the end of it all, turning on my cell phone for the first time in what felt like forever, and then got a huge whiff of damp, mold, dirt, CLP, and metal and promptly thought to myself, “Holy crap…that’s me”—but it was definitely worth it. I love being in the field, even if “the field” is currently more mounted (on vehicles) than dismounted (running around the woods) operations, not to mention the focus on urban environments. Regardless, it was a lot of fun, and naturally I learned a lot (and remembered a lot of what I’m supposed to already know).

Anywho, that’s where I’ve been for the past seven days, and now we’re approaching another long weekend, which will officially begin for me tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, one side effect of playing in the field for a while with minimal sleep, irregular mealtimes, and high stress/energy activities is reduced immune system efficacy, of which I am currently feeling the full force. I love being in the field, but I hate being sick, and the two usually coincide for me. At least I’ll have the weekend to recover and visit with some more family & a few new friends who may or may not be accompanying me for Thanksgiving dinner at my Uncle’s place. With or without their presence, it will be a good time with good food and lots of wine. What more could I want?

Well, I want to make sense of some recent revelations, for starters. And this brings me to the quote at the top of this entry.

People are funny creatures with funny habits. I’ve encountered so many analogies over the years for human social interactions and patterns that I can hardly keep them straight anymore. We’re supposedly pack animals, and therefore function better when we understand our place within the hierarchy of our pack. I happen to like wolves, and one of my totems is the Wolf, so to an extent that analogy resonates with me. Alpha males and females, leaders, followers, lone wolves. You find all these roles played out in both canine and human interactions. However, human hierarchy is far more complex than the dynamics of any wolf pack, and often the individual and group relationships are far less loyal among humankind. (Not to say that wolf pack dynamics are at all simple; rather, I am merely emphasizing the complexity of human group dynamics.) As I could expound upon this a great deal more than a paragraph, I will save the rest of my musings on this specific aspect of my point—which I’ll get to eventually—for a later date.

Another animal comparison I’ve heard (occasionally) equated with humans is the concept of mating for life. It’s understood in the natural world that some creatures, for whatever reason particular to their species, will mate for life. Squid, owls, penguins. Like the pack-animal comparison, it could be said that some human beings mate for life, albeit under more complicated circumstances. Love at first sight, true love, soul mates. All of these instances could be characterized as a type of lifelong mating, a knowing of one soul recognizing its counterpart in another, however long that recognition may take. Obviously, not everyone finds this. The list that comes to mind of failed relationships (not to mention skyrocketing divorce rates) attests to the rarity of mate-for-life occurrences in human encounters, but I also know that it does in fact happen. I know my parents are soul mates if ever a pair of lovers were. I know other couples in my family tree who clearly represent that kind of love as well. My brother will likely one day find such a love.

I’m also pretty sure I won’t.

The one person I’ve met thus far in my journey—short as 23 years may be—who I’ve felt any glimmer of recognition for, happens to live on the other side of the world. He’s a person of talent, vision, intelligence, and dedication such as I’ve never met in anyone else. He’s easily the most amazing person I know, but all the things about him that make him amazing are all the things that keep us apart.

For relationships to work, there has to be compromise. One person has to be willing to sacrifice their goals and dreams for the sake of the other’s. I could never do that. I could never give up what I do because it’s a part of me. I am my Work. I am my Beliefs. I am my Art, my Music, my Words. I am Bellatrix, Anden, Amazon. I could never change who I am or give up myself to align my path with another’s. I could likewise never ask anyone to do the same for me, and even worse, I could never love anyone who would be willing to do so. The only way I could find love is if someone else's preexisting goals and dreams happened to perfectly align with mine, no compromise or sacrifice necessary. That, my friends, is an impossibility. These recent revelations of mine coincided with my reading of Athena’s post on her awesome blog (Astrogator’s Logs) that discussed great women of talent and their inevitable loneliness. She's much smarter than I am, and so she explains it much better than I can.

Men of vision, talent, and drive can find love. For whatever reason, biologically or socially-induced, women will flock around them. In contrast, women of vision, talent, and drive often end up alone. Not necessarily for lack of suitors, but for lack of partners. As a whole society is unprepared to deal with them. And you know what? If loneliness is the price I must pay to accomplish my goals, so be it. If I am to be the person I want to be, then I will gladly pay that price. After all, one of my matron goddesses is a Virgin Huntress.

I am not even close to being who I should be, to living up to my dreams and goals. But I’ll get there.

One day, I promise. I will get there.

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