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My Year of Living Experimentally: Ch. 2

To review for anyone who missed my original post. I am taking a year to live in an experimental manner. The short version is that I am rethinking my life and how I want to live. No options are completely off the table, except my becoming a ballerina.

Since hair is an important part of my experiment, a recent change is pictured above. Lots of color went into this iteration, which I named “understated edgy.”

An unfortunate financial setback that involved the IRS, a family member, and my very last nerve has created a few unexpected hurdles. Taxes took precedence, and they were appeased appropriately. Kansas “tax cuts” cut deeply into my budget. Consequently, I am in search of some temporary day jobs to raise funds for some large bills due in a few months.

The good news is that my blog and my website are growing at the rate I had hoped. Momentum is building and I am pleased with that. Writing is something that really charges my batteries even though it does not pay my bills, at least not yet.

In the past few weeks, I have contacted a few friends in different states to interview them about what it’s like to live there. Prior to moving in Kansas, I lived in Washington state and loved it. My friend, Kathy, gave me some great resources to check out online. I would enjoy going back.

Other prospects include Arizona or New Mexico. I have known so many people who simply loved living or visiting there. The heat isn’t appealing, but dry heat is supposed to be different. I called an old buddy from college, a native Texan transplanted in Arizona: he was very encouraging. There are mountains within easy driving distance, if I feel the need to visit snow. A rich arts community and universities with doctoral programs sure make the southwest appealing.

I’m considering Austin, Texas. I’ve become too much of a Yankee to live anywhere else in my home state. My drawl is gone, although Texans would say that they are not the ones with the accent, I am. I talk like a Yankee, y’all. Austin is not where I grew up: the landscape is different in so many ways. But, I think I might enjoy living with Texan hippies.

Kansas is still in the running for where I shall live. It has the distinct disadvantage of my knowing way too much about it. I love Kansas, but there are some issues for which it needs some serious professional services… or, a new governor. I would be happy with new governor.

“The Kansas Experiment” has dismantled the state infrastructure, including public schools and the highway system. If I stay in Kansas, I will feel compelled to help rebuild it and that is going to be a large task. In the meantime, I am watching my state crumble. On the other hand, I do know where everything is.

The thought of just moving anywhere that provided employment in music is so appealing. Those kinds of jobs tend to pay about a dollar above minimum wage and are part-time. Seriously, if I could find a college that needed a flute instructor and would support my seeking a doctorate, I would move there.

The following experiments have been placed in the “successful” column. My limited funding stream allows me to live indoors, keep the lights on, and eat food. I am still in an annoying amount of personal growth. I love my hair.

Editing has become vital, both in writing and in my activities. Giving up good things creates concentrated efforts with best things. Many causes are excellent, but do not create excellence in me. Letting them go is bittersweet.

This year is not just one experiment, though. It is many. Some have failed and that is often disappointing and sometimes scary. But, knowledge of what does not work often leads to breakthroughs and I am counting on a least a few of those.