“Decide what to be and go be it”

My musical obsession of late has been The Avett Brothers and particularly their song Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise and of course the lyrics, Decide what to be and go be it.

So, I’m deciding what to be.

I am a runner: It keeps nagging at me, this running thing. It was a minor addiction for a few years in 2002-2005 and forgotten. A few 5Ks were run and then I just stopped. But I’ve been running now. I’m following a plan and being strict. No starting over, just picking up where I left off if I miss a few days. I figure I can walk 3300 miles, up and down mountains with 30lbs on my back, I can run for 30 minutes at a time. Heck, I know I can pump out a 30 mile day if necessary, walking, I can surely find it in me to run 13.1 or 26.2.

I am an artist: I am an artist in whatever sense I want it to be. I create things via pastels, pencils and paint as well as through fiber or through a piece of digital equipment to document life and maybe via pen and ink—errr a keyboard and Open Office. I create and I love doing it. There’s no reason to bound myself to a particular theme or media, I can do it all if I want. Sure, I want to excel in at least one of them, but I can play outside the boundaries. I don’t need to sell my work (though I surely do want to! Hey, Wildscape Photo!) but I can enjoy it and do it anyway regardless of a sale. Perhaps I’ll have a modest collection of work one day that when I am long gone someone will realize is of interest and get it shown to the world—or not. Maybe I’ll do it myself.

I am a biologist/naturalist/avid learner: I was running with a co-worker the other day and she mentioned one of her life goals was to be a better biologist and eventually call herself a naturalist. She wanted to know about everything, be able to answer the question to “what is it?” when asked. I totally agree! I want to know what dragonflies are what, which eggs lining the leaves are what, and which birds make what call. I just want to know. We, as a general population, live so far from our natural surroundings that we’ve tuned out the natural phenology of life. That’s why I am doing this wildflower project. To know.

I am an adventurer: with a big side of homebody. I want to go and do but I also love my quiet days spent baking, creating, gardening, piddling and watching the day go by as the light changes throughout the house (or wherever I am living at moment—still a vagabond now!). But, having this taste of hiking and adventure, I want more. And yet I want stability. I’m trying to figure both of these out right now, in my head. Any future children will definitely need to be born with the adventure gene because there will be carrying babies on backs and camping adventures with wee ones. I want to explore the area I live in, and even though we lived in Florida for so long we only touched a small percentage of it. Texas is even bigger! There are chances for adventure in your own backyard (thinking on this as a topic for a blog series) and most people don’t even know about them. And people can’t even appreciate the National Parks with underfunding and other mires.

I am a vegetarian: but I do love meat. Originally I was going to be a temporary vegetarian starting this last May through whenever I finished working here in Beaumont. But, it isn’t that hard to be a vegetarian. Sure, I find myself seeming to contradict myself to strangers when I say “Mm, I love pepperoni” or “Oh, calamari is so good!” because all they know is that I am a vegetarian. But nearly 31 years of eating meat is still around. Trust me, I still salivate when I smell barbeque or burgers. And people talking of pork in Cuban food…mmm it makes me want to go for a TropiChop, but I don’t need it. I’ve realized that a lot of the weird worries about protein and stuff just haven’t seemed to be of an issue. And so I was about to give up being a vegetarian, letting my experiment lapse, but then I read this article on humane meat and decided to keep on keeping on being a vegetarian. Plus, there are tons of great vegetarian recipes I’ve been wanting to try out and I’ve been lacking a kitchen for 2.5 months, so I need to get in the kitchen and start cooking! I gave up shrimp in college and haven’t looked back (with the exception of one or two minor lapses in judgement) so this whole no-meat thing isn’t too difficult. (I should also admit that I did have fish one night. Chris was cooking up all the fish he’d caught for everyone and I had a small piece. It was delicious and I would probably allow myself to eat fish Chris caught in the future.) Of course I reserve the right to reverse this in the future, but I’ll stick with it for now!

There are many other things I want to be, like being a portrait photographer. That one is itching at me so bad but I feel like a series of hurdles are in the way of this one. However, that shouldn’t stop me. I can still take portraits of people even if I am not making money off of my efforts. I’ve been dreaming of dress up type sessions, like mini-modeling sessions where people can be who they want to be, maybe digging through thrift stores to come up with a persona. I’m particularly interested in the atypical portrait photographer right now, and while I enjoy the typical children and family photography out there, I want to do something different. I’m not sure how to accomplish this but I think I will one day add this to my I am list.

I’m a work in progress.


  • Sara

    Misti! This is my favorite of FAVORITES! How can anyone really decide ONE thing to focus on… If everything is such an enticing part of life! This is what makes you special!!! You love it all. Well, maybe I’m just so enthusiastic because you love all of the things I love. But your amazing affluence for THINGS… Whatever they may be… or LIFE in general, INSPIRES me. 🙂

  • chel

    Oh, I LOVE this post! I have been thinking so much of the same thing- how the way I *am* is so truly different from the stories I have either told myself or have been told to me my entire life. It just sunk in this year that I *am* an athlete- I may have some health stuff to deal with, but I kick some serious butt in the pool and my four miles a day earns me that title, free and clear! And I *am* a gardener- a brand new one, and not a very good one, but my dedication and the year spent outside doing the dirty work and paying attention to all the lessons along the way gives me permission to claim that title, too. The person I am is truly different than the person I *think* I am. LOVE this post so much! We all should make these lists!

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