– To operate or be applied repeatedly, as a linguistic rule or mathematical formula (Dictionary.com)
– Perform or utter repeatedly. Make repeated use of a mathematical or computational procedure, applying it each time to the result of the previous application; perform iteration. (Oxford American Dictionary)
Each day is a blank slate. And I really mean that: my days have no set-in-stone structure. I commit to engagements, have meetings, attend events, etc.–but even those things are at my discretion. My days are wide open.
“Every day is like a blank canvas
Carving my initials in the planet like I brand it
Hand picked to live this life we take for granted
I choose adventures each day. Usually small, not-adventures-to-anyone-but-me adventures. This adventuring is one of the benefits of my current freelancer/grad student/wanderer lifestyle.
Despite these blank slate, daily adventures, I feel like I’m static and moving nowhere in an impossibly repetitive way.
Smiling through the trouble we face, trying to manage
my way without pumping my brakes and staying stagnant
Feeling like I’m checking out a game from the sideline
I got to try different things in these trying times
As I search for and grow meaningful work and hone in on my thesis topic, I often feel like I’m approaching challenges in the same way I’ve always approached them. BLEGH. I am not innovative enough (for my own liking) in my problem-solving/solution-generating.
But this process of iterating is more than just going through the motions. I wonder if I could iterate upward–as though in each machination of iterating, I’d be building and moving up. To borrow from Oxford’s definition of iteration: “applying a procedure each time to the result of the previous application.”
An upward iteration–now that resembles growth.
Kendall Ruth talks about liminal space–a transitional period.
“Now the irony is, over the past several months – months wherein I’ve not been able to get anything off the ground other than various freelance writing/editing gigs, months where I’ve lost a lot of the normal things that give a person a sense of security and place – I have felt more in my skin on most days than ever before. Maybe that’s a result of Liminal space, “a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be.”
[You’ll better understand my post if you read his in full–his post was the inspiration for writing this. I’ll be here when you get back.]
I thought that when I quit my job and pursued grad school full-force that I was transitioning. That seems like a logical transition, right? But I’m not sure that was the case.
I think I’m transitioning now.
And this transition is neither tangible nor precise. Which is weird to me. It’s not even an actionable transition–it’s balancing, just so, on the precipice; I’m in the implausible space between forward momentum and hurdling off the cliff.
I’m spilling forward into flight.
Whole new blueprint, brand new layout
All my iterations have put me here. Now. My iterations were micro-adventures and work projects and brainstormings on notepads and endeavored ideas and final class papers and books & articles read and coffee shop conversations.
I think I might have a backlog of iterations.
So you can stop and refresh the rules
Breathe in, breathe out, let it heal all your exit wounds
Something inside said that’s the move
and made it today, I’ll restart fresh and new”*
These are some of the things I want to iterate while I move with my current transition/limen: I want to be involved in building a business. I want to rock out my thesis. I want to continue meeting people. I want to iterate myself again and again and again. I want all of this to look like upward iteration.
* Lyrics from The Roots “The Day” on the How I Got Over album. You can listen to the song here.
Image c/o TwilightFairy on Flickr