Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Two Big and Simple Questions
Sometimes over the course of years and years of sameness, you might lose track of where the hell you're going. The days all blend together into a string of "I work today" and "I don't work today." Mondays are greeted with a groan and we start the race to Friday as soon as the week begins. What the hell are we doing with all those blurred days in between?
A couple weeks ago two different friends asked me 1) what is that one thing that you'd rather die than never do again and 2) when you're by yourself, at home, in the quiet, who are you really?
I've been keeping myself busy, surrounded by friends, and taking on fun hobbies in the process. I took swimming lessons through the summer months and in September, started learning to the play the guitar and how to plié in ballet class. I'm loving my classes and seeing the progress I've made week after week, but I also know these are forms of distraction. And that's okay. I understand that I need that right now and hopefully eventually an evening at home won't be met with loneliness as I look around my new apartment and think, "This place is too big and too empty just for me..."
But this past Friday, I hit pause on my YouTube binge-watching, grabbed a sheet of paper and some colorful markers, and asked myself those questions again. When I was asked the first one, my answer came immediately.
"Write," I told my friend. "I really think that's it for me and can't imagine never being able to write again. That's how I express myself above anything else."
As for the second question, here's the very short list that I came up with:
1. Travel the world.
2. Share (my) stories. [blog/memoir/articles]
3. Inspire and delight youth. [art/Porcupine Hugs/books]
4. Connect with others. [friendships/volunteering]
And that's it. I couldn't think of anything else that truly defined me and would fulfill me without being dependent on somebody else. I've even dreamt of a way tie all four points together, but that's for me to mull over for a bit longer.
Remember, this isn't a to do or a bucket list, but rather the basic essential things that make your life meaningful. The goal is to then have your time, energy, and the jobs and activities you take on feed into those things. Think of it as a compass of sorts; judge your actions and decisions based on whether or not it nurtures one of the points on this list. If it doesn't, that's still okay. No guilt-tripping. I think having a little guide to where you'd like to be heading is a good reminder to have, especially when you feel as if you're just grabbing at straws sometimes. At the very least it's starting to help me think a little deeper about my current ambitions and job pursuits.
What would your short list look like?