The second you realize writing is one of the most important things n your life, and actually the main thing you’d like to do with it, the blank page gets a lot scarier.
It was much easier to hide behind this being a hobby and thinking my day job was my real raison d’etre.
But really, my day job is what gives me material and perspective. I still have a lot to learn.
After only a year in business, I”m pretty sure that it’s really not for me. Funny how I also had this feeling all throughout grad school. But when I asked myself the question, if not this, what else? I had a pretty blank response except something about teaching.
But what would I teach? that’s always been the baffling part. Maybe I will be a business professor someday, but ultimately I”m happy for this time I”m working on geting mastery in something and exposure to a whole new world. I have the best day job in the world. It definitely aligns with my purpose and has helped me to discover it more and more. Just because it may not be the ultimate vehicle doesn’t mean it’s bad in any way.
But the truth is, I have felt like what I am doing is a little empty. I enjoy succeeding and being a fly on the wall to observe everything. I”m learning a lot. But when I picture success, it’s not necesarily the corner office- or at least not that alone.
Success for me is having freedom in terms of both time and money. And mostly, just doing things I actually want to do with my life. SO the boring and difficult things feel like they are going towards something I really care about, in addition to paying the bills and providing a distraction outside of work.
I can’t be too tough on myself- another lesson from this year. Perfection is for amateurs playing video games- making mistakes is for warriors making life or death decisions. Life during my schooling was pretty easy in the sense that you just had to folow the rules exert a little bit of effort and pass go, hopefully winning a little medal or something. And everyone got a door prize. Now, I also feel like I”m in high schoool. To a large extent, I have greater autonomy than I did, but my time is very structured and while it is probably good for me at this point, I know that this is a skin I am growing out of. I haven’t learned all it has to teach me yet, and for the moment I like my job and it’s all quite bearable, but you know the way you boil a frog is by raising the temperature a little at a time. And despite my “bonne eleve,” type A tendencies, I have made some mistakes and failed to plan in a big way. I find it really hard to muster the discipline to order my life outside of work, and I feel like work really drains me.
Now I know work really drains everyone and adult life is hard, but I want something better for myself. Something a little lighter.
A little more woo woo and fluffy for some.
But once when I thought of success, I thought of a big beautiful house in the country, writing/teaching/researchin ga few hours per day, and spending the rest of the time in wonder, and with my family.
NoW I think maybe I”ll ahve that house in the country, or a big apartment in Paris waiting for me, but that lifewill involve many quests, many adventures. And the itchy feet will always lead me home.
But home is where the heart is. It is not always where my family is physically located.
It is France, though it is also being home home with my family for Christmas.
It is that guy that I may or may not have met yet, the person who really knows me and loves me and accepts me.
And maybe someday it will b the pitter patter of little feet, an extension of myself yet completely separate, completely their own personalities.
Maybe the point of the journey is not to get all that you always wanted at the end. The purpose is not even to help you set a goal- to to define exactly what you want, in minute detail, so you can make it a reality sheer force. Maybe it’s more about being open to all that life can bring.
Maybe it’s a love of life that transcends everything, just a giant, blanketing, pervasive love that goes beyond countries, religions, mountains, oceans, continents, languages, from philosophy to accounting and back again.
And beyond bestowing any skill or material resource, the fruit of the quest is the courage to just keep going, over and over, to keep scaling that hilltop to see the sun rise, to see the sun set. Knowing it will do the same tomorrow, and yet being grateful and amazed to see it one more time. To love this day, even though it will never come again.
Finally, we kill the buddha. We let go of the biggest of all illusions- that there is somewhere to get to, that we are ever anything other than cosmic children, swinging on stars. There is no where to get to. There is no where to go back to. There is no real forward or back, only now. And each now will have its blessings and sorrows. There will be moments of great triumph, there will be treasures found and unburied and taken home. But every ending is another beginning. And to ask for a new beginning, you must accept an ending.
So in the time that remains to us, though life is never really lost, living- with enough vulnerability to miss the sun when it sets at night and enough courage to venture out into the darkness to see the stars-is the power and the glory, from now till kingdom come.