I’m nearing the end of this leg of the journey. Every day I realize just how much closer I am and how much more I’d like to experience. I remind myself I intend to return and this is but a new beginning and thus, I probably shouldn’t worry too much about crossing everything off my list so quickly.
Regardless of where I find myself in the moment, I’m standing before windows of opportunity. Equally, I feel like in as much possibility as there is in front of me, there are huge bouts of anxiety. I’ve always been a bit of a nervous wreck, I don’t know where it started but in this case I know it’s because I want a plan, I want an idea of where I’m headed so I can steer the damn ship. I know for some people this becomes especially prominent when they realize they’re nearing 30. I’m thankful to say that every year I’m excited to get one year older and so culture has not made me feel behind in that regard. On the other hand, I actually feel like in the race against myself I’m dragging my heels of potential, because I know I can do and be more. Some would say I’m a little hard on myself but being hard on myself never produced much in the way of results it’s more of a stumbling block. On the other hand I can see that I have accomplished a great deal to be proud of at this age and despite the bumps in the road I’ve done well and I like where I’m headed even though I’m scared witless. I desperately want a goal and I want to begin to walk where I belong and to press on through where I feel like I’m lacking into the best version of myself.
So instead of having it all figured out I thought it worthwhile to somehow write down what I feel is important going forward. All these ideas for the future and no real plan take their toll, especially when you don’t know how long the season ahead will be and what to pack in your suitcase. So if I look back over the last 28 years there are a few things that I know keep me going. For some, these things don’t equate to a job but I don’t care, if I know myself, I know these are requirements for my future. I believe strongly that passionate people are world changers and I’d rather believe that all things are possible and fail trying, than sit in another cubicle (even though I know I might need to suffer through another stint to get where I’m going.)
Also worth being said is that I’m realizing the value of experience. I’m beginning to see that jobs should be an amalgam of experiences not just a means to produce a paycheque and giving you two weeks in a year with which to finally realize the things that get you up in the morning. I was talking to Jenn about this one job and how if I just saw it as a dead end, then a dead end it would be. But if, on the other hand, I looked at the same job as an opportunity to learn and to be in an immersion of sorts, I could gain great things. I digress…
So the few things I believe that are most important for my happiness, success and fulfillment are to create, discover and share with people.
Creating and discovering for me are life giving. Whenever I’m involved in the act of creating or discovering I feel enriched which is how I ended up discovering how to make soap, making butter when I ran out, working on the edible garden, creating photographs, interior spaces, meals or trying to figure out life as an entrepreneur. All of these are so essential to who I am and I think I would feel fractured without finding a way to work this vital element in.
Sharing with people was the other side of things. Having worked in the public and having lived in community twice in my life I can honestly say that people scare me. Yep, they scare me. I say this only because we’re all so complicated BUT I know it’s because we’re all a little bit broken, a little bit lost and needing a hand, myself included. They have been some of the most hard and fulfilling times because you must struggle together until resolve eventually comes. My homeroom teacher in highschool after the last day of grade 12 said, “whatever you do, I know it’ll have to involve people or you won’t be happy” She was right. As messy as we are there’s something in me that needs and wants to be a part of helping others find what brings them life too. I want to extend, to love and to care for others in some measure, whatever that looks like. It’s probably part of why I love inviting friends over for dinner and my door has forever been open, it’s something I can do and it shows care through giving someone something they need, food and we all get to spend time together.
These elements have been threaded through my time in France. I knew it was a time of discovery for me, a time to slow down, to take a good look and try and figure out how it all comes together. I’m not really all the way there yet but I’m starting to feel better about the process. Admittedly, I’ve always struggled with the very fact that from year to year I can’t seem to find any one thing that “does it” for me. My uncle used to ask every time he saw me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I know I always gave a different answer, something he reminded me of once and I was completely embarrassed about. I was just a kid, so it wasn’t a big deal, but I’m still the same person at 28, unsure of what I want to be. I still can’t see myself in a conventional job, working regular hours. Nan used to comment on it in her own way and I pretended I didn’t think it wasn’t true, I knew it was, but it’s unpopular to admit if you can’t even make sense of it, let alone a conventional thinker… So I struggle from time to time with my identity as someone who’s a creative, always striving to move forward in a world that just wasn’t quite made for someone like me. I have to carve a path, and unlike other creatives, I’m not satisfied with living on scraps, I want to succeed because I know it’s possible. I don’t need all of the finest things, but I don’t think I need to be living on bare minimum either. This life will not be one without challenges as I try and discipline myself forward in ways that cause me to grow and to sustain this kind of life but ultimately lead me to bigger, better things and more fulfillment. So as I move forward, help me to remember these things so I don’t settle, so I don’t get caught in the net. As unpopular as this may be, as dreamlike as it may be, I think it’s where I need to be.