I know there are a whole list of things I want to accomplish with my time in this life. From a distance they seem clear. Make powerful imagery, solve problems through design, write a book, travel the world, live passionately, love my wife completely, be a good person. However, when I examine each of these closely, or try to break them into discrete steps - that clarity evaporates.
Shayla and I talk all the time about our goals and dreams. We analyze ourselves and our histories looking for clues to unlock our 'true calling' - some path which will guide us through all these things. Endlessly we turn the same factors over and over. We examine our views and presumptions from as many perspectives as possible in an unending quest for understanding.
In spite of all this analysis and self-examination, it still often feels as if concrete answers elude me. Staying just out of my reach. I can find the forest, I just can't find any of the trees.
Even if I do know many of the end goals, I often can't seem to find the component steps to achieve them. Combining this with an uncanny ability to be distracted is an excellent recipe for not getting anywhere.
In one sense, I am already well along my path. I have already found the love of my life and I recognize this with every waking breath. I have begun to travel in the past 5 years and have an exciting trip next year that I am planning, saving and preparing for right now. I am currently working quite a bit on one book project and I have the beginnings of 2 others sketched out. I have a job that I love, solving graphic design problems by the thousands. I sell prints of my designs and illustrations online, and all of the above plus the search for deeper meaning is the very essence of living it all with passion.
So what's the problem?
It's that in the day to day grind, the given moment of consideration when I ask myself "what should I be doing RIGHT NOW to make my dreams into reality?" there is that sickening silence. The dreaded malaise. The sweet temptation of countless nothings all lining up to waste my time. I know that I haven't finished my work in this life by an order of magnitude, but sometimes for the life of me I can't put my finger on a single task that would push that forward.
That's what this blog post is about today. It's about the conversation Shayla and I had through the night about what we wanted to do, to be, to have, to leave. It's about the conversation we had earlier today about what we REALLY should be doing - whether that is art, or writing, or consulting, or becoming a friggin lawyer. It's about the fact that dinner still has to be cooked and the dog still has to be walked, and twitter is calling my name, and Anthony Bourdain is in the Caribbean tonight, and, and, and.
Perhaps the answer is that there is no answer. That figuring any of it out doesn't really matter at all. Perhaps the answer is that life is too damn short and the point is to be doing what you love with the people you love RIGHT NOW and the rest will work itself out or can be ignored anyway.
I'm going to keep walking along my path even when I don't know where it leads.
Title borrowed from They Might Be Giants - "Dead"