Thursday, July 11, 2013


It's entirely to easy to get fixated on some thing, a topic, an idea and then tend to let everything else in
our lives fade into the background without focus or attention. We all tend to do this to some extent. I believe it is in someway innate to human nature. Some times it may be completely healthy, for instance, when we use this high powered perception and focus to drive us to learn and educate ourselves about something previously unknown or not understood in our frame of reference or scope of experience. Each person, as they pursue their own education in life, tend to specialize in what ever they find themselves suited for, have an aptitude in, or interest about,  for many and all myriad different reasons. In other instances and circumstances, I think it can be unhealthy or at least not life giving in the long term.

I am all too familiar with fascination, fixation and scrutiny of different concepts to the exclusion of all others. My life has been rather a testament and temple to this type of behaviour. I cannot say that it has always been healthy. Perhaps the study and absorption with the topic at hand has not been ill intended in itself, but rather the the negative part is the exclusion of other things that hold, if not least the same import, possibly even more importance and urgency than whatever or whomever has captured my attention currently. (I am not good at communicating with brevity and clarity yet. My brain needs and editor)

In short, I feel that my personal education in this life, as best outlined and described by my personal talents, aptitudes and abilities, has been ill served by these last years of wandering and milling about seeing never quite farther than the tip of my own nose and  edge of my mind. While I am not defined by what has happened to me or the choices I have made in my past, in many ways, those circumstances, life events, choices and personal decisions have certainly helped shape and create the person that I am this day. I am not a person who lives with or tolerates regret in any fashion but even a cursory examination of my past shows me in detail other paths and choices that would have resulted in a rather far different present than the one I currently inhabit.

Call it a moment of clarity if you will, but considering the fact that I have yet to find anything in life that I cannot learn or do when I put my mind to the task (not that I find anything and everything interesting) I feel that there have been innumerable days and years wasted in the furthering of my own curiosity about ephemera and non-consequential ideas than have been applied diligently and brought to bear in wresting some type of meaning or contribution to myself and others. While I do not bemoan this fact, it certainly gives me a bit of pause.

For instance, the career and employment that I currently am working on is based purely on a whim. I was not surprised to find I have a natural skill and talent for cooking and culinary presentation, but never really in my life past did I give serious consideration towards becoming a Chef in my own right. Beyond idle speculation and cursory examination of the skills and education needed, I can't say it ever really crossed my mind. (I did look at some Culinary schools online, if that counts? In fact, I even visited one!) I do enjoy cooking and it is something that I spent time learning on my own (namely from books and practicing at home and on my friends and family) but it is not something that I picked intentionally for any plausible reason besides passing interest. While that may sound earth shattering or bewildering to some, I am okay with this fact, and am pretty sure that many people in this life find themselves in careers in a rather similar haphazard and random fashion. (Or maybe they don't and I am just crazy.)

In looking back at all the different fields I have worked in, from Submarine Navigation in the Navy to Investment Trading with Massachusetts Financial Service to Polymer and Pigmentation Chemistry with Valspar, I have yet to see any rhyme or reason to what I picked next. I simply saw something interesting, wondered if I could do it, found that I could and when I grew bored or idle with the inanity of it all (barring contracts of course) I simply went to the next thing that caught my interest and eye. I have never been one to be motivated by money either, though it always tends to follow success in its own fashion. If I was driven by the desire for accumulation and spending of money there is nothing in my life that would make any sense at all to the most liberal of accountants. That being said, I do not live with debt and have always been a saver. I spend when I choose and the saving and making is what makes that possible. People who love with and court debt still have yet to learn this. Maybe I benefited from having parents from a different era and style of life, but that is another blog post in and of itself. (Cliffs: Make money. Save money. Do not spend what you do not have. Do not spend other people's money. Profit.)

Some days, namely this moment, I find myself wondering what my life would look like presently if I had had some type of direction or sense of purpose from an early age besides wanting to see the whole of this earth and learn everything I could possibly get my mind around? What am I going to do next? What next whim or interest will take grasp of my and hold me enthralled till the next wind of interest and fancy grasps at my mind? What would it look like if I actually sat down and planned the next step? While that would be completely out of character with the manner in which I have lived to date, I wonder if I could, and if I did...what would that look like?

Surely I am not the only one who thinks like this on occasion. What next?

That is all for now. Once again, I am left with more questions than answers, but I am at least thankful for the questions. They are at least a starting point.



  1. I think what you're describing is a sense of spontaneity that governs the direction of your life. While I understand that locking yourself into one mode of living is always risky (after all, moderation in all things, including spontaneity), I have never once heard of anyone who on their deathbed complained, "I wish I'd been less spontaneous." Rather, we see plenty of people who are locked into career tracks they resent but don't know how to get out of, because the kinds of focused, intentional paths you wish for often bring with them commitments and investments which make it difficult to walk away when your mood changes.

    I'm not saying you're wrong to want to set a goal and choose a path and follow it intentionally; I just think you should also know what a rare (and by many accounts, enviable) life you lead. Don't undervalue your freedom by reducing it to whimsy.

  2. I echo Heath's comments above, but I also wonder if - at the same time - what you are possibly beginning to wrestle with is a sense of purposefulness and meaning in your life. Developmentally speaking, this sounds an awful lot like Erikson's stage of generativity vs. stagnation. If that's so, then you are (unsurprisingly and as usual) just slightly ahead of the proverbial game, as this stage is often not encountered until later adulthood. Also if that's so, I imagine it would be good to do some very simple, practical things: take account of what's important to you, take account of what your values are, take account of what you'd like your legacy to be. Perhaps even write these things down, evaluate them, prioritize them. Since it sounds like you're just thinking, I'd keep it in that realm (i.e., rather than moving prematurely into action, continue to ponder, but ponder with some direction and purpose as to what potential future opportunities are available to you).

  3. Woah, this resonated so much I am pretty sure I will go to sleep thinking about it. Apart from being exceptionally well written, it applies to much to own life its scary