One of the biggest struggles I’ve wrestled with during my life, is my “default state”. By that I mean the actions that I take when I’m not immediately engaged in some specific activity. For example, what do you do when you get home from work?
Do you continue that project you started last night…? Or do you leave it on the coffee table? Since, you know, you’ll get to it later.
Do you immediately try to better yourself with a book or class? Or do you futz around on the internet because you haven’t seen what’s new on Facebook in almost 30 minutes.
Do you jump back into that painting, writing those prose, or designing that app? Or do you turn on Netflix and avoid reality. Because really. Who doesn’t need to shotgun the entire series of Fraisier. Again.
Like most people, I have dreams, goals, and aspirations. But it’s amazing how quickly those go the wayside when there’s a TV show, shopping, social media, a restaurant, or a video game. Don’t get me wrong, the social aspect of many of these actions can be rewarding in its own right, but jeez… And this might be where I’m alone. At the end of the day where I haven’t created something? I feel hollow.
I’m fairly certain that this is why I enjoy projects and hence, why I end up cooking so often. After all, cooking in itself is a pint-sized project. It’s got a fairly specific timeline and the end goal is most certainly enjoyable, if not able to be shared with as many or few individuals as you see fit. So cooking does fill that cavern inside me, if just a bit.
The problem with cooking however, is that I don’t ever have a goal of becoming a chef. And while I’m not suggesting that cooking should only be undertaken by those aspiring to culinary excellence. I’m realizing that it’s important for me to observe that it does little to help me actualize my greater dreams, goals, and aspirations.
It’s time for me to look at what I want to accomplish. I need to look at what I’ve been telling myself from, gosh… the past 15+ years of my life and decide whether I need to let the red balloon go, or act, and make them a reality. At 31 It’s past time for me to look at, prioritize, plan, and let go.
When I was 20-21, I was talking with a friend of mine outside of my on-campus college apartment one night. We stood outside, for some reason. No idea why. It was cold, and we were only lit by the lights coming through the window from my apartment and the buzzing halogen lamps of building and street lamps. Like most college-aged youth we talked and talked about life, politics, relationships.
Conversation flowed until I said something akin to the following, “You know, it seems to me that there are two kind of people in this world. Creators and Consumers.”
This statement seemed to land like a lead balloon. I think I remember back-pedaling and my friend telling me that the statement was terrible, life’s not so black and white.
The thing is. The more I think about that statement, the more I think it’s true. There are creators, contributors to society. And there are consumers in society. I’m the first to admit that it’s not as black and white as my friend insisted I was making it out to be, but I do think it’s a fair assessment to state that in the gray murk of life, people tend to lean in one direction or the other. To me, at least, the pressure of underperforming according to my own wants and needs is too great psychologically to ignore.
I have dreams, goals, and aspirations. And I’m tired of that unaccomplished, hollow feeling. Instead, I choose to be a creator.