It’s how everything is one long chain of this moment, stretching and stretching and stretching. If you keep retreating after you fail at something… soon you’ll discover that you can only pull this moment so thin, like an elastic band pulled tight. You are taut and tense and uncomfortable with all the ideas bouncing around in your head that you don’t like. That clash with your view of the world. At the same time, you don’t want to put them out of your head, you don’t want to narrow the walls of your perspective, at the same time, you struggle to stay present and relaxed and loose and open.
Life’s filled with paradigm shifts. If it’s making you uncomfortable… and you still feel like this idea has merit… then you either retreat, to protect your fragile sense of identity… or you collapse the old structures. Again.
I keep wondering… when you’re going to figure it out, I keep wondering… when you’re going to decide enough is enough and stick to it with the heart, soul and passion of someone coming alive. Because, yes, I think you’re right, someone who is alive has no time to think about what other people think of them or their work.
I also found this quote, today, tucked away amidst some of my writing,
“Everyone who works with love and with intelligence finds in the very sincerity of his love for nature and art a kind of armour against the opinions of other people.”– attributed to Vincent Van Gogh
My friend wanted to know where I’d see myself in 10 years. I remember when I used to love asking this question. We had dinner together to celebrate his 26th. I sat next to the most gorgeous woman I’ve met in a while and she was absolutely delightful at conversation. I felt the joy of banter. Sheer innocence and fun.
The truth is that I don’t think my younger self imagined my present self to be here, but I don’t think she had given it much thought. At 25, I have. But I told him, to ask me in 10 years and I’d tell him what goals my 25 year old self had. Mostly, I didn’t want to commit to verbalising them because things can change and I admit I waffle often at life.
And as I came home, I wondered again, what were my goals? To build better daily habits? To make music… but to make art, not entertainment. I feel silly and sad for wanting this. I love being entertained… but I am not an entertainer. To being a better teacher? To commit more wholly and fully to the craft of music? To writing? To… being a better person? All of these things excite me. Along with a few others that are not career related in the slightest.
To reading more life-changing books. To learning some martial arts – kung fu to be precise. To learning to read in Chinese, to learning Spanish. To learning another instrument. To keep dancing, solo and with others, to keep feeling into the flow of life. To keep meditating, doing yoga every morning… grounding into the present moment. To learn how to skydive solo. To go scuba-diving. To fall in love with a different world. To trek a desert. To hike those gorgeous mountains in China. That’s what I want. To get more tattoos. To slip away for months on end, every now and then. And there’s more, that only my heart would confess.
It was good, that he asked that 10 year question… because naturally, the following question would be… and what are you doing to manifest these? Because as he told me his dream, I knew that he needed to be another person, to manifest it… and… I know, I’d also have to be a different person to manifest mine. I wondered… how to reply to him… I hope… No… I’m sure you’ll get there. A sheepish smile passed over his face for a moment and he said thanks.
Maybe I should’ve said, in 10 years I’d be trekking a desert… or climbing Huangshan Mountain. That makes me laugh. Maybe I’d be skydiving solo… or doing something else a little bit crazy.