Doing what you want to do, not what you have to do

posted by Jeff | Saturday, June 1, 2013, 11:38 PM | comments: 0

Diana and I were having an intense discussion today about what we want to do, in the broad sense of work, location and life. It was an eye-opening conversation with so many choices, that we're a little overwhelmed. There was also a very different tone to it all that we're not used to, in that we're not talking about what we have to do.

It's hard for me to say if this is the result of circumstance. A lot of people are still struggling (my generation in particular, apparently), and there's no question that they do what they have to. Consider also that not everyone has the personality, skills or intelligence to cure cancer, and you get into those huge, impossible to reconcile conversations about happiness and success and what those things really are. To that end, I can't say that I'm giving advice, or that what I'm describing can work for everyone.

While I would like to think that I have largely arrived in my circumstance by my own doing, I still wonder if there were times in my life where I was just doing what I had to do, because it was the only option. Or maybe I'm really asking myself if I had a choice to do what I wanted to do.

Why worry about the past in that way? Mostly because your experiences in life are a treasure chest from which you can draw from to make better decisions going forward. I happen to feel like I'm reaching an unprecedented time in my life where I can choose to do what I want, to write the story as I see fit. It's an extraordinary and freeing feeling that I don't think I've ever had before. Twenty years ago I feared that the world would beat me into submission and I'd limp along and do what I had to do by now, but it turns out that I'm doing exactly the opposite.

I'm not sure if I've ever feared limitless possibility, in part because I've never been open to the idea that it truly exists. I've certainly given it lip service, but I don't think I've ever believed that it was something that could apply to me. It's like the goofy intro to philosophy class a lot of people suffer through in college, where the professor asks you if he is really there standing in front of you. As absurd as that sounds, the point he was making is that perspective colors your perception.

I don't know where I'm going with this, other than to say that I chose to start doing what I wanted to do around the holidays, and it is making all the difference in my life. I don't have the slightest idea how this year will end, but the possibilities are so exciting that I could pee my pants. I don't think I've been that excited since graduating from college.


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