One of my favorite bloggers is Hugh MacLeod at The GapingVoid Blog. I like his cartoons, and I admire the way he approaches his life. He has the passion of an artist, and that alone makes him worthy of celebrating.
I actually hope to meet him in 2008 if he comes back to South By Southwest in Austin this March. The guy just seems genuine. Cool. Real. Someone I would enjoy listening to over a beer.
But he has a post today with the below cartoon that flies in the face of my current quest. I am not saying he is wrong in how he feels (hell, maybe I am wrong....I have been wrong before!), I am just stating that when I read the post I was pained by how opposite the message is to my desire to re-ignite the passion and desire for life's harvest.
I was thinking today about how, after a decade or two working for a living, one reaches what I call the "Post-Dreaming Reality".
Every kid wants to be a rock star one day, in whatever industry she chooses to call her own.
One day I'll be a filmmaker!
One day I'll be a famous artist! One day I'll be a CEO! One day I'll be a Creative Director! One day I'll be a Venture Capitalist! And so forth.
Then you get to a certain age and you realize that the time for "One Day" is over. You're either doing it, or you're not. And if you're not, a feeling of bitter disappointment starts hitting you deep into the marrow. Which explains why we all know so many people in their 30s and 40s having mid-life crisis'.
The other day, someone fifteen years younger than me asked me what I wanted to be "One Day".
I answered, "Doing exactly what I'm doing now, just with more money. And if the money doesn't come, well, that's a shame, but it's not the end of the world, either."
No more dreaming of "One Day". I am here and now. This is it. I can highly recommend it. But I had to kill a lot of dreams, a lot of beautiful dreams, in order to get there.
My personal quest is just the opposite. I miss the lust for life that I had twenty years ago. I crave the joy that comes from the dreams and goals of a wide-eyed post adolescent who believes the world is an oyster full of pearls. When I just knew in my heart that I could have it all.
Sure, life disappoints. Paying the mortgage, raising kids, career pressures, etc... all jade us to some degree. But do they have to dull our soul? Why can't I live with the reality and keep my dreams alive?
Why does one have to accept "reality" if that reality is not all it could be? The greatest part of being human is that we can change the course of our lives and create a new script for our future.
Now, MacLeod is not me. I believe he is content with where he is, and I am not faulting his peace in being in the present. I admire it. I think that we all long for that acceptance of self. I am just not there. I cannot make peace with my today. I want more from life....I want to feel that way I did in college when everyday was a party.
Don't misunderstand, I am happy with what I have achieved. I have a loving family, a job with a truly entrepreneurial company that makes me want to contribute to the success of the whole, two books that continue to sell (with two more coming out in 2008), and a career as a professional speaker. It is a good life. And I am grateful to God and content with all the blessings that surround me today.
But I have a tugging inside of me that pushes me to keep going and dreaming. I do not think I have reached the place in my life where I can rest. I have upwards of 50 more years to live (I am not yet half way done if you use my father, who is 93, as a gauge), and I want those eighteen thousand (plus) days to be filled with passion for life and discovery. For that I need to dream of what I will be "one day".
Have A Great Day.
****The Celebrate Passion Project on "The Some Assembly Required Blog" will run all month in December 2007. Every post this month will touch on honoring people who have a special spark for life or helping others (and me!) to discover ways to re-ignite our internal passions for our world.
I challenge other bloggers who read this to dedicate one day in December on their blog to "The Celebrate Passion Project", and in their own way praise those they encounter who have a special way of expressing the excitement in their soul. And then encourage your readers to do the same!