It’s been really icy here in Chicago lately. I’ve spent quite a bit of time sliding along in shoes-as-skates trying not to fall. I was talking to my chiropractor, Dr. Johnson, today and he said “The best way to maintain your balance is to be dedicated to your direction.”
After a moment I said “You know, that’s actually a wonderful metaphor.” He told me he hadn’t thought of it that way–and he didn’t really seem to think that way even after I mentioned it. I think he deals more in the actual than the metaphor, which is probably a salutary thing for a doctor. I, however, am a poet, and a mathematician, and an artist, and all deal greatly with metaphor.
Many people ask me– especially now in my unemployed state, and at other times when I was looking to move into something new–“What do you want to do?” And, you know, I rarely can answer that question with a vocation or even a specific job. My 22 year old idealism is still active at 44, and I want to do interesting, creative, and challenging work, with interesting and creative people, that makes a positive contribution to people’s lives or the world.
That doesn’t narrow things down much, and, as you may remember from a few posts back, I don’t want to define myself by “not”s, either essentially or experientially. So obviously I was slipping around a lot on the icy option-laden surface my life, having a heck of a time trying to maintain some balance.
Last year, as my most recent vocational struggle was beginning, my friend David Rapier told me, “Backup plans are called backup plans because they may you back up.” So I detached the tether and I am now taking the time I need to sync with my internal compass, choose a direction–be it in process or destination–and move forward.