A few years back, I listened to Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception. The book is about not being afraid to do your “art,” with art being loosely defined as whatever you are passionate about. I’ve read a number of books and blog posts about this subject, and although something about them resonates with me, I’m always left with the same nagging question: what is my art? At forty-seven years old I still cannot define what it is that I am truly passionate about, what drives me to get up in the morning, what “art” I can give to the world.
I go into reading books like The Icarus Deception with the hope that I will finally figure what I want to be when I “grow up”. I feel somehow like I’m left out. I look around me and I see people excited and engaged by what they do. I wish I had what they have. Maybe I’m spending too much time looking outside of myself to find this elusive thing instead of allowing enough space and quiet into my life. Perhaps I need to listen more; not to the voices of the internet and the latest self-help book, but to the subtle voice inside that is easily drowned out by the noise I allow into my life, noise that brings a nice distraction from having to look deeply for the answers I seek.
But again there is that question. What is it that I want to do? The book talks a lot about the “connection economy” and some of that resonates with me. Why did I publish a photo a day back in 2013? To connect. Why have I been posting to this blog once a week this year? To connect, to find some common ground and hopefully strike a chord in someone. But how is this my art? If it was my art, would I not be more passionate about it, would it not keep me up at night?
Is it possible that we don’t all have an “art”, some game changing talent or all encompassing passion? Is it possible that crafting a life of being true to ourselves is enough? Perhaps creating a life of connection and meaning is an art in and of itself.
So what is this life I want to create? I want to live simply. I want to have time to exercise, to meditate, to be outside, and to spend time with loved ones. I want the time and resources to be able to travel and explore new places, and to make lasting connections wherever I go. I want a life free from clutter, filled only with the essentials, the things that matter. I want sunshine, rain clouds, good books, and music to uplift my spirit and jump up and down to. I want to be content with what I have, free from craving for things that are not healthy for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I want to not be afraid of reaching out to others, and not be scared to ask for help when I need it. I want to leave things better than when I found them without first getting frustrated and angry that they got screwed up in the first place. I want equanimity. I want love, passion, the sound and smell of the sea, and the rising and falling paths of the mountains. I want it all, and I want nothing.
Is this art; to try to be just a little bit better each day? What is my passion? To create a life worth living.
Based on a journal entry from 8.17.13