[For an overview of what #Trust30 is, click here]
The prompt for day 3:
“The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?” – Buster Benson
Yikes. Now we’re getting personal. Who was it again that accepted this challenge? Oh, yeah, that was me. By nature, I’m a private person—so these questions are pushing me a little beyond my comfort zone. On the other hand, I have written a quite a few personal stories on the blog over the last ten months, so maybe the vision I have of myself is a little outdated. Besides, sharing yourself with other people is what makes life worth it, right?
Just so you know, Resistance (from The War of Art) is winning today. The whole day has been a struggle to be optimistic, to feel good and to get anything done. This post is no different. Now, where should I start?
After some thought, I think I have a topic. I considered writing about several different topics—legalizing drugs, immigration reform, the role of the US in the world, gay marriage—these are all topics where I differ from a lot of my friends, but I haven’t done much to actively try to change the world or other people’s opinions and attitudes about them. I haven’t ‘actively lived’ them, so to speak. Finally, this is what I came up with:
Certainty and security do not substitute for experiencing life.
People, in general, like to take the “safe” route in life. They want to work for a good company, go to their jobs every day and be paid a nice salary that keeps a roof over their heads. They are looking for a comfortable life. This can be a great way to go through life (assuming you don’t get caught up in a Great Recession and thrown out of your job, like so many have been over the last few years), and there are definitely times when I look at others’ lives and think I should try to do the same thing.
Usually, though, the thought of taking the safe route is disheartening. You put in your time as a cog in a corporate machine, wasting away and paying for someone else’s dream. I imagine getting on the phone with a supplier in China and trying to bargain over two cents on 50 different cables for some product that people don’t need in the first place and I think to myself, “should I settle for a life like that? Is that all I was meant to do in life?” The answer invariably comes back a resounding no.
You might ask, what I am doing to avoid that type of life? How am I going to put food on the table for myself and my family? That’s a difficult question and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what the answer is.
I will say, though, that I started this blog because I think there is something better out there. I am writing daily, to build my skills as an interviewer and storyteller, to learn as much as I can about the world and share it with others. I write and I write and I write, because at some point, the work is going to pay off. On many levels, it already has. I may not have the certainty and security in my life as I would have at a traditional job, but I have some great experiences to reflect on that I would not change for the world. And that, dear reader, is what I am doing to ‘live it.’
[Wow. I don’t know if that makes any sense or not, but I’m shipping it just the same. With a pounding head and a burning throat, I bid you good night.]