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Thursday, September 18, 2014

About a dozen years ago, someone told me that if you spend most of your time talking, you won't ever know anything, but if you spend most of your time listening, you will notice things that most others never will.  Hearing that made more of an impact on me than it probably should have and for the longest time, people seemed to think the shyness I had as a child had followed me into adulthood.  The reality was that I had trained myself to pay attention to everything around me and only spoke or interjected when I actually needed to instead of when I just wanted to hear myself talk.  I guess you could say I observe people, but not in a weird way (chew on this blog if you think that's weird).
To sum up that little tidbit, I pay attention to practically everything around me and can identify character traits or mannerisms better than most people I know.

Everyone goes through issues in life where they feel as if they are being eaten alive, not making any progress, or have fallen into an incessant whirlwind of no escape from their own, earthly hell.  The common reaction from our friends and family is to "focus on the positives" in our lives as a means of escaping it.  When we were in high school, the school stress meant we went out with our friends on weekends.  When we were in college, it meant we (most) partied, did drugs, or drank ourselves stupid on the weekends - pretty much every weekend.  
So, we get stressed in high school, escape on the weekends.
Graduate, go to college, escape on the weekends.
Graduate from college, get into the workforce...

Do you see where I am headed with this?
Escaping high school was fine because we were looking forward to college and escaping from college was fine because we were looking forward to our career.  Then our career starts going, we make a few career transitions (the migratory nature of our job market is insane, by the way) and we use the weekends and holidays to escape from that. The difference between doing that now and doing that when we were teenagers and college students is that most of us aren't escaping to anything other than a routine.  We'll complain about the job we have or the path we are taking, use those two days off each week to do anything but what we had just been doing over the past five days, wake up on Monday and do it all over again.  We're not looking forward to anything other than the work week ending again.

But hey, that's fine, your weekends aren't always the same, right?  I mean, last week you went to a different bar and instead of having mimosas on Sunday morning, you stayed at home and cooked breakfast with some friends.  Maybe you were nursing a hangover or maybe you weren't.  Maybe you were looking for a new love interest or maybe you weren't.  There is a good chance, however, that you were trying to escape from your situation because those two days or holiday weekend are "all you have".  Actually, what you have is a majority time consumption situation you aren't happy with that also isn't your ideal.

I'm not saying everyone in our generation is unhappy, but something I really have noticed over the years is the increasing amount of people my age who aren't happy in what they are doing with life.  I see loads of young people who would rather opt for a temporary solution to their unhappiness than to spend that free time investing in the future of their own happiness.  You know, so they aren't miserable those other five days of the week?

Hey, she was cute, so you had to take her out because you can just focus on bettering your life next weekend or after work one day next week.
They have every football game playing at once down the street...
The mimosas are only three dollars today...
That sale is only once a year...
I just want to watch movies today...
I don't really know him, but he's having a birthday party, so...

Filling up our free time with anything, and I mean anything to distract us from our own reality is incredibly easy.  Finding the time to spend with ourselves and better our situations is where things become difficult, because we make it that way.

I lived that life of following the herd because that's what everyone does on the weekends and that is how everyone escapes.  Being one who pays attention, I see the majority of people I know doing the same thing, the difference now being that I escaped the boring routine.  When I started spending time with myself and thinking for myself, I started feeling more fulfilled and more motivated.  The ideas and the drive came to me like I hadn't experienced since the days I spent performing my music in front of crowds.  I'm not making myself an example to you, but I'm saying if I can lay all of the other routine elements of life to the side and figure out who I really am and what I am capable of, finding your own method to discover yourself and pursue can't be that far fetched.

Sometimes life isn't about balance.
Juggling is only entertaining when you're watching a street performer.
Life is meant to be lived.
Passions are meant to be explored.
Push it hard enough, focus long enough, and you may find a way to make a living while truly living for what you love.
If not, your quality of life will surely increase at the very least.
Instead of focusing on the good or easiest things in life, focus on trying to fix the places that keep you from happiness.

Grace and Peace,


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