“I don’t just want to live the length of my life. I want to live the depth and breadth of it as well.” Diane Ackerman
“Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.” John D. Rockefeller
These two quotes are often running around in my head. Yes I realize they are contradictory. At least, I think they are.
What I want more than almost anything is to be financially independent and secure. Boom. I said it. Whew. Why was that so hard to admit? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m trying to be a ‘nice’ girl and nice girls don’t want that kind of personal freedom and independence?
What I want above everything is a life where I can feel joy and peace and feel safe and where my children, all of them, feel that too. Where I seek knowledge and happiness wherever I find it and I ask questions until I find the origins.
In my mind the two ultimate goals, the two goals underlying everything I do, the two goals I feel are seeking different experiences and are fighting each other for dominance.
One goal, if fulfilled, is a life where I chase every curiosity, where I find every smallest thread of happy and peace and I follow them wildly, joyfully to their source, no matter the cost, no matter the impracticality of what I will learn or experience, and no matter the risk.
No matter what other people think of me.
Worst end result scenario? Rich in wisdom and knowledge but poor. Sitting in a dark room in a sparse place devoid of beauty and with only the memory of beauty in my mind to sustain me in the cold final days of my life. Bleak much?
Another is where I narrow down my passions and focus on one. I am practical and reserved. I am disciplined and wise. I seek to be excellent at this one thing.
I pick one. Yoga. Writing. Career in Corporate America.
So excellent money will follow. Not millions, but enough to know I will feel ‘safe’. And that I can extend that safety to my children. My end days are spent in warmth and comfort physically, but my heart is snagged on ‘what-if’s and the kind of soul-insecurity that only comes to you at the end, when you know it’s you and death alone. What might have made this life fuller? More magical and sacred? Did I exchange spiritual solace for fleeting physical security?
I think my biggest problem is I’ve faced death at a really young age. I was 16 when I finally came to terms with the weird fact that my life would someday end. And as things were going at the time, sooner rather than later.
It kind of crunched me, burned me up inside until all that was left was curiosity, and a serious annoyance for superficial. I don’t got time for BS.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a total pushover. I’d rather shove a toothpick in my eyeball than hurt someone’s feelings even accidentally. But my tolerance for BS is decidedly low. Hopefully especially low for my own BS.
This blog today has done what I was hoping against hope it would do. It has clarified what I really want from the chaff of what I should want.
I want to live my life widely, deeply. I want to be curious about what I’m curious about, I want to know me, I want to connect with the divine honestly.
No one knows what the end will be or when. All we know is here, now. And here, now, I want to live as if I’m the only one who knows what’s best for me. Because I am.