Friday, May 11, 2007

Sabbatical Week 1: Elephants

With several days free to contemplate the world and the suddenness Mal's death, the elephant in the room has become: are you doing what you really want to do? If you only get to live so long and be fully functioning for so many years, would you waste a second doing anything you don't believe in?

During my visit to Burlington to attend Mal's funeral Friday, I was asked several times "what do you do?" There's the obvious answer of my 9-5 job which usually brings a look of amusement, a nod of acceptance and some generic positive validation. For better or worse, I have embraced my "hi-tech worker identity" carved out of the last 10 years of my life. But if pressed to tell something more, I fumble a bit, reciting my other interests like footnotes--in a way that says they haven't quite make it into the main story of my life.

From grade school to now, it's been like climbing a mountain, head down, go forward, achieve, attain. Now that I'm part way up, I'm looking around wondering if I'm even on the right mountain. I guess it's just easier to go along with the tide of life sometimes. I do think about how idealistic I was when I graduated from college. I wanted to do something meaningful, exciting and impactful. And I started off ok but now... But now.

What I'd like to say to people is: I write books for children and make the world the a better place (in this way). The only problem is, I'm not committed to those things yet. Because right now I'm waiting for something else to happen first. Until then, I don't feel free to move, to make decisions, to put anything in jeopardy. So surely that must be the bigger pachyderm in the room.

Perhaps the elephants can hang out and have tea.

1 comment:

Brett said...

'scare' set in when you know 'else' is coming. scared.