Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there...

With open arms and open eyes, yeah.

Have you thought about what drives you? It seems like a pretty easy question to answer, right? For many people it's money, fame, success, spiritual journey, or maybe even just pure selfishness. But it's usually there and fairly evident. The interesting thing, I think is how that can evolve over time.

Often I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a close friends where they liked to express the various stages we go through in life as chapters in a book (a metaphor I've used before, in some post on here). But the interesting part starts to come in when you think about what each of those chapters entailed. I guess it's just really an extrapolation on "What did you want to be when you grew up as a kid?", but applied at more times.

I find myself caught in these moments of introspection when I come back from spending time with old friends who knew me growing up. In the last week or so, I've spent time with people who knew me well during multiple different distinct chapters of my life: from the fellow artist / crush when I was a kid in elementary school, to the close friend and martial arts buddy as a nervous boy in middle school, to the friends I spent every waking moment in high school (split into two distinct chapters, actually), to the roommates in college, all the way to a now mom that I became closer with in my years post college.

It's certainly nice to have connections strong enough to go so far back, but every single time, it makes me realize one thing: they all know a very different version of me, depending on what chapter they had a supporting role in my own personal life book. Not one of which is exactly the person that I am now. Now, I certainly understand that we change over time, we adapt to our circumstances, our surroundings, and our experiences. It's that versatility that makes us interesting creatures. Regardless, the scope and contrast of those changes is so apparent that there are times when it seems almost impossible that the face in those photographs from years ago is the same one sitting in his bedroom, typing away on a netbook with a cat sleeping in the corner.

To bring it back to my lengthy and belabored point, I think a lot of it comes down what my drive was during those chapters. There was certainly quite a variety: to find and overcome challenges, to make the world a better place, the invoke awe and inspiration into people, to simply - and selfishly - have fun (I would hope anyone who has been a kid could list that one), to find the love they talk about in fairy tales, to make myself a better person, to have a family and make their lives better, to help make the people I care about succeed and be happy, to get to make video games that people love, to be financially successful myself. Clearly, there's a lot of them.

The crazy part is that for virtually every one of those, I can think of a specific and iconic moment in my life where I feel like I achieved that - in the moment, I could mentally "check that off" as an experience I had. Even though many were fleeting, there's something very educational about actually getting something that you strove for and idealized. Sometimes that moment is educational as you realize how much it had been put on a pedastal, and sometimes it's more astonishing than you could have expected. Either way, it's a necessary and enlightening thing to have happen.

So what's different about now? What's the need for this conversation? In the past, at any given point, one of those aspirations stood above the others - maybe because I had accomplished enough of them, or had temporarily put them aside, but there was virtually always a clear and distinct drive that was easy to get behind. I find myself standing among a huge amalgam of successes and failures on each of those topics, and am therefore burdened by the multitude of goals that remain unfinished. It's clearly not possible to be working on them all at once, but is the right approach to pick one and dive headfirst into succeeding at that before moving on? After all, many people spend their lives just trying to accomplish one thing as broad as those that I've listed. Or do I focus on many at once and see where it takes me? There's certainly the unfortunate realization that is necessary: you can't do everything.

There's certainly not a point to my little rant here, no lesson to be learned. Just a little thinking aloud. It's something that often bubbles up in my thoughts when I catch up with old friends and remember how passionate I could be about any single topic, and how often and easily I would dive headfirst into taking it on. Maybe the fact that all of these goals are standing in front of me, none fully solved and craving attention has nothing to do with my particular story and is a part of getting older: the more time passes, the easier it is to realize that it is finite. After all, that portion is certain - there is only so much time in life, so you better find out how to move in a direction that takes you where you want to go, whether you get there or not.

g'night, thanks for listening


Ali said...

I'm still trying to find out how to get back to all the things I wanted to do as well now that I jave "checked off" some of my life's to do list.

It's been great to reconnect again and I look forward to it again this weekend. It's a crime that I go so long without keeping in touch with you.

nozomiyume said...

It's definitely been really great to catch up. Should be a fun weekend :) Sadly the "min 1 yr between keeping in touch" seems to be the norm for me recently :\