I read a short, personal post from a colleague recently about his feelings of unsettled ennui. He was advancing professionally, but wasn’t sure of the direction, having uprooted many of the elements that grounded him in personal cartography.
His post closed by prompting a response, more than just a “like” or plus or any of those other ways we now have to digitally signal our awareness without investing our attention or involvement. Interaction with others demands so little today! Don’t we live in amazing times.
I wanted to respond. I wanted to share the perspective I use to center myself when I’m confounded by days where I’m too busy doing to pause and gutcheck whether I’m happy doing what I’m doing. Of course, those days are not the only kind, or the best on which to find a sense of self or sense of purpose with our work or world. But they’re there, the string between the shiny beads. They link together the days and weeks of satisfaction that a full life provides. Here’s what I shared with him and so many other friends, and, often, myself:
When I feel these specters of uncertainty rise up, I force myself to remember: that imbalance, and catching yourself? Imbalance…and catch? Again and again, and we hope, again? That’s walking. That’s how we proceed through life. That, I think, is life itself: progressing from uncertainty to uncertainty, but always progressing nonetheless.
We cannot ignore the string as we cannot ignore the sidewalk we walk along. Pitted or broken or freshly poured, it gets us where we’re going and to the high points we find in between. Imbalance and catch, imbalance and catch, we link the steps. Never, ever, ever standing still.