At 59 yrs. old, I am sometimes faced with the fact that I'm not a "professional". I not a "this" or a "that". When I was a kid and people would ask me "What do you want to be when you grow up?", my typical answers were, "A renaissance woman" or "A Jack-of-All-Trades" (We didn't have Jills-of-all-Trades back then!). I held to that commitment throughout life; playing many different melodies, dancing different movements. I see many people in my age group, and even much younger, are doing this thing that Alan writes of. They are running for the end of something, thinking THEN they will be contented, successful, happy, loved, etc. They imagine that, when they retire, they will have another 20 vital years to do everything they've put off! Sometimes they are aware that they've bought into something, a career, job, relationship, ideology, that has turned them into a slave. But they no longer have the resiliency to break out. They've allowed that creative capacity: to play instead of work, to dance instead of drive, to atrophy. So they find their "fixes" in order to tolerate the grief of being dead while still living. Life isn't a linear thing. Life is spherical. It expands in all directions. Our capacity to reinvent ourselves is the result of practicing with letting go of getting anywhere, letting the mind serve the heart, and approaching things with child-like curiosity.
On Feb 21, 2017Elizabeth Russell wrote :
Wow, a person after my own heart! I too am a Renaissance person with many interests, talents, and directions. I am so glad to hear I am not alone. I have felt alone in the past, and suffered from feeling like a "dilletante". Barbara Sher's book, Refuse to Choose, was really helpful. I so appreciate your point of view. Following my interest has been a way to enter deeply into life. Enjoy learning, exploring, discovering.