Monday, July 2, 2012

What's Your Mountain

I've been struggling with a having a strong direction recently. It's rather tough to have several large projects going that can't be shared. It's difficult to keep working, not knowing if anything will pay off. But I watched a video of a commencement speech that Neil Gaiman gave, and I think I'm finally finding my way. It's worth watching. I think it might have been the best 20 minutes I've spent in a really, really long time.

I've been afraid to decided what my "mountain" is. Even though I've spent my whole life hearing that life is just a series of careers, choosing a direction has become paralyzing. When I choose to do something, I go full force into it. I'll exhaust myself for the sake of a goal. What stops me from even forming a goal is, what if I find that I don't like what I've chosen. It finally has hit me that not choosing a direction means that I'm simply not going anywhere. I might as well choose a "wrong" direction than none at all. So even though I've spent the last year designing patterns, I don't think I've really put my heart into it. Not fully at least. It was something to do until I figured something else out. Well, I'm choosing pattern writing, even if it isn't a permanent career. I'm giving myself permission to enjoy myself more. I'm giving myself permission to go out and have fun on occasion even if it required money. (I'm a saver and will spend time at home in favor of not spending money. But it's cut into life experiences. And as my Mum said, "What's the point of having money if you aren't going to use it.") And finally I'm giving myself permission to be uncomfortable. All my actions seem to be geared to keeping myself comfortable. But what's the point of living if you aren't going to get dirty at times.

What is your mountain?


Pumpkin said...

He is a fantastic speaker, I'm glad that you posted that video. I can really sympathize with you with how you are feeling, I have done the same things over and over again with poor results. It is difficult to stop worrying and stop thinking about certain things, but I think that we can do it! Good luck!

José said...

Thanx for sharing this one, liked it !
Good for you that you summon the courage to choose your 'mountain', too !
Personally, I've never really been able to, and now, at 36, wonder why I discovered that rather too late.. Well, it's not too late in some ways,( and I think my 'mountain' now is to be at ease with myself and find joy in the things I do, on a daily basis, and spread smiles around.. ), but in others, like study, it somehow is..
About that comfort zone.. read a nice line about it a little while ag ( and agree on it.. ) : 'replace fear of the unknown with curiosity'

Anonymous said...

I think you've been a little hard on yourself. From where I sit, I've seen you climbing the book mountain for quite a while now. Perhaps you haven't been running up the mountain, but I think you have certainly been travelling in the 'up' direction, and have had no doubt you'd get there. I look forward to seeing what top gear looks like!

Andi G said...

You have always inspired me with your ability to try new things, regardless of failure. I am sure the reason this speech meant so much to you is because it is something you have been doing for quite some time. I just think you just did not realize that you were already making your own mountain. I have no doubts that you will continue to inspire me and that you have many more roads to travel before you are done. Just remember to acknowledge that you have been traveling and that, "at least you have the work". Loved this speech.

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