I just finished writing an essay about the number of rabbit trails I have found myself traveling down while seeking out a specific goal or dream. I entitled the piece, In The Meantime and the writing itself was a meandering discovery of amazing encounters I have experienced while wandering around the bulls eye of purpose. Here’s a segment.
Where would you like to be?
I scour my memory for my favourite places. I think of the time I watched the sun set over the ponds that crotchet the Longji rice terraces. On our first afternoon during the last embers of the sun I lingered on the perilous deck of a mountain chalet. I gazed across the alluring vista and I was mesmerized by the local women lumbering home under the yoke of their bulging rice sacks. As the sun retreated behind the mountains I smelled the aroma of Szechuan food frying in the impossibly small chalet kitchen. I was hungry despite the questionable meat being specially prepared just for our group. I tried not recall the villager I saw just earlier that morning skinning a scrawny rat with a pairing knife while we trudged by him on the narrow the path leading to this mountain village.
I came here when I realized I was shrivelling with grief and boredom. I couldn’t figure out how to draft the next chapter of my life so in the meantime I traveled to this uncomfortable land. I almost lost my life to altitude sickness but the journey also showed me how to breathe again. I learned how to take a breath and let life unfold before me and endure the discomfort of waiting before attempting to shape and mold its edges and corners. This is where I have spent most of my life – in the meantime. While striving to achieve the dreams I precariously draft again and again I find myself straying to transitory trails and places. Are these ventures meant to distract me from the boredom of the not yet, or the despair of the never? I don’t know but in the meantime I’ll savour this sleeping beauty next to me, his fingers on my spine, his breath soothing me to sleep. Maybe, I’ll try to grasp just this moment just as it is right now – more life than I could ever imagine and more perfect than I could ever design.
This is a whisper of encouragement to those who also wonder if the circuitous experience you find yourself in is a misleading distraction or a constructive course of true purpose. Ask yourself, “What results do I want to create?” Don’t worry about how you will achieve your intentions/goals/dreams. Focus on what you wish to create and if you feel energized, excited and even a little unsure then that’s enough clarity to keep moving towards your target. Donald Miller says, Meaning is found in the movement. Even if you are not sure whether this experience is the right turn to achieve your vision, you will gain insights along the way and live the life you never dreamed possible.