Today, I spent the greater part of the day trying to figure out exactly why I am doing what I am doing. Why I go to work at all, aside from the fact that I have bills to pay and society won’t let me get by on what I feel is comfort, why I even bother getting up in the morning. I’m not getting up in the morning and doing the work that people will remember me for. I’m not helping anyone, I’m not making society any better, and I’m not doing anything more positive for the Earth than simply wishing it well while consuming the mass-produced goods that come off the assembly lines. Why do I even get up in the morning, if all I’m doing is waking up to work off my debts? I could, of course, choose to ignore my debts and go into bankruptcy, but what good would that do me? I wouldn’t be doing anyone any good besides using services and not paying them back (with the interest to make it all worth it)… at which point I would be little more than the kind of leech I abhor.
What’s left to be done? People I admire and people I love all tell me that in order to be happy, I either have to settle for what I am doing now and be thankful for that much… or go way out on a limb and do something I desperately love. The problem for me is that I have not yet found something that I love. I have an idea of what I’m good at, but those are few-and-far-between, not to mention that the depth of my knowledge of any one field of “expertise” that I claim ownership over can be grasped in a few quick afternoons of instruction.
The same people I admire and love then ask me something that is thoroughly frustrating:
“What would you be doing if money, training, and time were no object to you?”
It’s such a difficult question to answer. I generally waffle between answers such as “writing/blogging for an influential opinion site”, “climbing/instructing professionally”, and “exploring the uncharted corners of the world (professionally)”. How great would that last part be, really? Having the words “Professional Adventurer, Explorer, and Locator of Hidden Places” on your business card would be pretty fucking epic, wouldn’t it? Were space exploration a reality, I’d have signed-up ages ago. A little AI, a quick ship, and a lot of undiscovered territory to chart and prospect… hell, I’d fight people to the death to be the first in line for that job.
The problem for me isn’t necessarily deciding what to do with my time, it’s how to get there and do what I want to do professionally so that I can get paid to do what I want… and maybe find out that doing what I want is really what I love.