Monday, 29 June 2015

How I Be is the Goal

I'm one of those people who, when someone comes to mind, I call them up or send a message for no particular reason out of the blue and say, “Hey! Wanna meet for coffee?”
Planning in advance generally isn't my strong suit. Yup. I'm one of THOSE. I make people who plan everything to the last detail crazy... on purpose. It's like a contact sport. (I'm laughing my ass off as I write this. Ahhhhh... good times!)

I remember in eighth grade my teacher telling the class we had to think about what we wanted our career to be... for the rest of our lives... until we gasped our last breath... or retired... whichever we were unfortunate enough to endure first. On the long side shelf by the big expansive windows that looked out on a picturesque yellow-brick wall were a couple hundred career descriptions. We were to go over, mull them over and pick one. Mu... mu... mu... what? So we all rushed over for a look. Well, most of us rushed. Myself and a couple of others wandered with what I assumed were some sort of glazed, deer in the headlights look glued to our pasty white faces. I'm pretty sure my ass was still glued to my chair three isles behind. Career? Direction? Goals? Really? Really, really, really? I'm thirteen dude! I can't decide what underwear to wear in the morning. Do I have to choose?
Pfft... I still don't know what I want to be.
BUT... I do know how I want to be.
I often self-flagellate through philosophically unanswerable questions. Some days I think I have them figured out. Other days I think my brain will implode into a synapse sucking black hole never to return from some alternate reality where I'm a bagel. One of those questions that has come up in my life (indeed, in most people's lives) is the meaning of life. Some define life by the question... what are your goals? Again, I kind of drag my feet on this one. I'm fifty-four. How the hell do I know what my goals are? Do I have to go to the brick view window and pick something... again? Really? Ass stuck to chair...
My difficulty with goals is I'm not so certain goals are a great way to determine how to live one's life. There is so much emphasis placed on goals we have come to a place in society where, if we don't have carefully defined goals, others look at us like we have horns, a reddened face and a pointy black goatee. The truth is, I'm just not good with choosing or maintaining goals. Neither is half the population. The other half have lists that tell them where their frigging lists are.
I do have a pitchfork though.
It seems to me it is far more important to know how I want to be in this world than it is what I want to do in it. In fact, it seems to me, knowing how I want to be is most likely going to determine what I do and then I will have goals to strive for. Not the other way around. If I choose a goal and it doesn't fit with who I believe I should be, I will most likely fail. If I manage to somehow achieve the goal, it will feel hollow. If I know who I want to be and then choose a goal that fits that persona, it's much more likely I will be successful.
Creating goals before we know how we want to be is akin to learning to drive a car before knowing the rules of the road. It kind of has to be the other way around, ya know?
Choosing a career when I was thirteen was a pretty idiotic exercise. I didn't even know who I was. I was just starting to notice girls and trying to figure them out (which pretty much put the kibosh on ANY other goal). I didn't know how I fit into the grand schema. That didn't come until much later. I recall choosing architecture as my life career. Somewhere in high school, I switched to accounting and computer science. After University, I went into restaurants and hotels... then the steel industry... the medical rescue device industry... the art industry... contracting. See where I'm going here?
Turns out my “career” is to learn as much as I can, hypothesize, philosophize and generally be a pain in the ass when someone asks about the meaning of life. (Best not ask. Just sayin'.)
There is no way one can attach a goal to all of that.
There is definitely a way to attach a way of being to all of that.
I guess the crux of this is, if I call you up to go for a cup of coffee, don't freak out too much. I was just thinking it might be a cool thing to do and some synapses fired at the same time bringing your name to mind. And don't worry about saying no. I get it. You've already got your day planned. No worries. I've been told no plenty of times.
And I'm happy to have talked and know you're doing okay.
Oh... and figuring out women? Yeah... that's one of those unanswerable philosophical questions... and usually when I feel like a bagel.