I did a guided meditation from MARC’s weekly podcast at the Hammer. There wasn’t really a topic, she (the Director of MARC who leads the meditations) just talked about a teacher who was very influential in her life. I spent most of the meditation focusing on the sounds of the passing cars on the freeway and the license plate of the car in front of me. Somehow the focusing of my visual field on the car in front of me felt like it helped to keep my mental field localized there as well. Whenever I’d look around at the greater expanse of things, different random thoughts would fly into my brain. It was a nice practice.
Ran for 20 minutes. I’ve never really been a runner. For awhile now, basically after I read Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, I’ve really wanted to start running, but certain physical ailments and a general laziness held me back. Now that I’m exercising on a regular basis, I want to make it a regular practice.
I had some time before my dinner plans, so I ran around the block a few times near the restaurant. The past few times I’ve tried running, my shins would really hurt, but today it didn’t really bother me. Running outside, compared to running on a treadmill, is really taxing. I had to be careful not to push myself too hard. I could really feel my whole body getting worked by the effort. It felt pretty good though and once I build up some strength and stamina I could see myself really enjoying this as a form of exercise. I still can’t imagine ever running a marathon! Just making it around three sides of the block at a constant jog was a victory for me. We’ll see…never say never, right?
A thought occurred to me today while I was watching something. I’m not exactly sure what triggered it, but the thought went something like this: Maybe what you do for work doesn’t have to be something you love or feel really passionately about. I went to the dentist this week and as I was sitting in the chair of this cozy, but pretty successful, dental practice, I thought about the man that was approaching to clean my teeth. Did he truly love what he did for a living? Maybe not, but he’s done it for the better part of his life. Being a dentist isn’t his whole life or identity, it’s what he does. Why is it so hard for me to bifurcate the two? Why do I feel like it’s so damn necessary to absolutely love and be crazy about the job that you do. It’s called a job for a reason, right? Otherwise, it would be called “fun” or “leisure.”
I think the part that is really important for me is that I feel fulfilled. And I also know now that if there isn’t a service component, if I’m not helping people through what I do, it is very hard for me to feel fulfilled. Even if I’m doing a kick ass job, the self satisfaction that I get from this just isn’t enough. I was exploring this in therapy this week…I notice that my fantasy/dream/goal/desire/focus (whatever it is) about being a writer is shifting towards therapy. I’ve always had an interest in Psychology and would really love to be a therapist. But I’m not sure if this shift is occurring because that’s my true North or my self doubt and lack of confidence is maneuvering me towards something I think is more practical/achievable. My trust old fear of failure is trying to protect me. Or maybe that’s what I truly want and this dream of being a writer is just a fantasy. I can’t seem to be able to tell what’s real and what’s disguised as “real.”
He told me that one way to discern this is to think about the driving motivation behind these things I want to do. For instance, if the reason I want to be a writer is to help people then perhaps becoming a therapist isn’t an impersonator after all. I thought about it and the reason I want to write is because I love reading. I love how books can open up things inside that have been there, but you didn’t know about until you read that particular sentence. But what really lights me up is the connection I feel when I read something that perfectly articulates a feeling I’ve had. To know that someone out there feels the same way I do, it makes me feel less lonely. Less alone. There’s no other way to describe it other than it’s purely magical.
I don’t know. I’m just lost. I don’t know what I want to do. Okay, that’s not accurate. I know what I want to do – I want to help people. I just don’t know how I want to do it.
Do not go out to drink.
Do not eat garbage (fast) food.