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a quite troubling feeling..

January 18, 2015

Occasionally, I feel quite strongly that I’m supposed to do something important, but I don’t know what it is.

I feel that I won’t find out, and that even if I did, I would not be able to do whatever it is, or that it is for someone else to do.

How important? What sort of important?

I’m not talking about delusions of grandeur, something like single-handedly saving the world. Not something so dramatic.. but something important nonetheless. Writing a good and worthy novel that people will read and be blessed by. Working as a journalist and uncovering a story that really matters. Acquiring a job skill of some sort that will benefit others and myself, becoming good at something that is useful.

There are many things that I think are important that people do every day..  here are some jobs that people have that I consider to be important.

Writer.. either good fiction, or a writer of quality journalism. Honest auto mechanic or home renovation specialist. Professional musician or artist who does great work. Cyber-security specialist or information technology expert. Being a good and honorable doctor, lawyer, nurse or school teacher. Being a clergy person of some kind. Funereal home director. Translator/interpreter. Cop. Bus driver who is great at his or her job and kind to others (you’d be surprised how kind and competent bus drivers impact the lives of so many people in positive ways). Self-defense instructor. Dietician. Someone who owns and operates a great restaurant or shop.. who treats employees, suppliers and customers very well. These are just a few of my ideas.

I don’t know how to do any of these things.

“Your vocation is where your greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.” – Frederick Buechner.

Well.. that’s great, unless one’s passion doesn’t match up with one’s talents. Most of my life I followed my passion, which was to become a highly skilled and creative multi-instrumentalist, specializing in guitar.

I’m musically impaired! I have some attention-deficit problems and other issues that make it very difficult to learn how to physically play instruments and learn music theory.

It was to my peril that I followed my passion.

I’m somewhat good at writing, somewhat good at photography, and somewhat good at art, including computer art. I might be good at developing websites if I ever get around to learning.

But these things are not my passion. It is very difficult for me, a depressed, somewhat impaired person, to work harder to develop myself as a writer, as a photographer, and artist. It is also difficult for me to sit down with an online training program and learn how to build a website, for example.

I feel that there are lots of other people who are passionate about writing, photography, drawing, creating computer graphics and building websites. It is some of these people who actually make a living doing photography or writing, etc. And many many people whose passion lines up with their talents of photography, writing etc. still can’t make a living at it.

So why do I think I should be able to make a living and bless others.. find my vocation, by trying to force myself to do these things that are not my passion?

Removing the delusion is an incredibly necessary step in my development, of course. If I remained deluded in my thinking.. that I could become a very accomplished and creative musician, I’d never get to the point that I am now, which is at least being open to the possibility that there is something important for me to do.. and it has nothing to do with playing musical instruments. (Or should I spend lots more time working on creating experimental electronic music on my computer.. which is something I have a talent for).

But if I don’t know what that important thing is, I’m still sitting on my ass watching TV!

Yes, I could try quite hard to develop myself as a photographer or writer. I could also find myself 10 years later having put much effort into climbing a ladder, only to realize that I’ve yet again set the ladder against the wrong wall.

I’m over 40 years old. I can’t afford to put tons of effort into the wrong things.

People say that a horse pulling a wagon in a certain direction is much easier to redirect than a horse sitting still. In other words, if one is moving in a certain direction.. working on a skill.. it is easier for the person to shift direction if need be, and work on another skill than it is for a sedentary person to get going. This is the inertia principle. A body in motion can change direction more easily if needed. I suppose.

However, I sometimes think that not putting effort into anything is far better than putting effort into the wrong thing. If I’d been able to stop myself from putting monumental effort and a great deal of money and time into becoming a musician, and instead just watched TV and read novels, my mental health would be so much better now, and I never would have gone into so much debt.

But wasting away the day is not good either.

I don’t want to end up like my dad.

For over 20 years, dad has spent most of his time laying in bed, listening to the radio, sleeping, or staring at the wall. When he’s not been doing that, he’s watched TV 13 or 14 hours a day, then heading up to bed.

Dad has impairments even worse than mine. I don’t blame him for living this way. I don’t want to live like that, but I so often do. I pop around online, reading about random things on wikipedia, or hanging out on facebook or youtube. I read novels, listen to NPR podcasts, occasionally read various articles in news magazines, or read a bit of other non-fiction here and there. And the days pass, and I have not learned how to do anything, (and often believe I can’t do anything, or will miss it, because I don’t know what it is I should be doing), and I am not doing anything important.

I have some impairments, it’s true, but I think that, unlike dad, I have potential.

But potential for what?

What should I be doing? What can I do?

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