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Thursday, December 12, 2013


What do you want most out of the next chapter of your life?

A friend asked me that.

I think I’ve always struggled with identifying what I want. When the question was posed early in life, even as simple as coming up with a 5-year plan, I was always at a loss. As a kid, my decisions were based on what felt good, which worked just fine. That compass, though, became a problem the older I got. What I wanted was to feel good, and that included things like booze, sex, food, and sleep…the standard sins.

If all of those wants were boiled down to their essence, what I wanted was security and safety – the guarantee that nothing would hurt me. I wanted to fall asleep with momma’s tit. Of course, all of those wants lead to a very small, very self-centered life. Ultimately, depression. So, over time, I’ve steered away from things that shrink my openness. But I still have trouble answering the question.

What do I want?

Right now, I’m 3 months into my latest novel. As I outline the final third or so of the story, the ending is slowly coming into focus and I realize there’s no way I could’ve planned for that 3 months ago. I had a general idea of what the story would be, but as the story progressed the characters started to grow. The thread that will eventually hold the story together isn’t anything I could've imagined in the beginning. And that, I suppose, is a good answer.

I don't know what I want because I don't know where I'm going.

Maybe it's not what I want, I should be asking, but what I need. But, I'll be honest, I’m afraid to ask the universe for what I need because, quite frankly, I’ve got everything I want. I won the marriage lottery. I have a great family, a successful career, and good health. I’ve got it all. So I’m afraid to ask for what I need because life might have one big ass pothole up ahead and I don’t want that. But perhaps that’s what I need.

If I had to answer the question “what I want” it would be this: remain open to this very moment, regardless what it contains, no matter how I feel about it, whether I like it or not, and to continue growing. To serve life.

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