19/06/2010 § 2 Comments

So it was, today, that I had my first interview in 7 months. I don’t know how to feel about this, but, it went rather well.

I guess, right now, I feel confused.

The interview was for a coffee-shop on Roncesvalles, one nestled between independent bookstores and Polish meat shops, large brick houses and luscious fruit stands. Everything would seem “perfect”, like it was “fitting”, but, somehow I feel afraid of something, a pit in my stomach. Perhaps it is the opinion of others, something that I am afraid of more often than I thought.

I am torn between wanting the consistency of work — a routine, to keep busy doing something, an inherent impulsion in us all — and the fear of being sucked under, to become removed from things that I would rather be doing, enjoying life. But, then again, it’s coffee. I love coffee.

Not to sound like a broken record, but I am afraid of the “work ethic” of society: to keep busy doing something in the perpetual pursuit to become something. Perhaps it is human to keep busy.

Here’s a thought: Am I breathing? Then, I must be something.

Such has been the basis of conversation that I have had with friends and family. We have all, for the most part, come to the conclusion that every person just needs to find a purpose. This purpose can come in many different forms. Some feel the need to become rich and famous and popular. Some don’t even want fame, just the fortune. Sometimes, I want these things, too.

However, a purpose can come in simpler forms as well. You can be a collector of thoughts and ideas, delve into arts and crafts, take care of critters in need, cook delicious delicacies for people’s bellies to enjoy. Whatever it is, we feel more human when we do the things that we like to do. You might even say that this is the process in which we begin to actualize ourselves.

At times, I wonder what compels people to become something, and not just something, but something at one thing. Such is my internal dilemma I have all the time. To be a master at one or the Jack of many.

As a kid, I always wanted to be something, I just never knew what that something was. Some think that that kind of personality is neat and that I have so much opportunity to learn many things, which could be true. Others think it’s a lack of focus and that I don’t have ambition, which could also be true.

What is important to remember is that each person is different. We can’t all be driven to “do” something. But, we can’t all be flit-flittering on the whims of wings either. Each individual is unique, so we shouldn’t judge them into a box.

I recall a conversation with a friend in Buenos Aires that was loosely based on this idea. We always had good conversations about politics and life and music, but where we differed was in a way I could not express,

– I want to become a writer. (Which is a phrase I tend to interchange with where I’m at, mentally, in life.)

– I don’t know what I want to be. Right now, I have a good job with decent hours, I have taken my degree in Physics, I am studying graphic-design and I hope to take another degree in Sociology when I have finished with my classes.

– Hmm.

I was inspired. This is what it means to be human, to be perpetually learning. Not in the sense that one needs to be in a classroom or be taught by professionals, but to be continually stimulated and growing, through whatever facet.

I think I want to be a writer because I want to share thoughts and ideas and other people’s thoughts and ideas. In school, my favourite thing to do was to write papers. I liked reinterpreting the message, dissecting it, try to understand it, and then re-present it with a twist or challenge.

STB & me,

– Dude, you already are a writer. What are you talking about?

– I want to be an author.

– Why?

– Hmm.

For so long my parents had been telling me to flow with everything, keep my doors open, and eventually I will figure things out. My mom tried to reassure me by saying, I’m 58 years old and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.


The thing is, and this is no secret, she has already become one of the greatest people of all: an amazing mom.

What I have come to realize is that there is no right or wrong answer to life and one’s path or feeling of purpose. It takes all kinds of folks to make up this world. That’s what makes it so pretty.

However, there are those that rely on labeling things — at times I find myself guilty of this crime against humanity. I wonder if we try to label things just to better understand them because if we don’t understand them we are frightened by them.

Brenner & me over a beer on the front porch in Guelph,

– I don’t get this perpetual complex of people dissecting themselves, “I am this colour”, “I am this gender”, “I am of this faith”. I understand it, but sometimes I don’t get it.

– Perhaps, the more categories we make for one another the easier it is to dissolve people into society. It creates a greater surface area, like a block pulverized into powder. Powder dissolves more quickly than the block.

But, people are not things. We are creatures who have the potential to continually grow, to learn things, to challenge as well as nurture one another.

What you do is what you do, not necessarily who you are.

Who someone is radiates from within, from one’s core. For the most part, people are inherently good. Some may not dress in shabby jeans or sing like a cat or think about “damning the man” the same way I do, but inside they are good. That is enough.

We shouldn’t put people into a box because, sometimes, by putting someone (or even ourselves) into a box, we suffocate them. First the flame will diminish, and, eventually, the embers die out.

So, for now, I might learn how to make coffee. I like coffee. Other places and people like coffee, too. Perhaps this is what I need in my life right now, a little consistency for me to figure things out.


Yes, yes. I think I will be thinking things through for some time, for some eternity.


§ 2 Responses to hmm.

  • Sammy says:

    Dad used to say that the most powerful phrase you could ever use is “I am.” It was how God introduced himself once in the Bible when asked who he was. It’s simple, concise and completely true.

    Humans like to add adjectives and nouns to the phrase, because it feels more concrete. But really make a list of every “I am” phrase you have ever used. In the end you see that the simplest answer is the most true and the better one.

    That’s what I used to do as a teenager. I never fit in anywhere, half the time I didn’t think I fit in with the family. I started with I am and ended with I am. One of these days I will show you the short list that I made. 😉 ❤

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