“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
There’s a saying in the bible that says “don’t cast your pearls before swine” which refers to wasting your talents on things that do little more than trample them without appreciation/value.
I’ve been unpacking this idea in my own life; seeking understanding of what my ‘pearls’ are as it pertains to the outside world. Pigs will eat anything – including their own – except for tomatoes, due to indigestion. As a young man, it can be hard to grasp what talents/abilities I have, as I’m in the middle of discovering them.
It’s in the still moments that we receive clarity and understanding. For example, it’s very difficult to fully understand another human when you don’t listen to their words.
A good friend of mine said something this weekend, that made me think twice about my actions.
“After a long weekend of partying, I’m not able to look in the mirror and be proud of myself.”
This weekend, I underwent the usual experience of living in SF; late night antics, pounding house music, and witness to unbelievably good visual projections on the wall at my favorite club, Public Works. Another Friday night.
This time around, something felt different. Sitting on the balcony at 4am, I recapped the events of the evening and realized they were indistinguishable from countless other nights. The same music, people, places, and dancing that I’ve been immersed in since arriving from Texas.
If you’ve ever taken a lap around a running track, you’ll realize the first lap is usually the most exciting. A warm-up, if you will. After a few laps, the scenery starts to blur together and your concentration lies on the physical exercise, rather than the scenery.
I had to ask myself, what redeeming value is there in this scene?
I am very grateful to have discovered amazing experiences and people that have brought me a lot of joy and laughter this year. However. I noticed a measure of diminishing returns as I have continued to eat, sleep, and repeat my way through this scene.
This realization made me ask some very difficult questions as to why I continued to chase the beat. And I realized the answer lay in familiarity; I know what to expect when I walk out the door and check in for another weekend of the party.
My gut-check moment occurred as I realized my discomfort in being alone/still.
I have spent countless hours on the patio, looking at the sky and examining my life. The stillness has been my instructor and guide to many of the issues that I snooze-buttoned with entertainment and mental occupation.
As I enter my ninth year of self-employment, I’ve learned that windows always open when a door closes. This rarely happens at the same time, resulting in seemingly-excruciating moments of uncertainty.
I don’t believe there is ever a ‘perfect’ moment to start your life. In fact, many of the successes we praise were the result of an individual taking a very big leap without knowing if their parachute would open…or if there was one on their back to begin with.
I am not one to claim all of the answers, as my trial-and-error has been riddled with error. However, I have begun to taste and see threads of joy and satisfaction that have sprung from seeds planted in new soil, instead of known ground.
When you begin to question yourself, take a look at the birds in the air. They fly freely, without worry for tomorrow or the day after. All of their needs are met as they fly through the air. Are we much different than the birds?