Who are you? What do you want?
I want to be healthier, stronger, funnier, smarter. I want to be respected and powerful and trusted and loved. I want to see my desires in a mirror looking back at me, a double wanting the same from a vision of myself. I want pure expression.
Someone once told me that the best way to get what you want is to know what you want. The depth and simplicity of this struck me hard but I couldn't answer to it. I tried things like “I want to make the world a better place” or “I want there to be less wasted effort”. But everything I tried fell flat against the weight of the thing itself.
In our lives we can use our desires as a guiding light, helping us stay our course when we find ourselves in strange places. But our ship will never leave the port without a destination. So where are you going?
The things that guide us in the dark also free us from the burden of answering these questions. We can close our eyes and let the current take us where it may. And still, the easiest way to get moving is to have somewhere to go.
I wanted to be a computer programmer. So I became one. I poured 5 years of my life into trading my free time for experience. I stayed up too late obsessing over the tiniest details of my strange little programs.
Then one day I realized I had arrived at the place I set out to be. I was writing code that major companies were trusting on their websites, spending my days paid by a megacorp to dive deeper down the rabbit hole of weird tech. And I still wasn't where I wanted to be. When I had lived outside myself I saw programming as a land of milk & honey, a sort of magic for making the imagined real. And I lamented that the thing itself was not the picture in my mind. I had broke through to the other side and I still had pains and fears and was still a weak person afraid of my own shadow.
And this is how life works.
Now I see it like language, a game of chaining together fragmented elements in hope of creating some greater meaning.
I am the same person now as I was before, just as you are the same person as you were before you learned to play the piano, before you heard your favorite song, before you became a singer or dancer. You are already the person you dream of being, separated only by a lack of action & understanding.
We live our lives from the outside looking in, thinking “Once I get there things will be different. People will finally see me for who I am, not as a pale imitation of myself”.
You are who you are, you have real passions and fears, real beauty and talent, you are already there on the other side.