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An Awkward Realization

Awkwardlist.com

Hey guys, it has been quite a year. Launching new blogs, failed collaborations, and a lot more learning about people. I’m really not complaining, it has been exciting stuff.

Living at “the heart of Silicon Valley” really is what it sounds like. I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop in some random part of San Jose, California, listening to a song called “Return to Darden Road” (Listen on Spotify: Beta Radio) where I just witnessed an interview of three people who were investing on a new app start up described as “the Netflix of … uhh” so basically its some type of service that gives you an unlimited access pass to something you look at and think to yourself “hmm, but I’m only going to use it once..” probably ties. Or boxers?

As much as I tried to be a part of this place, it just doesn’t fit me. Like the shoe isn’t even a left or a right one, its just like.. a high heel or something that I’m like, yeah there’s no way I’m going to wear this. I was supposed to be working on this engineering degree, only to discover that the anxiety I felt all of these years was because I was in the wrong field of study. Or maybe in the wrong place. Or maybe just in the wrong time period.

But you see, I only discovered this after trying things out, and leaving things and places and people. There have been many people in my life that have told me about finding your passion, seeking what you like… I’ve taken actual courses (two of them) titled something like, Career Exploration and Success, that were supposed to help me decide on what to study or where to lead my life. They were okay, I guess. But I left. I went to try out things at the other side of the country. It turns out that few things can actually have such an impact on your life enough to make you want to redirect your ship. A single conversation with somebody can trigger past memories of experiences or move you inside so much that you crave learning more about the subject, and eventually you realize that you’re in love with it and want nothing more. Sometimes its a series of them, or something that has deeply affected you or a loved one. The best doctors that I’ve read about or met did not become doctors because their parents told them to, or because they didn’t know what they wanted to so they randomly chose to go to medical school, they wanted it more than anything, for their own reasons.

So I made a decision to try things out for myself. But I have a question, please someone answer me on here: Do you know what you want to do? If so, how did you discover it?

In a conversation with my sister, I thought of something when she said “you should do what you want to do.” In my mind, I made a little chart divided into three sections. In the first one, you have people who know what they want to do, but don’t know how to get there. In the second one, you have the people who know what they want, and know how to get there (that seems like a good place to me), and then the third, you have the awkward people like me, who don’t know what they want and can’t even figure out how to find out what they want. And we like to complain, ooh man, do we enjoy it! From things like: there are too many choices, I have too many ideas, I feel like I’m running out of time, there aren’t any people who can help me, I don’t even know how I would get there, it doesn’t pay enough, consumerism sucks, freakin’ republicans, etc.

I’ve made some pretty crazy decisions to relocate and go into places completely on my own. My rental history is long, and I have some roommate stories to talk about. I’ve spent nights in an abandoned home, lived in a dude’s office space, in my own beachside condo (ahh, pooping with the door open is a luxury, my friends!), chased by a prostitute, waited late for a storm to pass in an animal preservation center with alligators, nearly peed myself by eating the spiciest curry ever, gotten stuck in the sand in the middle of nowhere, and finally got to eat a sandwich on a rooftop. All of this without a stable job… and I think this is what I like. So.. uh, am I supposed to be a hippy? I mean, I already have a guitar..

Being a little more realistic, though, I do have a talent for patterns and numbers. The idea of economics and the interrelationships of people, money and natural resources interest me, but then again so does writing, storytelling, and playing music. I wish I could’ve become a medical practitioner of some sort but then I witnessed the power that money has over medical professionals when it comes to prescribing medicine. As you can tell, I’ve had this discussion with myself many times already. It went from a never-ending frustration, to a plan to search. I’ll be moving once more, and I will have to gain some ammo in the form of reasons and excuses to diffuse the curiosity of those around me. I’ll need to strengthen up these walls of mine to be able to take the criticism and the questions of doubt from others.

So what is it? Is it really just a matter of picking something and going for it? Think of your biggest accomplishment ever and then remind yourself of that initial idea that got you there. Was it writing a book, or winning an award? Obtaining a diploma? Landing that high-paying job? What was your drive?

Sorry I made it awkward, guys.

Edwin

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4 Comments
  1. I feel you; I see it happening all the time around me. I mean my sister and her boyfriend are both so ambitious.. but more ambitiously lost, since they just kind of happen to go 100% with they’ve got once they’re sold on the card that is dealt to them. Now they’re busy chasing that corporate latter – which is great (according to my aunt anyway) but only for the moment (according to me) while they’re in their early twenties but sad in the long run because neither of them happened to pursue what they had dreamed of.
    The way I figured was to imagine not ‘what I want to do’, God knows I would love to listlessly fall in love with my couch and my books, and tea and million of cats, and then most likely die because food was my next passion, but the question became ‘how do you want to live’. I mean, all our lives we’ve been asked what do you want to do, and nobody cared to figure that doing something you ‘love’ everyday for practically the rest of your life doesn’t warrant you’ll love it so much anymore. Especially if it correlates to your ability to pay your bills. In my case, I love to write, but looking around me I saw really quickly that most writers are piss poor and that there is absolutely no virtue in poverty – despite how great Patty Smith might have written her auto-biography to be.
    Not that I bash on your nomadic past; those are some things to certainly write about, but what to do-wise? Just for having lived such a life as you have briefly described, I can’t imagine just being holed up in a school or a building wall and ‘playing politics’ as my sister’s boyfriend likes to say with crabby bosses and snobby managers. I say just find a way to build an asset of sorts fanatically for the next 5 years so that you can live the way you want and deserve to for the next 50. Plus, find some badass pipe dreamers, the way we should be all, that wants to kick tail and go out with a boom. That’s the proper equation if you ask me – a class A failure in Math 12.

    November 7, 2014
    • Quack! Hi, it has been a while. Thank you very much for your comment on this idea, you make complete sense and I agree with your views.

      I recently read a book regarding dead dreams and how they rot inside (interesting visual, I thought), and they become toxic inside of you and eventually it turns inward and against you. It got me thinking about this idea, and now I can see these people who go about living their lives normally, and eventually reach “peace,” when they own a house, pay their bills, and eventually die.. without achieving their dreams. BUT, what if that was the person’s dream, to live in peace and away from any instability or fear of ever failing at things? It seems like an acceptable lifestyle, right?

      I am very happy with your response, and I believe that is what I will ultimately end up doing. To think of how I want to live, and build a way to get to it. That’s what gets skipped from this whole “find your passion” thing.. if my passion was skipping rocks at a lake, what does that do for me? Haha.

      I hope all is well with you, by the way. 🙂 I’ll be visiting your blog very soon!

      Edwin

      November 7, 2014
      • Hellos ! What a warm welcome, the Duck certainly feels refreshed haha. Glad to hear my comment was well received, looking back on how dramatically long it was…after reading it was like: did I really answer his question?
        But that’s an interesting thing about those dreams though. Have you ever heard of the book, the Dream Giver? Sweetest little narration ever – starts with your lovable character called ‘Ordinary’…you can imagine how the rest goes (: I mean, for those people that just want to be able to live a peaceful life, I think had I not come across certain people I have crossed paths with today, I would’ve totally been like that; just mellow and calm. It’s funny because all I can think of is the first personality traits I’m reading about in the Personality Tree and that totally describes a Phlegmatic who just is content with the way life is. There’s a sort of beauty and sadness to it I think. There’s just simply so much more !
        Skipping rocks is cool though; I never could do that, not that I’ve tried. Just, you know, skip those rocks as an ongoing millionaire at your lake side home. Does plenty to the soul at that point I think.
        All is well indeed, just the dips and rise of the waves. Nothing the Duck can’t handle (or completely milked the crap out of in writing about it). Look forward to hear from you soon !

        Quack !

        November 7, 2014
  2. Angie West #

    Hmm, well, when I was growing up, I always wanted to be everything. For the most part, I’ve done that. But at the end of the day, I think I just want to be free. And be able to say that I’ve made a difference to somebody. You know? I think the rest will generally work itself out.

    November 7, 2014

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