The practice of assessing one's life seems like a wise exercise; to hold your progress up to the light of your expectations can be healthy and beneficial. What everyone fails to tell you is how gruesome and bloody this process can become—its pain is acute and unrelenting. If you're not careful it can shift from empowering to debilitating in a matter of moments.
I am an introvert and have a running internal dialogue, which leaves me susceptible to flights of melancholy brought on by too much introspection. Self-examination becomes self-judgment, which spirals into self-doubt. I've spent so much time taking up residence in homes my imagination has built, I've considered forwarding my mail.
In recent days I've dug deeper and examined my life with a closer eye. I find I have more questions, lots of questions...the endless questions. The query that persists is: "How did I get here?" I guess the first step in finding an answer is to determine exactly where "here" is, those answers are harder to come by if all the map’s destinations are labeled, “you are here."
I don’t accept that life is just a state of feeling lost and unhappy or aware and secure. There are times when a detour takes you to an unexpected place and you discover buried treasure, but more often you get somewhere and have to decide whether you'll turn around or press forward; like the sun was either coming out from behind a cloud and that warmth spreads through my whole body, or the world is turning cold and colorless.
I wasn't the kid that knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I followed my curiosities. I'm now that adult who is still in pursuit of the things that inspire wonder, perhaps that's why my map has destinations with no names.
As I examine and question, there are a few things I know with relative certainty...
I want to be generous and fearless.
I want to be a conduit of connection between people.
I want to always be able to point to the light, even when I find myself in the shadows.
I want to see the world, and tell its stories.
I am a chef and entrepreneur. I have a passion for storytelling and hearing story told, truth is I could spend the balance of my life travelling, cooking, and writing.