I wake up every morning with a tsunami warning in the back of my mind. An ominous feeling. Kind of like someone has taken my head in their hands, locked their eyes on mine, and asked me with utmost concern, “What the hell are you going to do with your life?” I can hear the oceans churning. I can feel the pressure changing. I am pushed, relentlessly, quietly forward.
What pushes me?
What sparked my Big Bang? I feel like the universe, expanding, a little replica of all that ever was, reenacting existence. Perhaps this could explain where motivation comes from. Where we get our drive. We are ignited, we are explosions, we are expanding in slow motion, enriching our flames.
Even on the dullest of days, there’s a force within me compelling me to make the most of myself. Even if all that means is that I do the laundry.
What am I pursuing? This forward motion gives the impression that it has an end, as if I were the tortoise in the race without knowing I was in a race (or that I was even a tortoise). I simply move forward. A heart beat, a firing neuron, a muscle spasm, and there I go. Forward every morning. Blindly through the dark.
Is it success? Is that what I want?
A part of my brain says, “Yes. Of course. You want to be a famous author. You want to have the comforts of money. You want to feel accomplished.” Another part says, “Success is so twentieth century.”
Accomplished is an interesting word. Completion is implied. Is that really a good thing, to be complete?
To be honest, of all the LEGO sets I ever worked on, the finished product was rarely as exciting as the construction of it. So what if I had a helicopter with revolving LEGO rotor blades? I just want to build things.
Maybe that’s the push.
Maybe I’m pushed to find more blocks. More pieces. More ways to grow. I’m basically a LEGO set without an instruction manual, a biological cornucopia of various ideas, experiences, and dreams built around a skeleton. Every day is a new day to add a new dimension.
I don’t think it’s completion that I’m seeking. I can’t decide if it’s success.
There are smaller things that push me now. The want for no student debt. The want for a fulfilling career. The want to go skydiving. The want to write for an audience. If achieving these things equals success, then so be it. I’ll let you know what it feels like.
Enough time passes on an idle afternoon, I feel the push come. The tsunami warning rings and I feel this need to run for the nearest craigslist job posting or unfinished homework assignment to hide from the feeling that I’m not moving forward. I can’t sit still for too long or I get worried that important things are passing me by.
Sometimes I just want to do nothing.
That feels like a crime.
The twenty-first century knows no idle creature.
We are constantly reaching. Like the expanding universe, will I once day reach my limit and begin to retract? What lies out there in the outer reaches of my design? Will I know when I get there?