April 12, 2009

Life Changing Decisions

Do you remember the old coffee pots where you got to see the coffee percolate. You know, a percolator where when the coffee grew hot enough you'd get to see it spurt up into a clear top. I used to love watching that thing. There was something cool about seeing the coffee shoot up like that.

Sometimes that is how it feels when I am trying to write. These ideas percolate inside my melon and then bam! They just shoot up. Every now and then they turn into something really cool, but most of the time they end up as fragments of thought. I suppose that if I had the time I could really follow up on them.

In this particular post I was going to go with a bit about The Phantom Tollbooth and tie it in to the theme of the posts about life changing decisions. But then I remembered that they're making a movie out of one of my favorite books, Where The Wild Things Are.

Take a look at this clip and maybe it will help describe the thoughts in my head and why I feel like Max.

Incidentally the song in the trailer is Wake Up by Arcade Fire. Anyway, I watch that trailer and it is easy for me to relate. I feel a bit like a kid in a suit running through the woods, or sailing alone across the ocean. Don't ask me if I am running away or to something, I haven't quite figured that out yet.

Ok, that is not totally true, I have a pretty good idea of what is going on and where I am heading. I have a goal and I have a plan for acheiving that goal. The problem is that my plan feels a bit like the memory of a dream I had this morning. When I first woke up it was really clear, but the more time that passes the harder it is to remember the details.

Maybe it would be better to describe it as being a quest in which I load up my horse with the supplies that I think I will need and an idea of the general direction I need to go in. It is not quite the Wizard of Oz, at least as far as I know there is no Wizard or Emerald City to rely on. Even better as far as I know no wicked witch or flying monkeys to worry about either.

Thus far this has been pretty vague and that is intentional. No reason or need to get too specific about what kinds of decisions I am on the verge of making. To a certain extent they are universal. The choices that I make are going to have a very big impact on the future and that is something that I am far more conscious of now than I have ever been.

It is exciting and frightening. I am optimistic about it all. My gut tells me that it is all going to work out because I am going to make it work. I expect that along the way there are going to be the usual share of rough moments and a solid dose of the really cool ones too.

Whenever I get nervous about it I take a moment to think about all of the experiences I have had thus far. And when I consider them all I can't help but feel good. One of the benefits of turning 40 is having accumulated a certain amount of life experience. I think that it is an advantage. I have been incredibly successful and I have failed. I have loved and been loved. I have had my heart broken more than once.

And through it all I managed to come out the other side. Because I am superstitious I'll temper this. I'll say that I think there are some experiences that forever change you, some positively and some negatively. I'll say that life has proven more than once that it can smack the crap out of you in ways that you would never imagine.

But in the end, I still come back to believing that I am going to succeed. I am going to get what I set out for. One way or another.

3 comments:

V-Grrrl said...

Life changing decisions. The older I get, the more I believe that life needs to be changed periodically so we're forced to look at in and ourselves in a new light. What fascinates me is not the BIG life changing decisions, but the small decisions we make without much thought that end up having a huge impact in the long run--like taking a class, starting a blog, making a new friend.

Jack said...

but the small decisions we make without much thought that end up having a huge impact in the long run--like taking a class, starting a blog, making a new friend.
I could write a book about how those small changes have influenced my life. Such simple things as writing on a message board have led to all sorts of interesting things.

jack@ahamoment.com said...

Indeed, many small decisions do seem to have lasting impact on the direction of our lives. You might be interested to hear more such stories, or to share your own, at www.ahamoment.com. Thanks.