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finding a personal path  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I think there will be some people that will feel .... disconnected from ... everything. They have not yet discovered their passion. So they need to experience a list of different things to see what their calling is. Beekeeping? Caring for cattle? Horticulture? Cooking? Building?
 
Miles Flansburg
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Absolutely, I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have passion for several things but being stuck in the "american dream" always seems to crowd them out.
 
Sarah Mae
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Location: SE New Brunswick Canada, Zone 5a
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This post has been on my mind. I read it and couldnt figure out at first what I felt about it, just that it got stuck in my brain. I just figured it out.

I know what my passion is, absolutely, and because that passion is so integral to life itself, I probably look similar to the disconnected person you described, only I am very connected. I live and feel and experience my whole life through relationships- of all kinds, that is. So, all of the things that I do (livestock tending/raising, gardening, building, singing, dancing, playing ukulele, making art, designing and organising and planning for future and present homesteading, home educating, self-educating, lots of food prep and traditional/paleo cooking, etc...) are just vehicles for love, for devotion and expression for what is ultimate for me- relationships. I suppose that there is a difference between the goal-oriented, freedom-seeking, purpose-driven person (usually men, but not always, obviously), and people like me, who really tried all of that for a long time, and found that freedom isnt enough (which is funny thing to say because freedom never is *enough*, being an emptying sort of thing), unless you consider that freedom isnt personally enough when there is another, higher, priority, like fulfillment. For some, completion and the freedom that brings, is first and foremost- top priority-, but for me, it is second to the abundance of fulfillment, and I find that fulfillment personally in relationship with others (and myself of course).

So, I meander through the doings, trying this and that, but not because I am lost or unsure of what I want. I know what I want, absolutely, but the doings, which I enjoy thoroughly and genuinely love (!), are really humbly in service to that higher priority of mine, which means that they are a means, and not ever going to come first, and certainly never going to be my first passion in life. All of that said, it is because of my first love, to live through relationships, that I am diligent in my skills-acquisition and and work. I want to give my best to the people I love, not holding back, but full-on, because I feel so good about myself and my life when I do that, and I feel bad when the doings occasionally winnow their way into first place. For a goal/purpose/mission-oriented person, this may seem lazy or like nonsense, to put accomplishment so much lower relative to relationships, but it really isnt. I had to find my way to this, from that other way, finding it wanting and inauthentic for me, though I have loads (immense respect) of appreciation for the other way, and for those people whose authentic path is that way.

I dont mean to be excluding anyone, which is why I am careful to be mostly non-gender-specific, but it is usually the men in my life who have found goal and freedom-seeking to be authentic paths, and it is a struggle for the women, who often get rigid and cold and unfulfilled in trying to exist in that role. I was one of those, but having surrendered to my authentic path and passion makes me feel soft and vulnerable and completely not interested in goals or accomplishments at all. And I feel really great this way. In my former path, I gained a lot of skills, and I use them now, of course. But, it was a hard road, and I feel so relieved to live this way now. I will never have an impressive resume or likely be called first to a build or design-conference, even though I can do those things, because I would rather call everyone over for a party and be remembered for how people felt when we were together, rather than how impressed they were with what I did. I dont think or feel that this is universal or better than the other way. It is just the way I am, and there is so much room for the other impressive-doings sort of people (I tend to really enjoy, worship, and love the male versions of these a lot a lot... to a fault).

So, I wanted to share because I felt like there was room for dissent in the most compassionate way from the no doubt unintended implications of the original post. And I know that this is a thin representation of the much more wholistic way that I experience my life, and feel in it, but it is probably as good as it gets for words in place of in-person interaction.

Thank you for the prompt to examine and clarify my own perspective, Paul. I always enjoy that. Even when I dont.
 
Aaron Festa
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From an unlikely source but that is why I always love Dostoyevsky's writing. This is from A Raw Youth

"The present day" he began after a pause lasting two minutes, looking away into space, "the present day is a golden age of mediocrity and callousness, of a passion for ignorance, idleness, inefficiency, a craving for everything ready made. No one thinks; its rare for anyone to work out an idea for himself."

He broke off again and paused for awhile; I listened. "Nowadays they are stripping Russia of her forests, and exhausting her natural wealth, turning the country into a waste and making it fit only for the Kalmucks. If a man looks forward and plants a tree everyone laughs at him, and tells him he wont live to enjoy it. On the other hand those with aspirations discuss nothing but what will be in a thousand years. The idea that sustained men has utterly gone. Its as though they were all at a hotel and were leaving Russia tomorrow."
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Sarah Mae wrote:So, all of the things that I do (livestock tending/raising, gardening, building, singing, dancing, playing ukulele, making art, designing and organising and planning for future and present homesteading, home educating, self-educating, lots of food prep and traditional/paleo cooking, etc...) are just vehicles for love, for devotion and expression for what is ultimate for me- relationships.


Sarah Mae, your post was eloquent and wonderful. Thank you.

In my experience, Paul has a healthy respect and admiration for some (or most, or all?) of what you're describing. He and I composed a "wish list" of community members for the land and base camp and we struggled with a term for some of what you've described. This still might not be a role or a name that exactly fits the beauty of your passion, but it made me think of it. The role is "people space nurturer."

Apologies if this is not at all what you meant, Sarah Mae, though I think it's a good place to point out that "people space nurturing" is what makes a place more than simply livable - it makes a home.

 
Sarah Mae
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Thank you for that Jocelyn. And YES! I think *people space nurturing* is an excellent term to describe what I meant. I know Paul wants this sort of person involved as well, I just thought that it is interesting how when I thought of the sort of meandering, figuring out sort of path he described, it is just like me, only for the very opposite reason than disconnection. On the other hand, there are definitely people in that situation, no doubt. Its just funny how two completely opposite perspectives can yield what looks on the surface to be exactly the same, but isnt really.
 
Beverly Temmer
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Ahhh... Not knowing is my issue. I don't know what I want to do. I do know that I do want to do. (Does that make sense?)

So, I'd like to try many things to find the one that speaks to me. Would it be possible to be an intern at 58?

Hmmmmmmmm.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Sarah Mae wrote:Thank you for that Jocelyn. And YES! I think *people space nurturing* is an excellent term to describe what I meant. I know Paul wants this sort of person involved as well, I just thought that it is interesting how when I thought of the sort of meandering, figuring out sort of path he described, it is just like me, only for the very opposite reason than disconnection. On the other hand, there are definitely people in that situation, no doubt. Its just funny how two completely opposite perspectives can yield what looks on the surface to be exactly the same, but isnt really.


Yes, you're correct that you have come from the end of connecting and finding your path, while Paul is proposing folks who are disconnected might be able to find their path in his farm.

I'm glad the "people space nurturing" made sense and that you appreciate the perspectives. I should probably clarify that I was trying to provide a concrete and yet supportive example of a tiny piece of Paul's vision for people who might be concerned about falling into a path that they feel is a bit "less than" some other paths.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Beverly Temmer wrote:Ahhh... Not knowing is my issue. I don't know what I want to do. I do know that I do want to do. (Does that make sense?)

So, I'd like to try many things to find the one that speaks to me. Would it be possible to be an intern at 58?

Hmmmmmmmm.



Beverly, did you see Paul's thread called a new home for the humble?
 
Sarah Mae
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Sarah Mae wrote: I should probably clarify that I was trying to provide a concrete and yet supportive example of a tiny piece of Paul's vision for people who might be concerned about falling into a path that they feel is a bit "less than" some other paths.



I agree that theres no such thing as a less-than path. It took me a while to figure that out, admittedly, especially when I felt like my own path didnt measure up to an impossible-for-me standard. I love this forum and the people who share here inspire me. I have been reading here for years, but only recently joined as I make my second go of living on the land, first time solo. So my personal irony is that my own path is presently asking of me that I do it all, after coming to a place where I no longer considered that necessary.... Ah, life. Im sure thats why Pauls post caught my attention.
 
J.T. Croteau
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Location: NH and MO
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Paul, I wish this was 10 years ago. I would likely join you in a heart-beat. However, I just recently was put in a position in life to finally begin walking down my "personal path" and have already made a commitment to buy my own 5-acres of land, deep in the woods, to build my off-grid nirvana of sorts. At 40, I feel I am now too old to, once again, change my plans for fear of it being the last opportunity I have to build and enjoy my dream before I am too old to live alone.

I wish you all the best of luck. It sounds like a terrific opportunity for the right people and I am glad to hear this is all finally starting to take shape.
 
polly smith
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Sarah Mae wrote:Thank you for that Jocelyn. And YES! I think *people space nurturing* is an excellent term to describe what I meant. I know Paul wants this sort of person involved as well, I just thought that it is interesting how when I thought of the sort of meandering, figuring out sort of path he described, it is just like me, only for the very opposite reason than disconnection. On the other hand, there are definitely people in that situation, no doubt. Its just funny how two completely opposite perspectives can yield what looks on the surface to be exactly the same, but isnt really.


And perhaps Sarah, as you've just done for me, the opposite perspective is - beneath - really just the same? I've been left wondering about how much of what you wrote relates to me personally... the 'becoming an 'expert' at certain things and in constant search of education and edification', but feeling bored, distracted, unfulfilled at the end of it. Your party metaphor is exactly what leaves me filled up. I wonder...

I appreciate you sharing your musings and they make me wonder in a way I'd not really considered before. I don't feel untalented, but they bring me nowhere near the sense of deep satisfaction (and yes - happiness) that I feel when I introduce the right people connections, organise the right work party, listen and give space to the right upset soul. Which I feel is what you are talking about? Versus my limited definition/ description (for want of something better?) of "feeling disconnected and wandering in search of my satisfaction", I think I'm envious of your sense of true north (in an admirational sort of way).

I wonder: perhaps my satisfaction and I have already met and I just didn't recognise her for what she was. Hmmmm.

Thank you, Sarah (and Paul-Jocelyn, for being the conduit!)
 
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