I asked myself a question tonight. As I sat on the front porch swing, swaying in the cool spring breeze, I asked myself a very important question.
If you could do anything, what would you do?
It’s an old question, one you usually ask a person in my situation. I’ve recently realized that I don’t like doing the same thing over and over. I would much rather work on one thing for while, master it or just experience it, and then move on to something else. This is an idea I never thought about before. I always wanted to have that wonderful nine-to-five, clock out, head home, and spend time with my kids, my friends, and my hobbies. But I don’t have kids or friends, and I have way too many things I could consider a hobby (including this blog).
This led me to think about my job. I’m grateful to have it, especially considering the circumstances. Yet, I’m growing tired of it. It’s the same thing day after day. And at the end of the day (and the day after…) I go home, watch YouTube, play a game, maybe go for a walk if the weather is nice, and go to sleep. I awake the next day and do it all over again. I thought, “If I’m going to do the same thing over and over, day after day, I’d at least want to be doing something I enjoy doing.”
And that takes me back to my teen years (and I’ll lump college in there, too). I didn’t care what I did or how much money it made me, as long as I enjoyed doing it. After all, if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life… right? Other people tried to point me in another direction. They wanted me to get a job – no, not a job, a career. Medical benefits, pension plans, retirement; the whole nine yards. But I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. So along with my siblings and cousins I made videos (way before YouTube). I worked at swimming pools lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons, and eventually managing a pool. I worked with web design for a while, although every client I managed to pick up eventually didn’t want a website. I then headed into teaching, which I very much liked. There’s just certain aspects of the education system which are broken and I can’t deal with that. But the community teen center I worked for was more open than the standards based school curriculum. I could actually teach things that were important. I’ve also tried my hand at recording weddings, doing graphics and print work, installing computer systems, setting up security cameras, volunteering, consulting on computer and networking systems, coaching youth sports teams, and of course my latest endeavor of being Internet famous.
So, I finally asked myself the question: If I could do anything
anything in this context being whatever I enjoy doing, whatever I desire to accomplish, and whatever I wish to take part in
then, what would I do?
And the answer is:
There’s so much I could do. There’s even more I can’t do but would like to do. There’s no real specific thing I can think of that I want to do. But there’s plenty of general ideas about things that would be fun, interesting, exciting, difficult, embarrassing, scary – and freeze.
I just can’t get past the point where I freeze up. The “scary” point. The point where I get lost in a whirlpool of thoughts: how do I start? When do I have time? Who’s going to get it? How do I support myself with it? What do I do in the interim? I still need another job while I transition, right? How long do I keep it? When do I transition? Is there no right time? Is there no wrong time? Is there still time?
I freeze before anything even begins. That’s part of what this blog is about: learning how to just keep swimming. I’ve actually had a blog somewhere on the Internet for over 15 years now. I have a comic strip I take seriously every few decades. There’s projects upon projects I’ve started but never finished. I’ve spent so much money on things only to never utilize them for anything. I’ve had so many ideas that other people have genuinely liked, but I’ve never gone through with any of it.
Because I continue to freeze.
I like myself, but I don’t like where I am. And I don’t really know how to get anywhere else. My whole move to Florida should be indicative of my lack of life change prowess. It’s difficult to start a new thing. And yet, I see people around me doing it. The cast of Studio C, a YouTube channel I watch, has left and started their own YouTube channel, JK! Studios. The guys at Dude Perfect were just some college buddies doing trick shots in their back yard, but they went on to become, well, Dude Perfect.
But the next point I freeze on is how they had each other. The JK! Studios cast are all really good friends. The Dude Perfect guys are obviously good friends. Even YouTubers like Alec in WILDerland, Mumbo Jumbo, Matthew Santoro, Jazza, TheOdd1sOut, and Freakin’ Reviews (who seem to be doing it on their own) actually have a strong support system in place.
But if I had all that, and I was able to do it, and I had the money, and I had the ambition… what would I do?
P.S. – I tried to find and link to the Florida story, but it turns out I never really told it here. A story for another time, though.