On doing, rather than being

The thing I am not very good at is sitting. Being still. Waiting, contemplating. I tend to jump right onto things, without thinking too much about why. I am restless, I suppose.  I rearrange the furniture a lot.


I believe I am a person who likes an action plan. I like to know where I am going, when I will get there and how many steps are involved. Which is ironic really,  since I feel like much of my life has proceeded without such rigour.  As such I seem to spend a lot of time meandering around in circles, looking for the door to the next level.


I have spent all my life wondering what to be when I grow up, and now, in the firm grip of middle age, when one should surely feel accomplished and grown up and settled, I am more confused than ever. How can I feel so old on one hand (gravity is not my friend), and so lacking in authority and gravitas on the other?  I do not feel grown up at all, but the face in the mirror says different.  


This feeling of inadequacy, of limited expertise, is a narrow view restricted to new things of course, not the vast expertise gathered in a career I never really intended and never have felt particularly zingy about. In continually seeking something fresh to be, I feel like I have spent all my life hovering around the starter blocks, endlessly dabbling.


As I gear up for my first exam in over two decades tomorrow, two things occur to me

  1. I should really be running through my notes rather than pontificating on the meaning of life, and

  2. Maybe I don’t know where I am going, or why I’ve take up a degree in brain science at this point (except that it is fascinating stuff), but what I have come to realise is that it’s not about being something. It is not about some potential endgame.  It’s just the thrill of doing.

I really should know this about myself by now and be more accepting of the way I engage with the world. I enjoy doing new things, experiencing things, expanding my mind and engaging as fully as I can in the possibilities of this one precious conscious life I am lucky enough to have. And the very nature of seeking new, means one very seldom gets to be an expert in them. Maybe if I took time out to think about it, one day it might sink in!