action · authenticity · fear · growth · jealousy

Just Dessert.

So I literally don’t know if I came up with this, or read or
heard it recently. I’ve tried going through the last few pages of the books I’m
reading, and can’t find it – but, no matter.
“It’s like putting our gifts up on a shelf, and then saying,
alright G-d, what’s your will for me?”
That’s what’s occurred to me. No no no, not those old things – they couldn’t possibly have anything to do with what I’m supposed to do
with my life. Those are just, well, hobbies, or qualities I have, or secret
things I like to do – they certainly aren’t Worth While. They certainly don’t
mean anything with regard to a Life Purpose.
Hmm. I like it – the simplicity of it. I’m a fan of
believing I can pause things till I get a handle on them. I’m also a fan of
half-finished projects, trouncing from one interest to another, so as to not
get too invested – and therefore (fear)
disappointed by the end result.
The problem with any of the things I consider as gifts or
interests is that I do abandon them, and
then have very plausible reason for saying I can’t pursue them, or that they’re
not a viable option. Of
course I
can’t sing in a band – I quit taking voice lessons. Of
course I can’t play in a band – I quit taking guitar
lessons. Of
course I can’t use my
writing as a stream of income – I haven’t submitted anything.
Oh, clarity. How my fears hate the light of day. And,
granted, it’s just the light of today – likely, I’ll forget all this sometime
later today or tomorrow – until I’m once again presented with the pang of
jealousy toward people who are doing the
things I want to do.
You sing in a band? You edited a published book? You sold a
painting? You went on a vacation? You traveled in Europe? You live in a warm
climate? ;P
That last one – well, we’ll leave that alone for now. Although
I will tell you, my Magic 8 ball tells me that I won’t be here in the Bay Area
at the end of the year. … Truth be told.
One of the great things about some of the folks I’m now in
with is that I watch and hear how they turn jealousy into action. That’s the
thing about jealousy for me, at least. If I say to myself, “I could do that
[better, is implied],” then what I’m really saying is I want to do that.
I remember back in college, I would feel visceral pangs of
resentment and jealousy when I would walk into an open mic night to watch other people play. Sometimes I
had to in fact leave because I was so pissed that I (as I understand it now)
couldn’t let myself try.
So the phrase sparks something new – a new awareness of the
patterns of my dream abandonment. I have these nudges, but I discount them and the qualities they could bring to my life as not valid. I thereby stand at the
smorgasbord of life and say nothing looks good. Basically, I say that the cake
and cookies are for other people – not for me. I need the limp kale to get
along in life.
As a metaphor, I would like the cake and cookies. I would
like to understand that anything that I consider “play” is actually a way in
which I’m informing myself of where I’d like to go and what I’d like to do.
Instead of discounting my interests, maybe I should follow them. Instead of
turning back, or judging others, or dismissing my desire for the fun – maybe I
should let myself sink into the gifts and interests that I have.
After all, as they say: Life is short – Eat dessert first. 
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