I want this to be brilliant…but it might be just ‘ok’
Another flashback for you (and me, actually)… written on the 25 June 2013 from somewhere high over the Indian Ocean.
Writing this from however-many-thousand-feet planes fly, on my way to Bangkok. I’ll be living there for the next two months while completing a certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages, praying for any digestive maladies to arise only between dusk and dawn and absorbing, drinking-in the culture, food, people and buzz that I imagine this place has to offer.
I’m tired, bit headachy, eerily calm and a little proud part of me wants to write something brilliant and profound here. But as one of my writing heroes Seth Godin says, you get to amazing through not-yet-amazing. It’s very timely that while sitting here on the plane, sorting through and organising emails I was re-reading some of his old blog posts (I just can’t get enough of this guy), and came across this one from May 2013:
“Confronted with the gap between your vision of perfect and the reality of what you’ve created, the easiest path is no path. Shrug. Admit defeat. Hit delete.
Of course, the only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that’s where you are. For now.”
My own take on this (and frustration) is I (we/some people) don’t often realise how close we are to something that will shift, stir, shake, sort out…whatever is unsettled, whatever needs shifting and whatever needs shaking up. AND whatever comes to mind for you right now as you’re reading this, that’s as good a place to start.
This feels pertinent for me at the moment because, well, I’ve just left the country, and have no firm job to go to, no place to live yet. But that’s irrelevant, really (I have a place to live for the next few months and am speaking with the right people about jobs and opportunities… so I’m not exactly jumping in without a safety net).
What matters most is that I think I’ve got my next few moves worked out (I do have a broad intention or goal but I’m not totally clear yet. More about that some other time). They’re not amazing or glamorous; hey, I’ll admit – there’s a little part of me that wishes there was a bit more surface razzle-dazzle to the plans (“I’m trekking in the Himalayas, then I’m volunteering to help disenfranchised Indian youth set up social enterprises before taking up that senior consulting position at PwC in Shanghai…”).
My ‘plan’ is to just start…somewhere, anywhere. I’m not quite clear yet, so if I get too fussy about the ‘where’, then the ‘some’ just might not happen. Land in Shanghai, teach English, get immersed, learn the language, explore, be adventurous, take risks, be smart, go through doors that open and move away from a fixed idea of how things ‘should be’.
PS (addition on 18 October 2013): I continue to be grateful for the opportunity and freedom to do this right now in my life! One thing that never fails to be brilliant – Bangkok sunsets (this photo is from my Bangkok apartment rooftop, Sathorn).