Monday, 19 November 2012

Soul-Searching

I am finished with the task of searching for myself.  I no longer investigate the question of who I am, and what my purpose is.  I am quite pleased with the evolution over time of the one, and the wondrous arbitrariness of the other.

"Soul-searching" was never a journey upon which I ever meant to embark.  Quite the opposite. It was early in my life that I considered it a fruitless pursuit.  My reasoning as a child was simple: you cannot search for who you are.  You can only develop a greater sense of self-awareness by living, and reflecting on what you've done.  This cannot be done by standing still.  To stop would be to do nothing; to learn nothing about myself; to stop growing. 

It was then frightening to me that I would unwittingly wind up engaged in activity that can be characterized as "searching for my soul" after high school, and even more so that I found I couldn't stop.  I jumped almost mindlessly from one job to the next ("almost" because there were technically always reasonable grounds for the moves, but "mindlessly" because they were never based on criteria that contributed to my happiness).  My consolation was always that I was at least "doing" things: pushing personal boundaries,  meeting a lot of people, and learning new hard skills.  But was I learning about myself?  Did I discover anything I didn't already know? Was I challenged? Did I grow?

I grew, in the broadest sense of the term, as inevitably as our forward passage through time (or apparent forward passage through time in everyday experience; whatever.)  Looking back, I didn't wind up exactly on the "soul-searching journey" that I criticized as a child, but there is no denying that in spite of all of the activity, with regard to a formulation of an answer to the question of who I am, all I was really doing was standing still.

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