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, in actuality. 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 that I would wind up unwittingly "searching for my soul" in my early 20's, and more so that I couldn't stop.  I jumped almost mindlessly from one job to the next ("almost" because there were always technically solid grounds for my decisions, 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?  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.)  Overall, it wasn't exactly the "soul-searching journey" that I criticized as a child, but there is no denying ... that in spite of all of the activity, as regards a formulation of an answer to the question of who I am, all I was really doing was standing still.

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