Our lives are all different. Even the same activities have different meanings to us. For example, polishing one's nails a bright color may be uneventful to you, even tedious. But to me it is a big thrill. It symbolizes something critical to me and resonates deep inside.
Let's reverse the direction -- jumping on a motorcycle and going fast is a routine, daily experience to me. To non-riders, though, it is an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime event which will be remembered and spoken about for decades.
What matters to you? What is a big deal to you?
Is it career advancement? Romantic intimacy? Socializing? Enjoying your hobbies?
You can stop reading now and answer the question. Or, if you're interested, you can continue on to personal reflections about my life. They will not be on the test. You do, however, get extra-credit for slogging through them. :)
I climbed to the pinnacle of my profession. I've argued before every court, from the lowest to the highest. I've won major cases and suffered crushing defeats. I've had juries applaud me; I've had them turn me down. I've been quoted and published in legal periodicals. I've had my name on the front page of prestigious journals, more than once. I've been practicing law for thirty years (1982-now).
Today, that means little to me. Almost nothing. I scaled those heights and proved to myself and others that I can do it. Okay. Now what? Been there, done that.
What, you may ask, was my career dream? I'll tell you because my life isn't over and I plan to pursue it increasingly in the future. My dream is to become a writer.
Romantic companionship is valuable. It gives us someone to share experiences with, someone to care for. But, if we're wise, we realize at some stage that no relationship, no matter how deep or nurturing, can do the hardest, most vital work -- the project of ourselves. Only we can fill the holes inside us. Believing others can do that is a fallacy that leads too many people in the wrong direction.
So, if I've been successful at work and happy in my romantic life, what's left? This was the topic of my first blog post, entitled "Circling Back." What's left is the thing at my core. The thing that existed at the time of my earliest memory (age 4) and never left me. My struggle with gender. It is the issue at the center of my life.
What's your big issue? What are you wrestling with, caring about, working on?