Thoughts from a 22-year-old me… Since reading Blue Goat, a number of people have asked how long I’ve been writing/thinking about this sort of stuff. When I lived in NYC right out of college I felt like I was thrust into a crazy place that forced me to look at myself and the world around me in an honest and different way. I would often walk down my street and sit on the park bench on the Promenade and write.
With a view of the city just across the water it provided an amazing perspective of being able to look at the world I was living in through the lens of an outsider.
So here is a snapshot of a few minutes of my journaling from 12/19/2001. I was a year out of college. Living in NYC and just went through 9-11.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately. About what it all really means. What the point is. There seems to be such a small amount of true happiness in the world. At least the kind that doesn’t stem from money or other toys. You can see them on the subway. The really happy ones. You can almost feel it. Why have we created this place that truly does not fulfill our dreams? We seek what the other man has, not what we feel in our hearts. What else is out there? What comes next? It seems as though the only time people really are set free is when they know their time is coming to an end. Then they say, I want to do all of those things I never did, but always wanted to. Why is that? A graveyard scared me the other day. All of those people. Now nothing. Did they really love? Were they happy? Did they find what they were looking for? Where are all these people around me going? What are their lives like? I want to talk to them. Find out what life is really about in their eyes. I want to be someone else for a day to really see the world differently. Do others think like I do? Or are they caught up in the race? I want to test the thick woods and see what is there and get off the path. It all seems so trivial and mindless. We are given all of these gifts to use and then we all end up wasting them. What do people really think deep down? (looking at kids on the playground) These kids are pure joy. When do we lose that? Why don’t we look at the sunsets? A painting for us to watch happen. I feel better now.” (The Promenade) NYC
In writing Blue Goat, I came across my journal and realized that the things I’m still learning about and working through are the same questions I’ve been pondering for almost two decades. It’s an amazing reminder about the journey, how we all have so many questions that we are looking to answer.
I also realized how much I’ve learned since writing this from having countless conversations with so many people over the years. Getting to hear what was going on in other’s lives and realizing what I was told was so far removed from what I expected to find. That experience is what led me to write Blue Goat. In talking with so many people as an advisor and having that opportunity I so desperately was looking for when I was younger, I found that so many of us are living the lives we think we are supposed to be living, rather than the ones that we truly want for ourselves.