Friday, January 23, 2009

Talking About Ideas

Last night, as Terri was so wisely counseling me to not grasp at the nearest straw to solve the eternal question of What I'm Supposed To Do With My Life, she said something like, "Figure out what is most important in your life, and go from there."

So that's an interesting question. What's most important to me? Clearly, health, family, peace, creativity -- these are all most important. But in terms of what I like to do... that's a different question. I'm quite good at lots of things, but not really stellar at any of them (other than reading). But what do I *like* to do best? I thought about it a lot before going to sleep last night. Here is what I came up with:

Food/making things.

These are the things I like best. Then I thought about making a list of supporting Things I'm Good At. Here's a partial list of things I am actually genuinely good at: cooking, reading, drawing, fixing things, finding creative solutions to problems, parallel parking, taking care of animals, taking care of people, listening, being compassionate, working hard physically, reading/following directions/instructions, planning trips, bargain-shopping, learning, retaining what I read, picking up on nonverbal cues, being a student.

Looking at this list, I don't see any solutions immediately, but I do get the feeling that perhaps the answer is something completely unexpected, something I have not yet considered AT ALL. Like maybe I'm supposed to be a hot-stone-oven fixer for artisan bread bakers or something like that.

Terri also suggested maybe I take a career counseling class. She did this a long time ago when she was considering doing something other than psychology. Basically, at the end of the class, it told her: be a psychologist. (she is one of those people who has a very clear calling!) But I like this idea. I like taking classes and tests and quizzes and self-searching.

One of the problems, of course, is that I have to make some sort of living at this as-yet unknown Life Purpose. If I choose to make it my career, that is. They always say not to think about the money when figuring out these things, but really, how can you not? I am attempting to put that question aside, however, just so I can get leave the field open.

She also practically insisted that I start painting or drawing or SOMETHING more often. I have this irrational fear of spending large amounts of time doing art. It terrifies me. I don't know why. But I will give it a shot. Maybe just for a week. And then another week. But just one at first. Apparently I am terrified of what might happen. Why? Who knows. Perhaps the gremlin in my head will kill me or something. I'm willing to risk it. For one week (to start).

I fell asleep last night entertaining myself by creating in my mind a little business for myself. It would be a little cafe with a small, delicious menu, that hosted rotating art shows and participated in First Friday art walks, and had rows and rows of used books in the cafe. The thing about the books would be: the books would just 'live' at the cafe, but you could make your own bookmark and come back over and over and pick up reading where you left off last time. I had visions of different themed bookshelves, and paperbacks with multiple bookmarks from multiple patrons. The cafe could be called The TBR Cafe. It could host bookclubs and author signings.

I love it! My palm clearly says that I am supposed to be an artist AND a businesswoman. The palm doesn't lie, you know.

But first, two goals. 1. find a career class. 2. Do some art 5 days a week for one week (to start).

(I started reading the spiritual book. Clearly I am needing some guidance right now).


Nymeth said...

I should make a list like that too. I'm going to have to make important decisions about my future soon, and I'm just so lost.

The TBR Cafe - I love it too :D

Kate said...

I want to come to your cafe.

One of the most interesting people I've ever known is my father's age, widely travelled, widely read (and a writer), ex-Marine, a journalist and newspaper man by profession, and he still has no idea what he wants to be when he "grows up." Once he took a second job flipping burgers at a fast food place just to see what it was like. (This was maybe five years ago, mind you.) Every time I think that I need to figure something out, I think of him and think that maybe it's not such a bad thing to not know.

But seriously...I want to come to your cafe.

stefanie said...

Terri is a wise woman. I was having a what do I want to be when I grow up crisis when I clicked on an internet link on a whim and took a career match test and on the list was librarian. I was astounded I had never thought of that before.

I love you TBR cafe idea. There is no reason why it couldn't be real if you want it to.

Daphne said...

Nymeth: it's an interesting exercise. I think I need to develop it more and see what comes to the top.

Kate: that seems to be a trend -- the seekers have interesting lives. Not such a straight projectory. I think I am feeling like I need to take a corner here somewhere pretty soon, in some way. And I'm glad you would come to my cafe -- I would, too!

Stefanie: I keep thinking about library school, but I'm waiting for the 'click' with something. We'll see what comes up.

Wouldn't the TBR Cafe be fun? If only it wasn't, oh, the WORST possible time to start a new business like that. But I do love the idea.