The other day, I had lunch with an old buddy who shared with me how his life had been the past couple years—full of lots of disappointments and challenges. We all go through times like this. I asked him, after listening for a while, purely out of curiosity, “Was there anything good that came out of all that?” He was a little stumped by my question but managed to come up with a thing or two. Then I asked, “So what plans do you have now?” He basically said he was going to keep doing what he’s been doing.
That whole exchange made me realize that there are people who will sort of settle into their life, either for a little time or a long time. Maybe that’s a restful period. Maybe that’s something more.
It also made me realize that I really don’t enjoy these pause periods. While I value the uncomfortable, sometimes even painful periods, because they drive me to innovate and change, I don’t enjoy periods where I don’t seem to be driving forward or learning.
For me, hell wouldn’t be pain or challenge. It would be settling in to a somewhat numbing normalcy, where I value the knowable more than the question, where I value safety more than possibility, where I settle at time that requires me to push myself. I need to act rather than waiting for life to happen to me.