Friday, May 09, 2008

this post is bananas

Instead of posting the incredibly depressing and sulky post I stashed away in my draft folder yesterday (next to many, many more of the same billing), I decided to ponder some potential messages the universe seems to be sending me in the last few days. First off, I've been absolutely swamped with worry about career path and fear that I'm just so far off where I'm meant to be, that I might have missed my chance to do something incredible (or at least...interesting). Everywhere I turn I see someone with a fascinating job - sure, it might not be a good fit for me - but I see why it's a fit for them, and the work it took them to get there, and the sweet relief of a life well-lived playing out in their daily actions (while I stagnate at my computer, furiously resenting any and everyone who hasn't consigned themselves to a similar fate). And with every great green venture I encounter (with happy little workers behind it's growing success), I think of when I was a happy little do-gooder myself, with aspirations to start organizations, go abroad and take some risks. Yes, I am making good on a few of these things in short order, but in such a whack order and time table I've lost site of the straight energy and drive that I feel necessary to make them work. So, though there is a light at the end of this relative pit-stop of stagnation's tunnel, the downtime is taking a terrible toll on my confidence that when I get to that light, I'll be able to get back into the right mode to make it work.

Back when I graduated from college and was fresh off my senior project and volunteer work focusing on the banana plantations in Costa Rica, I believed I could do what I was setting out to do. I didn't question I could make it happen, that my career would be great in some way - whether by impact, or experience, or ideally - both. But then I started on a path of gaining experience as it was presented to me - taking advantage of opportunities that were for all extents and purposes great, because they were there for the taking. And a few years went by, and some learning happened, and some jaded happened, and some energy was expelled while my path looped and twisted and gradually made itself known to me again. So I took some flying leaps to grab onto it, trying to forgive myself for taking so long to do so and see the value in the experiences I'd had and gained while meandering for a bit. But now, even as I wait for the next steps to swing into high gear, I see all these people around me whose paths were a little straighter and more direct, and they're just in a better space emotionally than I appear to be. So I've been trying to learn from them, and cut out the bullshit that always gets in my way, even when I appear to be headed in the right direction.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law sent me a link to this book. It brought back all sorts of memories about the time in which bananas were a big part of my focus, and how in studying their production my eyes opened to a whole host of world and consumer issues that I internalized and remain with me to this day. I intended to build a career around them - and I'm finally starting to do so with my studies this fall, but it's taken so much longer than I thought. Back then I had business ideas, ideas that I know now were just a smidge ahead of their time, but had they been acted on, would be playing to full effect in today's market and consumer arena. Then a few days ago Shauna had a post about this the most phallic of fruits, and my ears started twitching once again. Later that same night I was indulging in live t.v. at the penthouse I house sit at sometimes, and caught a Disney kids segment on...wait for it...bananas. I mean, since when are bananas fodder for quality prime time children's entertainment?

My world is suddenly raining bananas, and I can't tell what the message is. For me, bananas are in someway where it all started. But in this year of waiting for a scholarship which will finally allow me to pursue the path they put me on, I am more and more worried that somehow the past few years and a host of bad habits might interfere with the potential first laid out. I see all these people who seem to have already made their mark and created something amazing. True visionaries who don't seem to have put up with years staring at a computer screen letting their brain atrophy. So, are all these signs just a reminder to finish what I started, to trust the path and finally, make it happen?

I need to know I'm not past my prime. I need to know that I can be about action, not just ideas and a convoluted path in the hopes of one day making something good come of all my passion.



Blogger Natalie said...

I firmly believe that it will come eventually. It's just a matter of doing what you can do to make it happen and letting the world turn to find you in the right place. I too have feelings of being past my prime for usefulness. However, unlike you, I don't even know what I want to be useful doing. I think you are well on your way.

5/12/2008 11:44 AM  
Blogger S'Mat said...

Deio, me say dei-yay-yay-o!
You have great skill at detailing the mires of latency. I read this post twice, all the time thinking that I belong to the same republic as you. The difference is that you know how to communicate it.

Now, not pretending that I can properly assuage my own feelings this way, I'd say that you'd definitely know if you were over-ripe just by the sheer absence of question. You'd probably just want -or feel like wanting- something altogether entirely different .

When life hands you bananas, make daiquiris!

5/13/2008 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

considering that we'll probably be working well into our 70s, I think you'll have plenty of time to get were you need to go and have an impact on the world.

5/15/2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You will figure out your path and do something that feeds your soul and changes the world in a positive way, I know you will. I can empathize with where you are and what you're thinking and feeling. I don't know what the universe is trying to tell you, but I know for a fact you'll sort it out.

5/15/2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger Chatty Knitter said...

It makes me feel a bit better knowing I am also in the same republic as you - to paraphrase your buddy in comment slot 2.

I love the phrase "brain atrophy". That definitely captures what is happening to me on a daily basis as well.

I always love coming here and reading your work. Thanks.

5/16/2008 8:09 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Natalie - I'm glad I'm not alone in these feelings! And sometimes, not having an idea can be better than having too many - that way when the right opportunity comes along, you'll recognize it! I can't wait to see what it is for you and for me!

S'mat - your comments always make my heart sing. Thanks. Oh, and bring on the daiquiris!

Anon - great point!

Lisa - I wish we lived in the same place so we could life-storm over drinks! You are a wise woman!

Chatty knitter - again, so nice to not feel alone in it. I think it's a total product of this age and the generation we're part of - young people are doing more and more, and sometimes you feel like you're one of them - and sometimes you feel like you've missed the boat. Thankfully, I think we all have good role models around us of all ages to remind us it's never too late - sometimes I just need to vent and then get whacked with some perspective. I better get over to your blog to get a better catch up on you, btw!

5/16/2008 11:29 AM  

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