7. What Do We Sing Now / by Leslie Seaton


Upon my return from my winter trip to Arizona, I stocked up on some new music and fell in love with the song "Deadline" by Young Fathers.

This line from the song seemed to dovetail into the thoughts my winter trip had started in me:

Don’t you turn my home against me/even if my house is empty.

My good years were good for a good reason. I got happy within my means. I made 15-second videos where nothing happened and arranged tiny bouquets of free weeds.  I put on a jeweler’s loupe and focused on small accessible pleasures. This is good. It’s not a bad thing to find happiness within what’s readily available. Sometimes this character trait will save you.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be enough.

There are bigger things I have wanted for myself that I haven’t truly worked towards. Partly for standard reasons of poor self-discipline. But partly because on the occasions I have made little efforts, I sometimes failed or was met with at best indifference and at worst outright scorn.

And, of course, has so nearly every human being who has ever taken a risk. The possibility of a negative outcome is precisely what makes it risk instead of a comfortable nap in a couch made of marshmallows and surrounded by compliments.

After my road trip and seeing and hearing the stories of these men who pursued their own visions for their own lives – Forestiere digging his underground mansion, Knight building a mountain, Corliss flying off them, the men of The Big Year chasing birds – I’m left circling this one question:

What does it take to be loyal to your own vision above all, to not be tossed away by setbacks or failures or scorn or rejection or indifference?

And I have a follow-up question for myself: why have I shown such loyalty to the story of failure, to scorn and indifference, welcomed it in, given it a seat at the head of table and let it make the decisions for me? Why have I asked my own bigger vision to please go sit down and be quiet because the adults are talking here?

What am I getting out of that disloyalty to myself? And I know I’m not unique in this behavior. Why do any of us do this? 

next part:

8. mr initiation