The joy of carving your own path

Last night, I stood with a mic in front of a large room of maybe 30 or 40 people, many of them my friends, and shared with them this list of 24 questions to connect authentically. I walked them through why I created it, how to use it, and we proceeded to break into groups of 3 or 4 and share ourselves with each other. To tell our stories, reveal ourselves, and to do so with open minds and—hopefully—wide open hearts.

This was a night of magic for me.

Many of my friends (and strangers) who attended this event in the heart of the city came up to me afterward and told me they felt uplifted, that they loved it. I also made some seriously great new friends in a very short amount of time. New projects and collaborations (involving me and not involving me) were also born amidst the constellation of connections. But these, as affirming and lovely as they were, weren't the reason behind my everpresent afterglow.

Most importantly, this evening of pouring my heart into organizing a (last minute) event of real meaning for me, of sharing a message I think the world needs, and of being my full self through speaking and facilitating deeper conversation—these things are the very things I left my prior life to pursue. I left Google and all the solidity, the certainty of that initial life design for wild, radical commitment to these values. I was scared shitless in some ways, but some tiny part of me had this steadfast faith I couldn't explain. 

Despite the faith, though, when things come together in ways that hint at the ideal future of meaningful work and projects I want to design for myself, I feel unutterably grateful. It feels like my blind faith is proving to not be so blind after all. 

I like to think when you follow the tugs of your most idealistic and wide-eyed curious self, stars align and magic happens in a seamless way. So far for me, this has been invariably true, to the point where I rejoice in how lucky I am to be experiencing these creative and connecting moments at all, randomly and often throughout the week. It feels like the universe has invited me to dance, and I took her hand, grimaced with trepidation but said yes anyway, only to find the doors open to experiences that unfold with a momentum of their own, as if they were just waiting for me to take the first step.

The mechanisms of our world, our universe, the spiritual dimension (and whether or not spirituality has anything to do with it at all) are not nearly as interesting to me as the encouraging function of this kind of faith in something that guides and supports me. I am generally very willing to discard my beliefs about what's true of the unseen, but there's one thing I can't refute and that is the deep feeling of gratitude I have for all the beautiful friendships, experiences, creative outlets, and opportunities I've encountered at every turn, even during the rocky and confusing moments of the journey so far. 

In short, I feel lucky. I was scared to make a big change (perhaps rightfully so, only time will tell) but things have unfolded beautifully. I'm not a typically positive person, nor am I especially negative, so this daily and effortless gratitude isn't something I ever experienced before now. And some part of me feels obligated to share it, to indicate that if there's ever a part of you that feels pulled by what seems trivial or delayable, that you might want to consider giving it the attention it's been asking of you starting now. 

I don't want this blog to be a broken record of the same brand of encouragement. But I do want it to document with full honesty my entire reckless and adventuresome pursuit of fulfillment, meaning, and service. And a core part of this truth, I'm discovering, is that this pursuit leads to magic. The small but very real courage it takes to step into the shoes you tell yourself you will dare to fill when you are older, more secure, more successful, more confident should be acted upon now. 

This is the only life that makes to me. And last night was just one evening of warmth and novelty of the kind I live for, but to me it represented how joyful the journey itself can really be, how glad I am to have surrounded myself with people and places that facilitate this more whole-hearted and intellectually curious living.

I feel, now more than ever, like I'm home.