MY Life’s Work
Recently I had an epiphany about my Life’s Work .There is a whole industry based off the concept of finding one’s purpose in life and what one’s life work is supposed to be. Finding your true life’s purpose is what we literally, as human beings LIVE and sometimes die for.
Nothing worth doing is easy finding one’s purpose requires stamina beyond mortal comprehension, and requires one to be willing to take on a refusal to give up or turn back or stop when life in it’s infinite wisdom throws every conceivable monkey wrench in your path in an attempt to get you to give up.
The thing about giving up is that you accept nothing. When you stop seeking and stop searching for that thing that makes you break out in a sideways grin for no reason, you crush your own spirit and speak darkness into your life as a way to be. That is not how it is supposed to be. The path to finding your life’s work is supposed to be difficult s that when you finally FIND it you KNOW it right away and appreciate the journey because finding it is just the start.
HOW I FOUND MY LIFE’S WORK
Flash back to the days of yore when the first generation iPads came out. I was part of that first wave and was like many totally transfixed and smitten with those initial tablet devices that allowed for a degree of freedom not seen previously in the technology world.
Having joined the cult of Apple I of course like most became an app aficionado. I would search and try out so many apps I honestly can’t even remember them all. One however would stand out and stick with me.
Living and growing up in New York City allowed me to be exposed to so many vibrant cultural institutions. It would set the stage for my artistic yen or at least my love of art – creating meh somewhat. I was able to go and see examples of works by the masters and that carried over into adult life and an appreciation of art. So it was with great anticipation that I ran into an app that was purporting to be a collection of art of the world. I waited with anxiety while the app downloaded to my ipad. Once it did I marveled over the interface – it resembled an actual art gallery with the paintings literally hung on frames on walls that you could tap to expand and also get information on the artist when it was created etc. I spent the initial minutes flipping through various paintings and works of art and eventually realized there was something missing. In all the pieces (mind you the download had to be done in two pieces because it was so graphics intensive), that I viewed I saw no works of art that were done by or contained images of African Americans. This may seem like not so big a deal but they created art too. The images that they created were out there and for a collection of art for the WORLD ostensibly to omit a whole segment like that. Well I was disappointed to say the least. I remember trying to explain this to my mother who at the time was about as far away from being tech savvy as the moons of Jupiter are away from the sun. While she could figure out I was upset about something she couldn’t quite connect the dots and just said well what CAN you do about it? I thought about it for a bit and at the time figured you know someone ought to create a centralized hub or repository for African American Artists and the venues that specialize and feature their work. I thought about it at the time and figured that would be a nice project someday. Then pretty much forgot about it.
LIVING WITH YOUR LIFE’S WORK
Adversity however, has the uncanny ability to make you focus and re-examine your priorities. Relocating away from my beloved Brooklyn into the deep south which i was unfamiliar with along with some losses conspired to bring my thoughts back to that “someday” project.
Having worked on websites for over ten years – I had no problem with the idea of designing and developing such a site. I would however always end those thoughts up with the thinking that its such a huge monstrosity project to take on.This thinking kept me from doing anything about it for a few years. Then things kinda hit bottom and I had literally nothing else that I could focus on or at least my life had hit a point where my options were severely limited. I had serious deep life – changing choices to make and giving up was never an option. So what to do? Until the other areas of my life decided to get back on track what could I focus on that would give me a sense of purpose and accomplishment – that someday project !
It was not so much an epiphany as a quiet realization that the universe had conspired to create a window for me to do something that I felt strongly about, had an interest in and loved. This realization in and of itself did not magically cease all things that were not where they needed to be – it did however make them more tolerable and bearable. The sense of utter futility was removed because aha – I found that thing that I would do – not for a material reward but for a sense of inner satisfaction.
As Socrates said “To be is to do” – doing that which makes you happy for absolutely no reason – just because….is the thing that many people pass by in search for material rewards. Odd since none of those things can go with you. However they soldier on working themselves literally to death because society says they should, family says they should, the man on TV says they should…
Some things are just real simple. We as humans have a tendency to complicate things up beyond measure. Finding your life’s work brings back the simplicity of just BEING.
I am at the time of this writing still actively working on the first stage of the project and it has been more fun than work to be honest. Here’s a screenshot:
The great thing about how this project played out is that the site is already mobile ready and is more of a web app – which will make the ultimate transition to an “app” a lot less problematic than it would be otherwise. As it stands – its just the interface that might need tweaks or elements of it might need to be redesigned but the functionality is already there for the most part.