Tag Archives: Indiana Jones

Make Your Mark…Then Move It

“I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.”– Robert Downey Jr.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”– Joseph Campbell

Neat stacks and tidy rows. Organized uniformity. Controlled outcomes and throttled variables. Just the sound of the phrases evokes a soothing sense of inner peace.

Unfortunately, that’s not the game, and those aren’t the rules.

We live in a perpetual Indiana Jones boulder chase world, and the only constant is a complete lack of command over where and when those pitfalls break free from their hiding places to surprise us with a spiky slip into an unlucky situation.

Instead of a laser-locked focus on permanence, maybe the best we can hope for is a clear footprint, created from a confident plant of our boots in the mud, ready to be washed away with the next day’s rain. We don’t necessarily need ownership of a name remembered for generations, but making a mark is an important pursuit, even if it’s a daily one.

Navigating social media scoreboards and spinning inside a constant comparison culture can diminish individual victories and discount incremental gains by shining a brighter light on the checkered flag than the gravel on the ground. But reaching any finish line is accomplished by first taking one step, and then another.

Humans exist inside the center of a dynamic tornado. We spend the majority of our waking moments dodging the debris. There is only here and there is only now.

Celebrate your wins. Recognize the effort required. Take stock. Plant your flag…and then move it.

Adolescence Interrupted

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The Keys to the Kingdom Can’t Open All the Locks

SONY DSC

Being born a white, middle class American male undoubtedly comes with a limitless bounty of benefits. The struggles that most modern human beings have to face on a daily basis make the insignificance of any routine discontent seem laughable. On a macroscopic scale, this dichotomy is even more ridiculous.

As Eddie Vedder so aptly chanted, “He won the lottery by being born. Big hand slapped a white male American.”

But the only reality we know is our own, and perception can be a wily thing. I look at the daggers I’ve dodged, the nearly-impossible summits I’ve reached, and the countless pitfalls I’ve leapt, and I wonder exactly what that lottery ticket looks like. As I find myself standing back at the starting line for the umpteenth time, I can only imagine what this fight would feel like wearing a different color skin, in a different city, or without the love and support of friends and family to provide emotional safety nets along the line.

Surviving in today’s world is like walking through an infinite corridor, following a flash of light somewhere in the distance. Unfortunately, without warning, random pieces of the floor can disappear beneath your feet and occasionally massive boulders chase behind you in some theme park-replicated Indiana Jones living nightmare. It’s a wonder any of us make it through life…alive.

Questions and concerns, worries and wonder. There’s a lot taking up valuable brain real estate. We have self-constructed familial and social circles, and we spin inside those centrifuges, hoping that the sediment will settle. But being dizzy is a big part of those passage rites, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic position.

We’re all just doing our best not to wobble and fall, one shaky and carefully-planted step at a time.

Adolescence Interrupted