I returned to my hometown this weekend to help my father move some furniture out of storage and into a moving truck so that he can drive it down to his where he lives now: Austin, Texas. As it turns out, Thanksgiving is coming soon, so the rest of my family was able to come down and celebrate this event while my father and I were in town. This seemed spontaneous to me, too, but I am not always in the loop of family communication. Regardless, I am glad that I got to see everyone.
It is always fascinating to see how members of my family have changed year after year. A cousin is bigger. A cousin has a ring. A grandma is in a wheelchair. An aunt is moving. These are mostly physical attributes. How have they changed behaviorally? Have they "matured"? (Whatever this means)
I tend to find that family events are a reflective time for me. While there is change, there is also not change. On a greater scale, the family event seems pretty much the same every year.
We sit around the table and make jokes (sometimes at the expense of one unlucky member). We talk politics. I typically avoid this part, even as I age and start to form opinions. I don't think my political views are in the same line, and I just can't say the disagreement would be worth bringing up.
This blog is new, so I'll explain. I grew up in the small-ish town of Jefferson City, in a heavily conservative state (Missouri). I went to college at the University of Missouri. I now live in Saint Louis. I like this city better. My political values have changed (drastically) since I was a teen.
So, instead of talking, I have time to reflect. I have time to just be. To just be in a different place, with a wind in the air that just isn't the same as my day to day life at home. This always tends to affect my mood — typically for the better.
It is not necessarily that I am enthusiastic about the event, nor do I have distaste for it. The Difference alone is enough to just make me feel a shift in my mood and attitude. It is a welcome change and it gives my normal routine some room to breathe. It refreshes my perspective. Somehow, these perspective refreshments always seem to come just when I need them. Lucky, right? I don't think so, but that's a topic for another article.
Along with mood change can often come inspiration. I get mountains of (unsolicited) advice from family during this time of year. I know they mean well, and I just agree and move forward with what I know is right for myself. I am glad to have achieved this kind of peace with myself. It was not like this as an anxiety-riddled teenager.
Amongst this mountain of advice usually comes this one snippet. This one conversation that actually clicks. This year it came from my dad. He likes to tell me how to run my freelancing business. I don't mind, but I have realized his advice is far from infallible.
I was riding along with him in the moving truck and he asks me how I advertise myself. "I don't", I tell him. I rely on word-of-mouth at this point. He goes off on how I should advertise myself. "Why don't you pick a business and ask how they found the
guy person that built their website?"
That's not a bad idea.
In fact, I am pretty sure I have had this idea before — but that's not important. The point is the simplicity of the idea. How logical it is. I feel like I have spent the last month spinning in circles on what to do with my career and freaking out because, honestly, finding what you want is confusing. Making money doing it can be hard, too.
It was nice to be grounded like this. After writing about my paralysis analysis in finding fulfillment, this idea really seemed to fit into place, as well.
I have not been approaching my problems with the correct problem-solving tools. I have been haphazardly brainstorming, when I need to add more rigidity and logic. Of course, I knew this, but it takes a certain moment for it to really come together. So, thanks dad. Maybe I will be able to approach my career path with a bit more calmness and rational thinking.
I don't even feel like I have touched on what I meant to write about in this article. I think I meant to write more about variety. Oh, well. Ta-ta for now.