Saturday, December 05, 2009

Experiential Living & the Search for the Ultimate Donut

I don't think it would surprise you to know I am a reflective person.

I mean, I spend a lot of time in my head conducting self-analysis, making connections, drawing conclusions. Needless to say, I believe I'm extraordinarily in touch with myself and my motivations.

What I've discovered though is that sometimes this is a major hindrance to my personal growth. I have trouble just being in the moment and not either A) looking 10 steps back to make a connection to something from my past or B) looking 6 steps forward to what could happen if I do this, this, or that. The next thing I know, I find I've missed out on something incredibly wonderful because I wasn't in the moment with whatever was happening.

Up until relatively recently I'd always considered myself to be a rational, analytical, somewhat reserved person. And then I got called out by someone who knew me quite well. It turns out...I'm pretty impulsive. Which is actually, most of the time, pretty cool. It means I'm free to be spontaneous - and I've found spontaneity is awesome. What's not cool is when that impulsiveness clouds my ability to stay focused on what I truly want.

I think I have it all figured out. I think I know what I want. And then a situation arises with new information and I jump and go completely off in an entirely different direction only to find myself back where I began going wait...what?

Several years ago, I had an incredible night with a boy I barely knew. I wasn't living in Denver then but I was here hanging out with friends, one of whom was going to be in Europe for the summer. This boy and I left my friends, a couple, to themselves for several hours know. He and I drove all over Denver, talking, laughing, philosophizing. We had no destination in mind. We didn't have a plan. We went where the night took us and it took us to some fabulous, wild, and, in some cases, a little dangerous places. At the end of the night, we gave the night a name. We called it "Experiential Living and the Search for the Ultimate Donut". It was one of the best nights of my life. I never saw that boy again.

And so what I've concluded is that what I really want hasn't been defined. It's...situational. It's open and negotiable. I've got no destination. I've got no plan. What I mean is that I want the experiences to just happen without having to plan or seek or give up something to have something else. I want to be in the moment and not actively jumping to conclusions. I want to go where the night takes me.

Lex calls this "letting things develop organically". I like that. He's smart. I should listen to him more often.


zero hour said...


Kristin said...

ok, I'm not very good at this. Thought I left a comment but it didn't post, so I'll try again!
I love this!!! Being a planner (both in profession and personality), I am constantly making lists, organizing things, planning waaaay in advance for everything. Oh, and the self-analysis - way out of control. How's that working for me? Not always the results I want. I'm ready to try living experientially! Don't know quite how to make that transition, but thanks for the inspiration! :)