Life has a funny way of taking hold of the reins and leading you along the most comfortable path. Our society prompts us what to drink when we thirsty, what type of car to drive, what style of clothes to wear. We surrounded by marketing and advertising and more so we are surrounded by a population that has bought into this culture and sweeps us along for the ride. We all in it together and it defines who we are.
I have a state of the art cell phone that I can use to check mails, phone friends, browse social media, I can even use it as a remote control for our TV (That we never watch) I have a car which says I am successful in my business and I live an active lifestyle. We live in two rooms of our home which consists of four bedrooms, three bathrooms and enough space to entertain the entire pupil body of the little private school in our town. How much of this is by design? How much of this has been a conscious choice? I know the answer for myself, as I have become rather aware of what I do and how I do it, yet I still find myself caught in the flow of the mundane routine that defines many of our lives this generation. We work hard for 5 days, play harder on weekends, create an identity for ourselves which is very often modeled on what we perceive to be fun rather that what really inspires us. I am not trying to be cynical, I am merely observing that in the absence of the friends, media or society we live in, that which we really choose to do make very well be completely different to that which we currently take part in and call fun.
Let me give you an example.
So today I go home for lunch feeling uninspired. Monday morning blues, I have all good intentions to get certain things done and I didn’t achieve them. No big deal, that is pretty routine in our business. However there was definitely something lacking. I could not place my finger on it and I questioned Tania, my soul-mate. So we discussed it as we do, and we did not solve the problem over lunch. I suggested a drive to the beach. On the way Tania asked me why I no longer do anything creative. Why I have given up music and art? In the work I do there is not much room for creativity, I am an insurance broker, we work with contacts, figures, claims. Our business is black and white. Yet at school I took music and art as subjects. I can draw, I can find my way around a musical instrument, I don’t profess to be particularly good at either music or art yet I used to enjoy both. So we explored this thought process. It turns out in the eleven years I have lived in Port Alfred no-one really knows that I have any creativity in me. You can ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you something along the lines of: “Dylan is a good insurance broker.” “Dylan is a long distance runner.” “Dylan has done the Ironman.” “Dylan is a good dad.” or something along those lines. Yes I have worked hard and I did partake in endurance events but none of that is who I am. That is merely something that I did. Are defined by what we do rather than who we are?
I am not an artist or a musician. I am also not an endurance athlete, in fact I struggle to run 5 km at the moment. I am not an adventurer or a motorcyclist. Sometime I go fishing, but I am not a fisherman. So the big question is not what am I but who am I.
WHO AM I? Who am I? What is my purpose here? Whose life is better as a result of me existing?
Right now I cannot answer any of the questions, and maybe I do not need to. I do know that the time has come to get back in touch with my creativity. Time to get back to doing the things I love in-spite of what the popular culture says. Time to focus inwards, not to be different or to go against the crowd, but to make sure that on this journey I become the person I am destined to be.
To the sketch book…………