My life is not a path.
It is a collection of paths.
And I am not just a writer.
I am a poet.
A healthcare professional.
Among other things.
My artistic influences are are not a handful of people who happen to be top-of-mind. My influences are everything I’ve come in contact with since birth.
I am Southern.
But I’m Georgia Southern.
And Tennessee Southern too.
My family is American.
It’s also Chinese.
My career is not a path either.
It is a collection of projects. And companies. And groups of people.
This blog is not my only platform.
I use Twitter and Facebook too.
And other websites.
And print publications.
I even happen to like face-to-face communication. One-to-one. Small groups. And big groups too.
Path-thinking, although poetic, is limiting. It’s linear.
And the world in which I live and work is nonlinear.
It’s like a bustling city at rush hour. A million different people doing a million different things in a million different ways at a million different times.
For years, I tried to live a linear life in this nonlinear world.
And I felt stuck.
I didn’t know what I was called to do in life. (As if it were only one thing.)
I didn’t know if I was doing the right things.
I never knew if I was heading in the right direction.
I never felt my life was balanced.
Until I came to realize that everything in my life (and life in general) is a collection of things, rather than a single thing.
Think about your body.
Think about an ecosystem.
Think about the internet.
Think about language.
Think about a garden.
Think about a meal.
Everything is a portfolio.
A painter is a portfolio of his paintings, philosophies and influences.
And one of his paintings is a portfolio of materials, colors and textures.
And each color is a portfolio of ingredients.
My life is not a path.
It is a portfolio…
Your life is a portfolio too.
So quit looking for a road to take.
And quit misreading poems about roads that diverge in a yellow wood.
Imagine, instead, that you are Thomas Edison standing in his laboratory. Hundreds of experiments going on. People in lab coats bustling about.
And no one, neither you nor Edison, knows what will happen. Or which invention or experiment will captivate people’s imaginations.
The only way to know is to try. And try again. Until something works.
The porfolio life is one of trying, testing, measuring and adapting.
It's about practicing a life of harmony, not balance.
It frees me to be whomever I need to be right now.
And do whatever I need to do.
And use whatever people and platforms are available to me.
And go wherever I need to go.
To do the creative work I am put on this earth to do.
(Creative Commons photo by Jim Bumgardner on Flickr)
Keitharsis is a blog designed to help writers & artists get and stay unstuck in their creative life (and everyday one). If you like what you read, please help spread the word. And join me on my new Facebook page too: KeithJenningsHQ