It's not a secret that I watch a lot of YouTube videos. And they're not the cute-kittens-and-babies-laughing kind of videos, but video content and vlogs and TEDTalks. Part of my morning routine is actually going through my YouTube subscription list and devoting a good 30-40 minutes just watching whatever content has been uploaded in the last 24 hours.
Anyway, one of vlogging's pioneers, Ze Frank, is back and is creating online content. His last foray into video blogging, 2005's "The Show" was such a success, given that video blogs in those days were not HD and computer-graphics fancy, and generally looked as though you made them at your mom's basement (if you even had a basement in those days). So for his "A Show", he opens the project with an invocation:
And it got me thinking (as things that are well-made and well-said and well-crafted generally do) about the things I do and the things I think about and the things I believe in and basically, how I want to start over. I mean, I think the past three or so months are just a warm-up, and now's the time to start living and working and being a better person in general. So here's my invocation in search of a vocation. I hope I live up to it.
In(search of a)vocation
All the boxes have been unpacked. Books have been re-shelved, papers have been re-organized, the pins have been separated from the paperclips. You no longer have an excuse not to start.
Let me not be afraid of beginnings. Let me not be afraid to follow through with the story up until their climax. (Let me not be afraid of the climax.) Let me breathe through endings, because all endings are necessary for new beginnings.
Let me remember the good times, and the bad times, and the in-between times. Let me hold on to the things that have value, whether they are words or old photographs or greeting cards. Let me claim the memory that yes, I have made mistakes in the past, and let me remember that I will probably make more mistakes in the future, but that is not an excuse not to live for the moment.
Let me re-claim the things I have forgotten about myself. In my need to please the people around me, I keep forgetting to please myself.
Let me remember that a blank page is not a mountain that cannot be climbed, and with enough words, I can carve a path upwards and onwards and find myself on top of that mountain. And I want to get up on that mountain. I heard the view is phenomenal.
Let me remember that there's no shame in not finishing things. There is only shame if I never get started.
Allow me the space to figure out what kind of stories I want to tell.
Let me remember that there is a difference between discourse and a diary entry, that sobriety is important when I want to make a point. Let me remember that it's not just what one says, but how one says it, and as a very important person advised: "Use your words".
Let me remember that all emotions have their value, but that anger should only be experienced in small, short doses. Using anger as a fuel for creative endeavors might allow me to rocket past others, but it will also leave others singed and inflamed.
A rule of thumb: be honest. Even if it's frightening. But always remember to temper honesty with empathy, and to find the best words and put them together in the best order.
As much as possible, practice what you preach. But also, remember that other people's practices might not be exactly the same as yours, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Let me remember that while I might be better than someone else, there will always be someone better than me. But that shouldn't stop me from trying my best.
Let me find joy in the successes of people I care about, and let me be the rock that they can lean on when they experience defeat. Let me remember that I am not an island, and that everything I do can and will affect someone else.
Let me remember to pass the good stuff on, and that sometimes, even the bad stuff has some value.
Always, always let me remember that I do things for love.
P.S. - And as always, don't forget to be awesome.