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career and meaning and purpose

June 29, 2015

When I re-read my previous post, I get a gestalt sense of what ‘my life’s work’ is, but I can’t describe it in words. Nor does it seem like, if I could describe it in words, I would gain any insight.

I can ‘dimly perceive’ it, which means… my mind’s eye isn’t involved. Instead, it’s my mind’s skin, my mind’s fingers, maybe even my mind’s nose. In other words, I’m feeling it.


My experiences at the (mostly) 10-year intervals nest within each other. And they cluster.

They are… self-organizing.

(I am not ‘directing’ them. There is no plan.)


I’m process-oriented, not results-oriented, so… I’m not going to ‘arrive’ at Something. What I’ve been doing, all along, is what my ‘career’ is.

This is why ‘mentors’… don’t make any sense for me. I don’t need advice about How to Get To X. I’m not solving for X; I’m discovering it. I’m figuring out what to do next, doing it, deciding how it made sense; do I want more of it, less of it, it combine it with other things, go in a different direction next time, etc., etc. … that’s my creativity. That’s what I’m good at.

Mentors ‘save’ you time and effort; mentors help you gain resources you couldn’t get on your own.

My processes… take a long time. For example, I still haven’t figured out how to write about HUC 0206 or HUC 02 [Spring/Summer 2011] or any other watersheds/waterbodies of interest [Autumn 2012].

Various people have given me advice about how I might try to do those things. None of their advice resonated (‘felt’ ‘right’ / seemed useful).


I need to… find… things, when it’s the right time. I don’t know when or where the right time is, until I get there, and things that had mystified me ‘suddenly’ Make Sense.

No one can help me with that. No one can directly help me with that. No one can try to help me with that.

{I have often wished that someone could. I have often thought I just hadn’t found the ‘right’ people yet.}

Mentors ‘saving’ effort would… negate my enjoyment, which would destroy my motivation to do anything at all.

Resources… that’s been the really tricky one all along. I yearn for resources unlike the ones easily at hand — I want More Flavorful / More Influential / More Important.

And yet…

I already have More Flavorful because of the sheer variety of flavor notes of the experiences I keep accumulating. They can be combined in all sorts of ways, emergently adding insights to my understanding. They can be enjoyed as they are. They can give me ideas what I might try next.

Circa 10 years ago, I was one nameless / unacknowledged supplier of data on the ORSANCO project, that was nested within a larger dream of North American Water Standards. I still feel part of that larger entity. That experience is still shaping me.

Maybe I’ve been looking at More Influential from the wrong end? Not me influencing and changing others, but me being influenced and changed by what I enfold into my life. What becomes part of me.

What could be More Important than learning How to Live / Be a Good Neighbor?

I read an article today about a man in the UK who underwent a desensitizing program at London Zoo for arachnophobes. At the end of it, he was able to handle common and not-so-common spiders without fear. Later, he captured a house spider at his home, and released it outside.

Up until 2012, even though I was fascinated by spiderwebs, I was terrified of spiders. That summer, a large orb weaving spider moved into our balcony garden. Her daily web anchored on the threshold of the sliding glass door, so I had to overcome terror just to exit into the garden. Wanting to Be a Good Neighbor {my own philosophical/moral practice of several years}, I got to know her as an individual. I took lots of photographs of her. I observed her behavior at different times. She became part of my world, part of my household.

Without her, I would not have been receptive to the wolf spider that moved into my car circa 2014. {I have a funny story about that spider from last summer; I keep forgetting to write about it.}

If I’d just paid money to a zoo and gone through a program, would I have changed, deep down? It doesn’t seem very likely.

What becomes possible, now that I have changed, deep down?


I’ve a litany of Deep Down changes, that were my own ideas, that I made happen under my own power. That is the work, my life’s work.

I’m Becoming.

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