Fair warning:  I’m drinking tea (sweet tea to be precise) and it’s 11:38pm.

And as such, I’m not entirely sure that you’re going to
read a coherent, structured blog post below.  I don’t even know how tonight is going to go, blog or otherwise.  But that’s OK – because
sometimes that’s how I am, and if you really want the Paul Gillespie
Experience that’s how it works.  So read on.

One thing I do know about tonight, though, is that I’ve really been pondering the future.  I read a great post on one of my favorite blogs (check out Zen Habits by Leo Babauta; although this particular post was written by Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind)

that really sparked my mind running.  I probably shouldn’t have read it
on a Saturday evening when I have to get up early and run multimedia at
church in the morning, but I did.

And so here I am, pondering the future.

To be fair, I ponder the future regularly.  Just generally not in-depth.  My version of pondering the future typically consists of something like this:
“Tomorrow I have to present something to my VP; I should probably start working on that.”
“I hope the real estate market turns up if I have to sell my house.”
“Hmmmm…I wonder how late I’ll be up if I drink tea at 11:30pm?”

And while those are certainly important (except maybe the last one),I notice I’ve shied away from the real thinking about the future.  Like where I want to be in five years.  Next year.  What I want to do.  Who I want to be.  That kind of stuff.  That’s the real planning that I’ve been successful at convincing myself I’ll do later.  The kind of planning that starts with the question of what it takes to be “really happy“.


Because I’m freakin’ scared to death of what I might find when I look deeper inside me.  Seriously.  Quit laughing, because I’m willing to be a dime to a dollar that if you took an honest look at your deep down self you’re probably in that same boat.  You’re scared to find out all the things in your life that don’t make you happy.  I’m not talking about paying the bills or buying groceries.  I’m talking about the real things in life that you’re doing because you feel like you have to.  Or you should.  Or people expect it of you.  Or you think people expect it of you.  Or ____________ [fill in the blank with whatever reason works].  That’s the crap I’m talking about.

Look at your job.  Your house.  Your relationships.  Your free time.  Your friends.  Your weekends.  Completely filled with exactly what you want them to be?  Only stuff that you really want to do?  If not why not?  Why don’t you just tell folks exactly like it is?  Imagine that – walking up to someone and telling them exactly what you wanted to, as if there were no consequences.  Sounds great, right?  So why not do it?

Because there are consequences.  And that’s the fear I’m talking about, baby.  It sucks, doesn’t it?

I know it does.  Because that’s exactly where I’m at.  By writing this blog entry and opening up about a dozen tabs in Firefox (yes, I really have a dozen tabs open – everything from Remember The Milk to Facebook to Project Mojave) I’ve managed to postpone any additional thinking about the terrifying thought of actually doing something to make myself really happy…because I’m scared to death of what the consequences will be.  I don’t want to lose stature in people’s eyes.  I don’t want to lose the respect I’ve gained.  I don’t want to fail.  I don’t want to hurt.  I don’t want to disappoint.  I don’t want to hurt someone else.  I don’t want to ___________.  And, by virtue of all those things I don’t want to do…I also (apparently) don’t want to be really happy.

So where do we go from here?  How does Paul Gillespie get himself to “really happy?

We’re going to find out…one baby step at a time. 
There is a crack in that wall I put up around “Paul Gillespie: Really Happy“.  And I’ve taken a couple of big steps to expand it.  Here’s what I’ve done lately:

1.  I joined Project Mojave.  Why?  Because although I love my job (I really do – no kidding) you never know what the future brings.  And although it’s a great job, it’s not my ideal job (which is to be a travel photographer), so at some point in my future – x days/weeks/months/years down the road – I’m going to have a tough decision to make, and having a Freedom Business helps me make that decision easier.

2.  I started this blog.  Yeah, you already know this one if you’re here.  But this was seriously important to me, although I didn’t realize why until this post.  This is my place to let it all hang out.  Here’s where you get Paul Gillespie.  And here’s where Paul Gillespie gets to put his stuff down for you to comment on and keep me accountable.  Making it public is a huge step for me.

3.  I went to a Royals game.  Anyone who knows me realizes face value that’s not a ‘big step’ for me.  I usually get out to 10 or 15 games a year anyway because I love baseball and I love the Royals.  That’s how it works.  But this particular game was on a Wednesday.  Again, not a big deal except it was during the day.  For most folks that’s nothing – it’s a half-day off work.  But for me that was huge because I’m a workaholic and to too great an extent (but fixing that!) too involved in all the details of what happens on my team.  I made the decision on Tuesday afternoon and took Wednesday afternoon off to go hang out at the ballpark with a couple of friends, a beer and a hotdog.  Marcella held down the fort and did an excellent job.

So that’s three things.  Small things, to be sure, but things nonetheless.  And they’re not getting me much closer to thinking about “the future” except to the extent that they’re telling me that something behind that wall wants to get out.  And at some point I’m going to have to face what that something is…or lock it away forever.

Wow – that was way deep for a Saturday evening.  I’m going to blame it on the tea. 

(post image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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