I may have been born out of time. I sensed from a very early age that humans were trying to self-destruct with all of their hurried frenzy to consume and waste. I was born in the early 70s, and a time when America was desperately and aggressively consuming fossil fuels–and I instinctively knew it.
And yet, despite a prescient understanding that greed was a predominant value in American society, I also didn’t have enlightened family or community to guide me. Contrarily, my folks, both High School graduates and blue collar workers, enjoyed the “luxuries” of modern disposable and unhealthy life. They bought all the way in. And so, like any tortured teen, I tried my best to fit in and to quietly go about my life, as “prescribed” by societal norms. But I didn’t fit in, and I didn’t know why. I wasn’t completely ostracized, and I had some friends and some interests, but I was floundering all same, with no strong role models and no real inner calling to do any one particular thing.
I never could understand why I felt so tortured, but I did. I struggled long and hard with depression and a lifelong existential crisis. I firmly entrenched myself in a belief that I would never commit suicide, but I never warmed up to being happy to be alive. I found pleasure in the superficialities of life: music, fashion, dancing, drinking, sex.
Interestingly, I had a side of me that coexisted with the deep melancholy of my nature: exuberance. I felt like life was meant to be lived in vibrant color and out loud. I found ways to resist suppressing it like most people did. I relished wild experiences, and said yes to most things. I also knew how to stay away from reckless behavior (at least mostly). I did not indulge in highly addictive behaviors or succumb to violence or unabashed self-destruction. I had boundaries inside of my despair and longing. I abided by them closely. I have no idea how I knew to create them, but I did. Ask me about heroin. I always thought I’d love it–too much–so I never allowed myself to try it, even though I had ample opportunity. I am so grateful I did that.
An inner voice, all along my companion, though, helped orient me to a steady belief in the sanctity of life, the desire to grow towards the light, to love and belong and to cherish all moments of life equally. And though the road was terribly pocked with potholes and speed bumps and black ice, I stayed the course, gently aiming at a better life for myself.
It took a really long time to finally see how my myriad complex life experiences strung together to make a beautiful tapestry, but there finally did come a time, not long ago, where I could finally back up and get some perspective. That when I took the time to look, I actually liked what I saw, for probably the first time in my life. I am no longer young, but my enthusiasm for living has not waned.
So Intentional Living is the best description for that inner wisdom I set up and followed diligently through life, even if it was mostly vague and undefined. I take the time to focus on my life now in ways that are productive and reassuring. I like where my life is headed. I wish for you to feel the same. I also don’t entirely know where I am headed, but I am comfortable with that ambiguity. I want you to know that feeling, too.
Aim and Intent is an attempt to help you define how to live intentionally to create the best life for yourself, based on reality and true to yourself.