A post about Nothing


The Nothing, from the film "The Neverending Story"

A friend told me about a useful piece of advice she once received from an instructor of hers:  “If you don’t know what to do, it’s a matter of URGENCY that you do something”.

I’m writing this post out of… nothing.  Feeling like I have nothing.  But I don’t mean that in some horrid way; I have plenty of good, valuable things in my life.  I don’t want more of most things, and am very grateful for what I do have. There comes to be a certain opportunity to sit back and think ‘what do I want for myself and for my life’.  You’ve got the resources and the opportunity… now what?  

For the majority of my life, a pathway was rather clear.  Go to college.  Apply for internships.  Do stuff with friends.  Run more often.  Go back to school. Learn a skill.  New hobby X.  Pursue project Y.  Pursue crazy project Z.  Bond with parents.  Figure out my retirement dream.  There is clearly never a chance to be bored.  Rather, the room for choice is there, the room to create… whatever.  Within work, choices exist too; within a set topical area, many are allowed to develop their career in a way they desire (certain industries are more amenable to this than others).  

It’s amazing how full and empty are so very closely tied to one another.  Sometimes choice is overwhelming.  Boundaries are a comfort.  I in no way mean to sound ungrateful for choice and opportunity, but rather that they can also be daunting.

I’m curious how people really figure out what utterly fills their nothing.  And not like “how do you find meaning in life”, but how did you or do you come about your passions?  And figure out which passions were the ones to really focus on and DO?  

I’ve had passions in the past, but have run out of steam lately.  Too much start/ not finish, that I hesitate to start things.  But the excitement still exists, and opportunity abounds.  I realize I need to start making something from the nothing with something before there’s some regret!  Again with the empty/ full thing being the same, because my life is on the outside full as can be… but there’s no one thing, so more so there is seemingly nothing.

Comically, what prompted me actually writing the post (I’ve been thinking about the concepts all week) was a Facebook quiz on “What Wizard of Oz character are you?”  There was a question about what one does in their spare time, or something like that.  One option was ‘Daydream’… and I didn’t pick it!!!  Years ago, I daydreamed in real belief of making those dreams a reality.  Not so much anymore.  I still have a nice, social, shiny life, no sob story here… but what about… not more, but something else.

So how did you find your something?

3 thoughts on “A post about Nothing

  1. mziebarth says:

    This is interesting. One must find that whoch excites and creates a sense of excitement and pursue it. I have found education and innovations in technology to be a source of passion that helps me move beyond nothingness. I think I am seeing an existentialist in action!

  2. Dear One,

    I think our passions find us. I lost my life-partner five years ago. I’d been a writer almost all my life, and perhaps a contemplative from my first childhood memories. But through the experience of Patricia’s illness and passing, while I thought I’d always felt deeply about so many things, including my writing, and always loved so deeply and passionately, I suddenly learned what real devotion was/is, what I really meant when I told her I loved her…and what it was to be passionately devoted about anything, creativity, love, God (whatever we may wish to call that omnicient all-knowingness that seems to surround us), life, anything. I didn’t go out looking for a way to prove my love and devotion, or sincerity about love or my craft. I didn’t seek to find my deeper passions for writing or spirituality or art or music, or love. Yet they were revealed to me through that beautiful tragedy, as they have been revealed to me through the course of my life, including her illness and dying, through the aftermath of grief and renewed spirituality, and most joyfully in new love.

    So, back to your question: I think our passion for anything is revealed to us continuously. Perhaps the key is to live with intentionality and awareness within the tension of knowing and not knowing…so that our eyes, minds, hearts will be open when our passion would embrace us.

  3. astrodel says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I like the idea of living with intentionality, eyes open. As mziebarth says above, education can help– it helps me by opening my eyes to new things.
    I really love the idea of “intentionality and awareness within the tension of knowing and not knowing”– this is a state to strive for.
    Thank you both for your posts!

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