Is there any time that seems later than mid-evening on Thanksgiving Day? Belly full of turkey, bloodstream full of tryptophan, the dark night outside empty and still as families sit together and share plates piled high with heirloom recipies, it could be 6 or 8 or even 2 am. It’s a good time to think about the year behind and the year ahead, and to give thanks for what went well and what we dream will go even better. Unfortunately, I’m an ungrateful bastard. Another year is almost gone, there have been good times and bad, but ahead I see an unfinished journey and I can’t bring myself to be thankful for that.
Perhaps that’s because this has been a year of transition, in the midst of years of transition, for me. Leaving my Web design company more than three years ago brought me onto a path of self-reinvention, with a new degree and new dreams. For two years, there was the concrete goal of business school, of achieving first at one assignment and then one class and then one semester and then finally graduation. Those goals alone were enough to occupy my mind as other dreams — most particularly, of a life with a woman — came and went.
But now that part of the transition is gone. And I’m on to a new part of the path, the journey that comes from imagining and starting a company. There’s wonder and excitement in that, for sure; I believe in what I’m doing and in the needs I will satisfy. At some point, however, reinvention becomes dull. I had liked my old dreams, and it was only circumstance that forced me to abandon them. I like my new dreams, but there are holes in them, holes that can’t be filled without wonderful people and realized futures.
I’m 31. I’m pursuing my dream. But the time is getting close that my dreams must start to be achieved, not pursued. For now I have the journey, a journey from which to learn but most definitely not one in which to wallow. So I’m not thankful for it, not until this journey has brought me to its end and I can look back in satisfaction. Then I’ll be thankful; until that time, my ability to give thanks is limited, emptily, to the positive in the moment.