I just got back from a much needed vacation on Kauai with Holly and three other very good friends. Going into the trip, I had Intentions. Yes, with a capital I. I accomplished some of them but not most, for various reasons.
Mainly I had intended to write something while there but most of the time was spent doing not much of anything beyond contemplating, watching sunrises & sunsets, eating great food, lounging by the pool, and watching sea turtles play in the waves. Looking back, I’m confident I made the right choices pretty continually there; I needed the break desperately.
What was I contemplating, you ask? Well, a lot of things really, but the majority centered around what I now understand are pretty massive changes in how I view the world and my place in it. I guess dying will do that to you.
Anywho, in the above picture (that I didn’t know Holly was taking) I was standing and watching the waves roll in and ended up having a conversation with myself about what I want to do with the rest of my life, as one does, and while I had been going back and forth on whether or not I truly wanted to commit myself to more effort a voice popped in my head that said “There are still dragons to slay.” As you would expect this struck me as odd, and not just because it was entirely random and seemingly unrelated to the train of thought I was attempting to follow. I also had no good idea what it meant at the time.
Fast forward to last night, where I somehow stumbled across this ~year old post from Simon Sarris: The Most Precious Resource is Agency. The timing was auspicious to say the least, as agency is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and a lot of my contemplation centered around it when I was on Kauai. A good portion of the remaining contemplation centered around this quote that I cannot get out of my head..
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news”John Muir
I’ve always had high agency. John Muir also seems like someone who had high agency, but I would hesitate to even begin to compare myself to him. Even so, the quote resonates with me for many reasons but mainly the fact that someone put their thoughts into words and then acted to change the world around them. A malleable world, indeed.
I’ve also discovered the answer to what in the hell “There are still dragons to slay.” means. I initially thought it was something to do with business as that’s just how I think, but now realize it applies to all parts of my life. There are many things I’ve struggled with, from childhood to current day, that are somewhat easily within my control but I’ve always essentially ignored them and hoped for the best. These are my very own dragons, many of which I have lovingly nurtured through the years. Unfortunately, while “ignore it and it will go away” has largely worked out well for me, a number of the dragons I have left unsupervised have turned into fearsome beasts in my absence, which has caused enough issues that I’m now making a list of my own personal dragons that I get to hunt down and slay. It’s an enlightening experience to say the least, even if it is immediately frustrating a good portion of the time.
I’m giving myself one year of my life – which could theoretically be a sizable percentage of my remaining time on earth – to move from feeling like I am losing precious days to feeling like I am embracing every precious day and living it to it’s fullest.
Something tells me it’s going to be a busy year.