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poison One of my favorite things about blogging has been the conversations I've had with ILI readers. One such reader emailed me recently with the following words. I found her description of existential itchiness to be quite compelling and I asked her if I could share her thoughts with all of you. I am thrilled that she said yes.

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Itchy.  That’s how I feel lately.  Not mosquito bite itchy.  But something along the lines of metaphysical cabin fever.

So here’s where I am.  I feel like I need to be doing something more.  I don’t know what that means, exactly.  But my current weekly, monthly routine of work, family, play, travel really only benefits me (and my immediate and extended family).  And I feel like that’s a waste.  Not that those people aren’t valuable or that I’d ever factor them out.  I just feel like it’s a narrow view.  I feel like continuing on this trajectory creates a small life.

My mother (and lots of other people) would say that a world full of people doing good at the community level is what makes a good world.  Church potlucks.  Girl Scouts.  Canned food drives.  Etc, etc, etc.  And maybe they’re right.  But sometimes to me that just feels like a justification for living a life that is comfortable and not too challenging.

I’ve talked to my husband about it.  He gets this way sometimes too and understands where I’m coming from.  When I brought it up recently his response was, “Things happen when they happen.”  When I type it out it looks a bit like he was blowing me off, which wasn’t the case.  He was just trying to keep me from getting too impatient.  There are important things going on in our lives right now.  Trivial as it sounds, paying off our student loans from graduate school is a big project (JD/MBA for him, MBA for me).  But getting that debt eliminated will give us the freedom to make some big changes later.  Maybe I’m just struggling with delayed gratification.

But I think the other thing bugging me is that while I know that I want to do something bigger, I don’t know exactly what that is.  I don’t want to just arbitrarily pick something and go full-throttle toward it because I felt like I needed to pick a “passion” for my life.  But I don’t know how to take the next step.

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Are you itchy? Can you relate to this sense of wanting to be part of something bigger than your current existence? Any words of wisdom on identifying that proverbial next step?

Too Close

Now or Later?