The weight of repeated experience

Steve has a way of phrasing concepts so I understand completely his meeting. This is one of the many qualities I love about him.

We have been talking this week about Steve’s career path. He is reconsidering whether to stay in his current job in 2019. The safer choice is to stay for another four years, until his retirement vests. The riskier choice is to move on, to find a role that challenges his highly-gifted and collaborative mind. I think it has been a wake up call, a gift from his Higher Power, if you will, to see some of his industry peers move into roles, which Steve would like to end his career with. And these are people who, six years ago, were not as accomplished as Steve, though he would never say this.

I think about Michelle Obama’s quote that she has been in the most powerful rooms in the world, with the most powerful people, “and they are not that smart.”Just because someone is in a position of power or authority does not mean that person is smarter, more gifted, or more giving than me. Or than Steve.

We had a few beers and a few coffees over the weekend and talked about what Steve calls “the weight of repeated experiences.”

See? You immediately can understand this meaning, right?

For Steve, this means staying in a job that doesn’t challenge him, make him feel alive, give him the opportunity to create something. The upside for staying – a vested retirement plan – is not worth the trade-off.

For me, what comes up is the weight of staying in the same city, driving the same streets, working in a job that is somewhat fulfilling, but is not a new challenge to me. And maybe too staying in a relationship that isn’t offering growth for me and for us is a weight as well. Maybe the biggest weight of 2018.

I know this: time passes quickly in an experience vacuum.

When I lived in Korea, a month felt like a year; there were so many new experiences and growth opportunities packed into living in a different country. My friend Ate Ball said, “time passes more slowly overseas.” #true

Steve is going to start looking at other opportunities and organizations where he could create some connective tissue, feel stimulated and alive. I am excited for him and admire and respect he would rather choose the less safe path for his life. This is one of Steve’s many character strengths.

For me, I am going to start thinking about where I might like to live, what kind of qualities I would like in a city, and revisit the qualities I want in a partner, and what I want in my life.

I am going to spend 2019 shoring up this tiny house, so it can be rented out. I am going to stop acting out my sex and love addiction, because it takes a lot of time from my precious life; though I will continue to work on recovery, and that is ok with me. While I live here, I will work to improve my community, like building a little library or hosting a book club, small things. And I will spend more time with people who are self-aware, are growing, and would choose the less-traveled path.

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