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24 May 2011

Wandering, But Not Lost

"Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien

I can believe this. It is the path of my life. There are folks who think that I lack focus and will never get anywhere because there are so many things that I want to do.

I like to keep my options open, not being tied down to any one "dream", but staying open to possibilities with all of the things that intrigue me. I have tried to pin my dreams down to one board, but all this "putting my eggs in one basket" has gotten me is a dream that is stalled due to mechanical failure of the key ingredients.

I want to be a terrific photographer, not just a picture taker. I want to be a painter, both digitally and with paint splattered all over me in the flesh. I want to read and I want to write with the passion and flair had by the people whose books I read.

I want to create something so cool that people can't help but stop in their tracks and say "Wow!", something that makes a possibly life-changing difference to someone, even if I never know about it.

I'm thinking, if I'm pinned down to one spot, that can't happen. Maybe I need to be wandering free, exploring *all* of the things that I find exciting in order to find that "Wow!" moment, to make a difference.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that you should wander, exploring various possibilities, or do you think you should set a target, aim straight for that, with no detours along the way? Please share! I would love to hear what you think!


  1. I am somewhat, ahem, shall we say older than you and if there is one thing I have learned is you can't pigeonhole yourself.
    I worked, I quit and raised kids, I painted and sold my work, I learned and documented my family history back to the late 1500's and then started doing it for other people too, I learned about plants and created beautiful gardens.
    I learned a ton about computers and teach seniors and others in my area. I started blogging and learned how to write html code.

    Then in my 50's went back into the work force and in just over a year I am training for new posistions in the company with a future that is wide open.
    I didn't plan any of it. I just lived my life doing what I enjoyed and learning new things constantly.
    Was I aimless? Nope. I had great aim and whenever I started something new I hit that target right on.

  2. IMO, when your aim is to fully experience the human condition, then wandering is a part of it. It you have a clear path, shoot your arrow and miss, what do you do then?

    I'm a wanderer, so I understand!

  3. @Lori E

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, Lori. We have several things in common. I love genealogy research, too. It is one of my most favorite things and if I can help someone unlock a family mystery of their own, then all the better.

    I can see the benefits of aiming and I can see them for flying blind. Both have obstacles to overcome, too.

    No matter which path we decide to take, life is certainly an adventure, isn't it?

  4. @Miel et Lait

    Thanks, Miel. :) I think in many ways, we are kindred spirits. I'm better at wandering than aiming, but I figure eventually, hopefully, I will get to where I'm supposed to be.

    Learning happens along the way, whether aiming or wandering. So, it's all good. :)


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