I have a friend who is really more a soultwin to me, and has this beautiful way of making me think by asking the most innocuous but relevant questions I’ve heard. She asked me one day, “M, tell me – what are you? I mean, I know you’re a writer and all that, but what are you, in life? What are you really here for? Your soul’s ‘job’? For example, I am a Seeker of Beauty. It’s what I am organically driven to do. I seek it out everywhere, naturally, subconsciously. In the descent of a red sunset, in the flavour of a mango, in the way a voice sounds when reading poetry. There is beauty to be found everywhere and I am here to find it. You see?”
I did see.
In fact, I knew exactly what she was saying. There’s something really wonderful about considering something you haven’t considered considering before that moment. It’s almost a portal into a fascinating new dimension into your own self. I had to think about this question long and hard and I really didn’t have an answer I was happy with.
“Ideas Architect”. Pretentious load of tripe.
“Emotional Emancipator”. Activates the gag reflex.
“Curator of the Sexy.” Just stab me with a ball point pen now.
This was not as straightforward as I thought. If I thought I knew myself, here was something that was challenging it all over again. What was I? What was I really made to do? I had no clue until 2 days ago. That was when I sat bolt upright in bed past one a.m. with an idea. An idea that would mean asking people to share with me their most sentimental possession, and the story behind it. It wasn’t the first time I had done something like this. Before, I had asked people to write a letter to their 16-year old selves. And then one time, I had asked people to tell me about their ‘saudades‘. All these times, I felt myself come completely alive. And why? Well, not because I am obsessed with and curious about people’s experiences beyond a healthy average. But because the act and the process of instigating them to think and feel, and search, and observe, and consider, and evaluate – feels so very right.
I realise that I am a Button Pusher. I think my soul’s purpose is to push people into acting, reacting, responding. SOMETHING. But that is my job: to catalyze. That was my answer, and although Button Pusher is not half as glamorous as I’d thought I’d end up being, I have to admit, it’s not bad. It sounds a bit gauche, I admit, but it fits well. Like the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned.
The other day on Twitter I said, “I am not here to make you happy. I am here to make you think.”
That, I think made me happy.
So, I am asking you now – what do you do? What are you really here to accomplish? Tell me your stories. (By the way, that is my other job – Story Finder, Story Keeper- but we will talk about that another time.)
I’m doing it again, I know.