10.07.2008

Best foot forward.

This morning Zaki called me from the lobby of the building where I work. He had 25 minutes before he needed to get a train up to Yorktown; he leaves tomorrow for Africa, where he'll live for 6 weeks before he moves to an island in Indonesia for a year to help build a country's economy via microfinance. We'd seen each other early this summer, both with very different immediate lives imagined for ourselves, and now here we are, early October, him headed to Malawi and me to Greenpoint.
* * *

"You do such cool stuff," Dave said to me this weekend, as we talked about life the night before the race. We were talking about my upcoming trip to Morocco or my Spanish lessons, I forget. I thought a lot about what he said on my train ride back to the city.
Here's the truth: I do "cool stuff" because I'm lucky enough to know other ambitious people who do "cooler stuff" than me. Spending time with my friends who are dreamers, with Katie who might go work on a boat this winter, or with Erica who's running around the volcanoes in Clermont, or with my sister who takes vacations in the Ivory Coast.

The ambition rubs off. I'm serious.
* * *

"So this week, the question that we're all thinking about is 'when are we at our best?" Zaki explained a 30-week long reflective quest he and a few friends are involved in. "I do best in small groups, when I'm out there managing a project in another country," he continued.

It got me thinking about when I'm at my best. When do I feel most proud of myself or most energetic about what I'm doing? (Side note: listen to this song to capitalize on understanding the relationship between being "really fucking on" and "the lows [that] are so extreme").

The answer to this question isn't easy, but it gets at the heart of what I think people should think about more often. When are you truly at your best? And why aren't you doing more of it?

* * *

As I write this, I can hear Obama's voice coming from the TV in the living room. Tonight is the second presidential debate. The economy is falling apart (and causing other economies to follow suit); meanwhile, one of the VP candidates treats the scenario as if she's guest starring in an episode of Howdy Doody. Frankly, it's insulting.

Let's not put stupid people in positions to solve difficult problems. It seems as simple as that. Obama '08.

1 comment:

Erica said...

I'm glad that I inspire you.

But just for the record, you - and your amazing, unending energy! - totally inspire ME.

I guess that's what certain friends are for: to inspire each other to be the best that they possibly can.

Thanks Jepting!