The Bird and The Burnt Cheescake

Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

Why do you do what you do”? He asked her while sipping a cup of coffee. 

She looked out the window, hesitating a bit. “I could give him an honest answer, but would he respect it even if he disagrees?”. She thought to herself.

“I want to explore my creativity. You know, channel it through mediums I find interesting. It’s really for me, not for other people”.

“Wouldn’t that be selfish”?

“I’ll come to that, but if we talk about the process, it enables me to get to know me.  Like, I get to understand myself more.  Digging deep into the core and painting a picture of what I see.  What I get to discover.  When I fully know who I am, there’s more confidence in revealing that authentic self.  When we’re authentic, we permit others to relate in the same way.  Perhaps, in levels they’re currently comfortable with.  It progresses as we go along.  Now, I don’t think that’s selfish.  I think we owe ourselves and each other that kind of truthfulness”.

“But does it pay off, money-wise”?

“No, or maybe not yet, but does it really matter right now”?

Come on, you’ve got to have a practical endgame here”.

“I don’t know. There’s nothing like that.  You see, it’s like having a goal.  Goals are really useful, but why do set them in the first place? Mostly, because we believe achieving  these goals would mean success.  So why do you pursue success?  Because you believe it will give you happiness.  It does, but only for a short while.  Before you know it, the happiness meter dips.  Then you set out and go after another goal to be successful because you want to be happy.  It’s chasing a state of feeling latched into the future.  But the fact is, you can be happy now. Right at this moment, right where you are.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, I do what I do because it makes me happy.  It makes my heart come alive.  I don’t know where it’s going to lead me.  I don’t have any other agenda. I just want to live in the moment and breathe it in, and do what I’m called to do in this time and space”.

“Well, I hope you never ran out of steam”.

“I can’t promise that”.

“What happens if you do”?

“I’ll find the next best thing”.

Aren’t you scared about that? You know, uncertainty?  The dreadful thought of perhaps you’ve wasted a good part of your life doing something that never really gave you wealth, fame, power or prominence”?

“Well, we both know nothing is certain.  You can only be sure of this moment.  It’s up to you how to make the most of it and make it count.  About “wasting a good part of your life”, when you do something that gives you joy, is anything really wasted”?

Okay. So, no goals”?

“Let me put it this way.  Instead of saying, “I will _____ because I want to be happy”, say, “I want to be happy so I will ________”.    There’s no point in saving happiness sometime in the future.  So even if it doesn’t make sense to people my age,  I will keep on doing things that give me joy.  I’m not attaching myself to any outcome.  Surely, if I start with joy, with happiness, then I have already arrived, haven’t I? That’s the whole intention, after all”.

He finished his coffee and looked outside. His gaze followed a small bird flying into the sunset.  While she, she ordered a slice of burnt cheesecake and enjoyed every bite of it.