It has been a big year, with lots of change. “New normal” is a catchphrase we are all grappling with. As we close in on the last days of December 2020, I came across a passage in my readings spurring introspection, and thought it might be appropriate to share.
This excerpts from the private reflections of Marcus Aurelius – For context, the author is addressing himself:
“… it is no longer in your power to have lived the whole of your life, or at least your life from your youth upward, like a philosopher; but both to many others and to yourself it is plain that you are far from philosophy. You have fallen into disorder then, so that it is no longer easy for you to get the reputation of a philosopher; and your plan of life also opposes it. If then you have truly seen where the matter lies, throw away the thought of how you might seem to others, and be content if you live the rest of your life in the manner that your nature wills.”
Today, I find myself far removed from career trajectories and ambitions I once envisioned for myself. At times it feels like I am totally uprooted, without a compass. Winds of opportunity and challenges I have set my sails to course through led me into uncharted waters. Where I was once a musician, once an artist, once an electrical and a mechanical systems designer, EIT then PE, a LEED and EPAcT and compliance modeling SME, once an energy analyst/engineer, once a manager and a mentor and a teacher… I am now all at once, all and none of those things. Many hats worn, many hats on the shelf.
As I continue to find and navigate my own path, and as you find yours friend, let’s remember to cast away the identities set upon us by others, and especially those cast upon ourselves. If we continue to grow, and learn, and climb new mountains – we will reach summits our prior and present selves cannot qualify, or even fathom to see. The future can be hard to chart a certain course through, and that’s a good thing. An early lesson we shared in energy simulation is that we can’t predict the weather for our models, but our models can be constructed to find answers in spite of known unknowns.
These thoughts bring me comfort. 2021 promises new challenges, new memories, and new versions of ourselves. I am so ready to experience them. I hope you may share this excitement, and can make time to share the sentiment with those you hold close!
Happy new year,