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If I told you how often I thought about writing this journal, you’d be surprised.  Mostly, you’d be surprised why I didn’t send it more often.

First of all, a congratulations today to my sister Stacia, who will be doing the graduation walk from the University of Montana with May, and will be finishing her B.S. within the year. It’s a fabulous accomplishment, and she’s going to go on to greater and greater ones.

Today, I was sitting in the 3 p.m. editorial meeting with the editor and the rest of the important senior editors, and I was thinking to myself, “Why am I here?”

If you have a spare moment, ask yourself that question.  It’s a doozy. Many answer possible, everything from “Because if I wasn’t I’d be late,” to “It’s the divine scheme of higher power bent on distributing microportions of its own boredom to all sentient beings.”

Theology aside, I came up with a few answers.

1) I’m here to find out what stories are going to be in the printed paper tomorrow, so I can tell the folks on the Web site what’s going on.

2) I’m here because I didn’t feel sick enough to stay home.

3) I’m here to earn money so that I can do what I want to really do.

4) I’m here because I happen to know a lot about computers and journalism both.

5) I’m here because what I really want to do is be involved in entertainment, and journalism, and computers.

6) I’m here because I want to be.

That’s the one that really surprised me.  You see, growing up with supportive parents in a middle class family, with a great group of peers and adults who believed in me, I went off to college with the idea that I could do what ever I wanted to, if I set my mind to it.

My gradually diminishing GPA seemed to prove the point; as I put my mind less and less to college, I saw a direct correlation with academic success.

Post-college experience has reinforced that further.  I wanted to work at the Los Angeles Times, and I did.  I wanted to live in France for a year, and did that.  I wanted to work for an internet startup company that made millions, and I did half of that.  I wanted to work for my current employer, and now I’m doing that.

So here’s the odd thing— I know I’m doing what I want to be doing, but I can’t for the life of me remember when I decided that I wanted to be doing it.

I don’t remember in high school saying I wanted to live in L.A. and work for a trade magazine.  I don’t remember in college saying “Boy, I wish I could have a job that wouldn’t let me do any writing.” I even remember agonizing after college with some friends at a dimly lit cafe about whether I should work as a school board reporter or an intern at TimesLink. I certainly didn’t know then that I’d end up in a cubicle on Wilshire Blvd.

This is all on my mind because I’ve been talking to several people recently about this subject—how to know when one is making the right choice, is with the one they love, is studying the right subjects, is moving to the proper city.

So, after some long hard thought during a 3 p.m. meeting, I can only say this. If it doesn’t feel wrong, go for it; some things don’t advertise themselves beforehand as the one true and proper thing to do. Listen to your instincts, and if they’re silent, take a step forward and listen again.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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