Journey

by Jin, 01-04-09 // 5 comments

Typically, this time of the year, I mentally jot down my resolutions for the New Year. Truth to be told, I’m terrible at keeping track. As days turn into months, I either completely forget what I had planned, or just give up on some of the items on the list. Some of the resolutions do get fulfilled non-knowingly, simply because I don’t remember they were part of the list.

Instead of making another list for this year, I think I’ll reflect on the past instead. This is partially influenced by a video I saw last year(2008 as “last year,” I’m still getting used to saying that).

Alan Watts‘s Music and Life is quite inspirational to me. For my interpretation, he’s not bashing the educational system or a specific vocation, but rather pointing out the things we miss in life when we’re too focused on an artificial goal. This happens quite a lot. I know it has for me in the past.

There’s a Chinese proverb that goes something like this:

When you finally find that golden brick you seek, looking back, every single step you took in the journey is a golden brick.

I feel the most fun and fulfilling parts happen during the journey. You meet new people, gain experience, make mistakes, learn, make more mistakes and learn some more. This describes my professional and personal journey quite accurately.

My first step into the web design world was to convert 1000ish word documents into HTML in 95. With the knowledge I gained I created my first personal site. It then landed me a job as an official web designer. From there, I met more people whom I learned a great deal from. During my freelance years, I not only picked up more technical skills, but also the business, people and political side of things. I enjoyed the planning, designing phases of each project I worked on. It was the delivery phase that often made me sad, especially if I really enjoyed working with the client. I love the nature of web design. It’s a field that’s a constant journey because it’s driven by technology and design trends. And those two factors are constantly evolving.

Personally, for the longest time my goal, for practical reasons or not, was money. It took me a while to learn to appreciate the things I do have, rather than things I think would make me happy. My eldest son started first grade last year. In a way I’m starting a new journey with him.

“It was a music thing, you’re supposed to sing or dance while the music is played.”
- Alan Watts

If I must make one New Year’s resolution, then it’d be “I’ll make some great music in 09.” I hope you all will have a great journey as well.

5 comments

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Steven Clark 01-06-09

Nicely put, Jin. Money always makes me unhappy, unhappy, unhappy. And it seems the faster it arrives the more it sours the departure.

Jin 01-08-09

Thanks Steven. Well, money is important. But learning to be content is even more IHMO.

Steven Clark 01-10-09

ha ha I haven’t found money or contentment yet, Jin :)

Aaron 08-24-09

Thank you for linking me to this post after my twitter quote. I agree with your post, we should all find value in the journey.

Ironically, most people will spend more time in the journey than the actual destination. We should enjoy our travels too, right?

Yelling out “are we there yet?” every day seems like a waste…

Bobby Borszich 10-24-09

Good one to repost!

Yes I don’t know of many things in life where the finish line is all that important, the journey is where you learn, where you grow … where you live!

Thanks for sharing