A few months ago Dan and I had a very long conversation in which we discussed young people who have made major contributions to the world as we know it. (I say “as we know it” because we were talking about our specific interests and hobbies. The two of us together cover quite a bit of ground.) We tried so hard to find the right words in this conversation, each trying to explain to the other why we admire certain people’s accomplishments, and are perhaps a bit jealous of very successful people who are around our age. In this conversation we were also trying to explicate why we do the things we do. Dan likes photography, writing code, and generally solving problems that people never knew they had. He creates programs and websites. He dabbles in videography, blogging, and inventing. He was telling me that he wants to make major contributions to the world in his areas of interest, and I was trying to tell him that I felt the same way about myself and my talents/interests. I have very strong feelings toward acting, directing, and choreographing. I love designing clothes and costumes, writing music and stories, and dancing and singing. I get frustrated with myself sometimes for not living up to what I see other people my age (or younger) doing in these areas. But our dissatisfaction is not about comparing ourselves with other people and feeling inadequate. It is not about the desire for fame or wealth that often accompanies success. In this discussion both Dan and I discovered that we just wanted to create. We realized that even though we love to do very different things, we both like creating for the sake of creating. Of course, we want what we are working on to be relevant and high quality, and worldly success often follows relevent and high quality work… but we both love to invent and fabricate and make things because we love the process. It was a sweet “aha” moment.
It only took us six and a half years of marriage to figure that out.