Updated: Nov 24, 2020
My favorite time of day is early in the morning; Where the world is just starting to blink its eyes. There's something about the calm that stems from it. It might be the hungry chirping of the birds high in the trees, telling their mothers that they're ready for their first meal. Or maybe it's the slow whoosh of cars that drive past, without a rush or care in the world. It's a time where things haven't yet begun; where you're still naive to the day and it's happenings.
It's moments like these that I like to get most of my things done. I usually start by taking our dog for a walk: his little paws click-clacking on the sidewalk as he keeps pace with me. It's a peaceful time with no bikers on the sidewalk (a big pet peeve of mine), no cars honking. It's a time where you can get lost in your thoughts. After Jack Kerouwag (my dog, named after my favorite Beat Generation writer, Jack Kerouac. I love a good pun) is finished with his morning ritual, I always look at the mountains as I walk back to our apartment. The San Gabriel mountains are like any other mountain range, tall and majestic. They are never more clear than when I scan the mountain tops early each morning. Through out the day, as the rest of the world catches up to me and begins to wake, a slight haze surrounds them. Their outlines are there still, but the vibrancy of the mountain range disappears.
And so goes the rest of my day. Making coffee is a necessity each morning, with the smell generally more invigorating that the actual taste. As more cars begin to whir on the busy street adjacent to our apartment, it is still quiet inside. Jack generally crawls back into his bed, Jeremiah is usually still sleeping - realizing subconsciously that I'm not there - sprawled across the continent of our bed. It's during this time that I feel like a voyeur, watching the world wake up around me - stretching, yawning. Each passing minute bringing with it a new sound of the day. Sometimes, like today, I like to document things. Nothing extravagant; generally just my thoughts on what's going on around me. Maybe that's the writer in me, maybe it's just a creepy thing that I do. Either way, it's a time where I am able to be one with my surroundings. I try hard to allow them to wash over me, these feelings of calm.
In this pandemic, where there isn't much else to do, I've come to realize how these little moments define who I am. These quiet mornings that I have to myself have made me realize how much I was missing. When I was working, I would throw myself 110% into whatever I was doing. Reminiscing, I would say that I'm a workaholic. But I can't help it: I enjoy the organized chaos that work can be. Now, with nothing to do and America still shutdown, I've been able to re-evaluate where I was and where I want to go. It's in these quiet mornings that I came to the conclusion that I need to feel like I have a purpose. Work used to be my purpose. Now that I haven't had that for some time, I haven't been able to find something that feels the same.
The other night, Jeremiah asked: "What's something that you want to do for work, that wouldn't feel like work to you?"
I froze. I wasn't able to answer the question then and I grapple with it now. Especially now, when I'm not working but eagerly wanting to get back into the workforce, what do I want to do?
A question for the ages and one that I'm sure many others struggle with too. For me, I just want to enjoy what I'm doing. If that's helping at-promise young people like I was doing before (sidebar: I loathe the outdated term of "at-risk youth". The only thing that's "risky" is offering a helping hand. We have to see the promise in these young people so they see the promise in themselves, but I digress) or doing something else entirely, I just want to enjoy the work.
As I sit here writing this - a public journal, I'm now realizing - I think that's what I want to do: help as many at-promise young people as I can. That's how I want to end the year: finding an establishment that will allow me to do so. Maybe it's time where, if I'm unable to find that place, maybe I should consider starting my own.
Has this turned into a plea for a job? Slightly. So, if you're reading this and know someone that will hire me, send them my way!
But truly, it's more of a manifestation. I want something that will bring me endless joy. I love to work, this pandemic has shown me that. Something will come along, it always does.
Until then, I'll enjoy these quiet mornings to myself
Title: The Sound of Silence
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Year Released: 1965