03 July, 2019
Do you ever get the sense that life is passing you by, that moments you could have made more of but decided otherwise for whatever reason — perhaps they were too hard or you were too apathetic — might have had an impact? This regretful affliction is something that, at times, plagues me, forcing my creativity and drive into mandated bedrest. Although we all have things we regret (yes, there are many things I've reason to be remorseful for as well) one of prominence in my life is that of having the ability to do something and choosing not to. In specific scenarios that I care deeply about, I desire absolute perfection and in-depth thought before a final product can be sent into the world; however, pure apathy and laziness to finish a task that I set out to complete have pulled me away from showing much of real value to these investments. Said another way, I have a lot of ideas and grand aspirations, but never do anything about them.
Last year before my wife and I set out to walk the Camino de Santiago, I had the ambition to create a podcast while on the trail to summarize our journey together as pilgrims, but also as husband and wife. We meagerly attempted one episode, and even then, it was hardly an attempt at all. I had a grand vision of what I believed it could be. But, as soon as I began realizing that it wouldn't resemble a dim reflection of that idea, I halted the creation process and resolved to just internally process the experience. Additionally, and perhaps more of the causation of holding off, I told myself that other people wouldn't actually care enough to listen to someone talk about those experiences, as if that was even a reason to make or not make something.
It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago when a loose acquaintance of mine began walking the same path along the Camino de Santiago with his son that I regretted the decision to not follow-through with the podcast. To preface this, I had a conversation with this individual a few months before his journey began where we chatted through Instagram video-chat about what to expect on the pilgrimage, what to pack and prep for, and then also what he hoped to gain out of it. He mentioned to me that he'd be recording a podcast along the Way and specifically asked me if I thought it was doable. Bluntly, I told him that it would be workable, but it wouldn't be easy. I went on to explain my ambition to record a podcast as well but that it ultimately ended up in ruin for a bunch of different reasons that I didn't go too deep on. The conversation continued on, and I didn't give it much thought afterward. At the time though, there was a part of me that believed if I couldn't do something or decided it unachievable, that nobody else would, or should be able to either. Upon reflection, I now realize that there was a bit of fear in thinking that perhaps what I wanted was achievable, but because of a host of different reasons, I decided it wasn't. And, if someone else were able to do it, then that would make me more of a failure than I already believed myself to be (apologies, I know how self-deprecating this all sounds).
It turns out, recording a podcast while walking on the Way is achievable, and it doesn't have to be some perfect thing for it to be meaningful and impactful for others. Jon's podcast of unpolished audio and intermittent thoughts has stirred within me not only emotions of connectedness to his journey and the places he's encountering, but also reinforcing topics I've already been mulling over relating to my often inability to be flexible and adaptable to change when a new wrench is thrown into the mix. It's arrogant and potentially selfish to withhold what God has called me to do (broadly speaking concerning the act of creation) because of being unable to get past my own ideas and attitudes toward what something should be. It's taken me listening to a podcast from a pastor that I barely know and his journey across Spain to realize that there quite possibly might have been someone interested enough to hear the same from me, and furthermore, p perhaps would come to a realization of their own in similarity to the way I realize now.