Today I was struggling for a quote.
Oh, it happens from time to time, this need for something to post in the morning - two somethings, really - and not having one worthy of quoting. Sometimes I am able to find one on the spur of the moment, sometimes I find something inside of myself that is worthy of quoting. But because of the lassitude of vacation or the fact of luxuriating in writing from bed, I could not find any.
Then a thought occurred to me: I have written them down in old annual planners. Let me go draw them from there.
I have annual planners dating back almost 10 years at this point. They are not the thin planners that so many use; instead, they are accounts payable books, thick with pages and plenty of space to write and paste in meaningful things. Proud of my sudden thought and use of my work from the past, I hurried to the closet to grab a couple.
And sat down. And was drawn away.
Here was everything I thought about The Firm. Here was my justification to leave my career and start another. My thoughts - in terms of the thoughts of others I saved. Small e-mails from friends from jobs I had left, encouraging me. Recurring goals I keep putting on year after year, and never reaching.
Here were my dreams and aspirations, frozen in time.
It made me pause a bit. From 2003 - when I was unhappy in my career and looking to the Firm to now, when I am back in the career and still not terribly happy. In one way, how little has changed.
In another, how much. Those volumes do not display in the least the amount of life that went on during that period of time as well. They do little justice to the depth of life that has been lived around their pages. It's almost as if I was holding a Reader's Digest book summary of my youth and reading the abridged version, knowing that a much larger book was out there waiting to be read.
I found my quote and carefully the planner to the side. Interestingly enough, it was Seneca - "We learn not for school but for life." The irony was, I hope, not lost on myself.
I need to take some time over the next few days and wander through these old planners of mind. It would be an interesting exercise as the end of the year approaches and the new one begins. I will need to make myself a new planner, of course.
Perhaps the experience of my past will be willing to speak to me.