The game was called F-Zero. I didn't own it myself since I didn't have Super Nintendo but my next-door neighbor had it, and I would go over his house and play it once in a while.
It was a racing game. Except it took place in the future so you didn’t drive a car, you drove a hovercraft. You would race around these futuristic tracks competing for who could finish fastest and take first place.
I probably played it a handful of times, and while I don't remember a lot about it I do remember these little chevron signs on the ground that, when u hovered over them, gave your hovercraft a boost forward allowing u to pick up speed.
I have been thinking about those chevrons lately.
Earlier this year I declared this to be the year of incredible focus. Usually I set resolutions or tell myself I’m going to achieve something big yet incredibly hard to define like ‘commercial success.’
However, the exhaustion of the past year left we without desire to replicate that New Year strategy. I didn't know exactly what this year was going to be. What I did know, was I was going to try hard to understand my life and my passions and pursue the life that wanted to live in me.
January was spent on thinking. What was this year actually going to be? What was I going to do? How would I approach? What did I actually want?
February was spent on planning. OK maybe I will buy a plane ticket here and take a vacation there and invest some time in doing this.
March became the month I clicked purchase, hit send, and set the unstoppable wheels in motion.
And all was good.
Then April happened.
And I had two thoughts, one was: Holy shit it’s April! I can't believe a third of the year is gone. Is this the year I wanted to he having?
And the second was: OK... What now?
With summer looming I worried I was going to become quickly swept up in that vortex of "Ya know what I really want to do this summer…" that quickly spits you out on the other end of "I can't believe we didn't end up....”
I began to worry that my year of incredible focus had somehow slipped into a year of seemingly deep thought but familiar (in)action.
I have been spending some time with an incredible group of go-getters who just go, do, make, be and live beautifully. One of them is my new friend Julie.
A couple of weeks ago my friend Julie and I were having drinks after our yoga class and Julie was telling me about how she just bought a bunch of concert tickets for this year in batches of two.
She knew she wanted to go to the shows; she didn't necessarily know who would go, so she just bought the tickets and figured she would find somebody later.
I thought it was such an excellent idea. And she asked me to join her for one of them.
Well kind of.
I sort of just impose myself on awesome opportunities and people. Like a friend barnacle. I tend to put myself in scenarios where I become the only viable option. Like joining a dating site where for some reason all the guys happen to be "lizard enthusiasts."
Julie and I went to that concert last weekend. We spent the afternoon working on a video project for her new book. And then went and grabbed some dinner and drinks before the concert.
The whole time, we talked about our lives, our friends, past loves and our spirit animals. (Trust me, it’s a thing) According to Julie mine is some sort of playful monkey/hybrid.
I still insist mine should be a pterodactyl.
After our spirit debate we arrived at the concert and immediately my heart vibrated with the base from the band. It caught me a little off guard. I was kind of shocked to feel so surprised at the sensation.
It had been a frighteningly long time since I had felt that sensation. It's a beautiful feeling.
I used to go to concerts a lot when I first got to the city. Maybe it was because I worked at a music magazine, or maybe it was because I had nothing else to do. Either way, I realized it had been a while.
Which was a shame but a wonderful wake up call. Because I am always, always looking for things that move me, that stir my soul, that make me dance, that make me so thirsty for more that I pursue those things wildly. Blindly. Freely.
And that’s when I thought about F-Zero, about those chevron signs on the track, and how I didn’t even realize I had them in my own life. They weren't under me. They were my friends, my experiences, concerts, and art, and connection. They were in front of me, next to me, and all around me.
As the night went on my love for this city and the life I lead expanded in the exponential way it tends to do when someone has managed to be present in a magnificent moment.
My mind filled up with up with realization, remembering how great I feel after I spend time with my close friends, with the people whose best characteristics I strive to emulate, and how watered the plant of my soul feels walking away from those moments.
How had I gone so long without noticing?
I started thinking about those people and things not so much as things I might happen across while on the track, but rather, things I would aim for, plan for, to make sure they were in fact always coming up soon.
And while its not a race to see who finishes first, having those people places and things that propel me forward, that get me to the next check point, rest stop, or finish line, is completely invaluable.