Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
1. The Dream of the (Tiny Little) Thing You Were Meant to Do
Look, we all know what I was meant to do: sing jazz in a Paris club (except that I can’t sing) or write a novel (except I tried that—it didn’t work) or become a large-animal country vet (except I’m too old to go to vet school, and also word on the street has it that it’s harder to get into vet school than medical school). At times, the big yucky struggle of our life direction and purpose (which, by the way, is the most important struggle in our lives) is just too big and yucky to contemplate. Take a day off. Figure out the tiny little thing you were meant to do. My friend Rachel was meant to dance in nightclubs. At age 42, she goes out once a week and shakes it until 3 a.m. in Minneapolis. My friend Marie was meant to look at paintings and just walk around admiring them on her Saturdays off. My mother was meant to take hot baths with scented candles. (Not just everybody can do this either; I find hot baths scalding, confining and panic-inducing.) Find your one tiny little thing and make it a big part of your existence.
Recognizing a few of life’s little injustices is the first step to getting past them. Columnist Leigh Newman explains.