Mentors, Role Models, and the Future.

There has been quite a lot on my mind lately. This year does not seem to be off to a productive start. I guess I just thought I’d be a little farther along with writing and such this year. My current project has slowed to a near stop. It is frustrating. Other projects clamor to be started, but my ambition is lacking.

Normally, I don’t mind the cold or the snow. But this winter is starting to drag, and I am more than ready to get started on spring projects. There is a lot of crafting work I want to get done. Maybe that will be a little more productive.

Yet, I have also been thinking a lot about my future learning and my current path. I have often pondered going to graduate school, but now that seems farther away. In light of several discussions with others lately, maybe my path leads another way. A friend of mine told a story recently about meeting with her advisor about graduate school. I won’t recall all the details here, but suffice to say it resonated a lot with where I am right now.

Frankly, I don’t know where I am right now. What my goals are, my plans, my aspirations? I would have thought I’d be in different point in life at the moment. Getting married had a big part in it. Not saying that is a bad thing, and I have no regrets. I am quite fond of my wife, and welcome the companionship.

Just that, had I been single I would likely have never hesitated with grad school, and the additional debt that entails. Now, I have a wife and a house. Placing that kind of debt burden on my little family of two just seems selfish, and with questionable benefit. Honestly, most days I already feel like a debt slave. Pay for the car to get to work. Work to pay for the car and the house, which stands empty most days while I work. Work to pay off the education that may or may not have helped me get a job… Wheres does the cycle end?

In my college days, I pictured myself working at a university somewhere, research or teaching. Now, that future seems very unlikely. Not that I am complaining mind you, because the more I think about it the less I see myself in that kind of position. My writing suffices, and fills that intellectual and creative need.

Also, I would have never counted on being called by the spirits. Even though I have always been “spiritual”, I never really saw myself in any kind of role in that regard. I would have never figured I’d be called to serve. So now I wonder about what that entails.

I recently attended a metaphysics discussion group, and we talked about formal and informal training. Personally, I favor a balanced approach. Of formal, mentor-to-student structured learning and informal, self-taught experiential learning. The metaphor I like to use is Fire. You can be taught formally about Fire, how it is hot, how it burns, and so on. But until you touch Fire, experience Fire, aka get burned, you don’t really really understand Fire. They are two sides of the same learning process.

So my learning continues, and I contemplate what the future might hold and where I might go. I am still not comfortable calling myself a shaman. Be that as it may, I continue to ponder what I might have to offer to others. I also look to the role models around me, the mentors that have helped me, Jim and Sarenth loom large among them. They are an inspiration to me, and I look up to them. Their thoughts and teachings have really helped me a great deal, and helped me come to where I am.

I look at what the two of them offer to the community. Divination, teaching, counsel, and other things as well. They both co-create The Jaguar and the Owl podcast. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of experience in those things, and I wonder if I’d be any good at these things.

Can I shape my own forms of these things? Certainly I bring my own unique skills to the table. As a hunter, a crafter, and a writer I have my own things to contribute. I have my own learning and thoughts, my formal background as well as my life experience.

I am currently taking a leadership class, and we are currently in a section called “Mapping the Future.” It has really led me to really think about my goals for the future, my strengths at the moment, and parts of myself I would like and develop. Today was more of an introduction, and the next section I am under the impression we will be working up individual future maps. I will be taking the second section of that class in two weeks, so I will have more to say about it then.

Really, I have no intention for the learning to stop. At the same time, I wonder where I am heading?

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About Nicholas Haney

I am a writer, author, hunter, craftsman, and student of anthropology/archaeology. View all posts by Nicholas Haney

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