The Annual Existential Crisis

We’re three days away from the second largest Hearth Event of the year: cue my annual existential crisis. Last week, amidst slower than hoped ticket sales, expensive car maintenance, a family visit, and (as an atheist) my first adult attendance to Easter services, it was to be expected.

Thursday night, as I drew into the final leg of the week, I checked my phone for one last time before going to bed and accidentally fell down the rabbit hole of tragic news stories. Opinion pieces about the United Airline incident, tensions with Russia over Syria, the bomb on Afghanistan, each article felt like a physical blow. My brain, which had already been playing the “Does any of my work matter? Why am I putting so much effort into silly little art events that not that many people want to come to?” tape suddenly upped its ante.

When confronted with fraught national and international current events, my normal doubt tape leveled up like some psychological Pokemon and started asking “Why aren’t I doing anything to help? Why didn’t I take my early college smarts and go into law or medicine like everyone told me to? Have I wasted all my energy on self-indulgent projects?”

I let the tears come and tried to feel the fear instead of brushing it off like my New England culture has taught me to. Through much graceless trial and error, I’ve learned that once I’ve let my fears actually be heard, they often subside. Then I can remind myself what I know, with that deepest kind of knowing we so often ignore: that what I do matters.

In an era where we value money and power above all else (especially people); an era of endless globalization, digitization and industrialization that has challenged and eroded the very fabric of our communities and safety nets; an era of increasing violent nationalism built from fear and greed that is closing minds and hearts on all ends of the political spectrum, what I do matters.

I don’t know how to legally defend immigrants, create policies that protect people instead of money, draft peace talks between warring nations, investigate false claims from our leaders, or provide medical care locally or abroad. But I do know how to create spaces that bring people together for authentic interactions, exploring creativity, and practicing compassion. And that matters.

This is what I’ve been trained for, what I’m good at, and how I can contribute. These events, each little one, are the underpinnings of a community that creates more than it destroys, a community that cares. This is how I know to bring beauty and peace to the world.

This is what I make and it matters.


Come to WhatIMake: 2017 this Saturday, April 22, 2017 to experience the Hearth Community at its finest.

  • Mike Mitchell

    Hi Miranda!
    I am so proud of all that you have accomplished….

    You
    are in the right spot at the right time. Successful people are those
    that can focus down on something that they care about and make it
    happen.

    You have done that. This is your passion and you have a
    talent when it comes to painting a vision and getting people to
    participate.

    Think of all the progress you have made since I first met you in 2015!!!!

    Your announcements and venues are very high class, interesting and provocative. You are the leading edge.

    Cry
    those tears for all the other things that are wrong in the world but
    let some one else who has the passion to fix these other things, step
    forward and be heard.

    Your job….your passion…is what you are
    currently doing. Get it going. Get it so it can sustain itself and once
    you have accomplished this goal, decide what your next challenge will
    be.

    Life is all about challenges and focusing on them one at a time before moving on.
    Don’t try to be all things to all people as that is the path to failure.

    One task at a time. One success at a time……follow your passion…you are gifted.
    Mike

  • Miranda Aisling

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Mike! I really appreciate them and hope we can cross paths again soon.

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