A goal gives structure to time. You mark progress, plan out what you need to do by when, and hope you’ve done your best to set yourself up for success. Goals come with built-in drama: the nervousness of committing, the anxiety and rush of doing the work, the grueling final push, and the exhilaration of succeeding, even the dizzying feeling of elation then relief and satisfaction of accomplishment.

A real goal isn’t a sure bet; failure is real and present all along the journey. You carry it with you even as you make progress, you push it back when it tries to overwhelm you, you set it aside when there is no time to consider it as an option. Achieving success in spite of the risk is what makes it a worthy goal, like walking on a precipice on your way up a steep and dangerous mountain path.

I am searching for a goal. Maybe it’s adding structure to something already in progress, or it could be something completely new. I’m not sure yet, for now, the idea of “setting a goal” will have to do. Without direction, I drift from opportunity to opportunity by chance and forfeit my right to determine my path. Serendipity smiles on those of us who ride the wind. Now, it’s my turn to find a through-line, an anchor that pulls it all together — a goal worthy of the time and sacrifice required. Heart, mind, and eyes open, I’m looking.

Writer, researcher, observer