KingMidget's Ramblings

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Do You Yearn?

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker today.  He and I have had a lot of interesting conversations over the last ten years about the challenges we face in our lives.  We have a lot of similarities in terms of work and family and life.

He said something interesting.  And this isn’t quite it, but it’s how I’m going to modify it for my purposes.  There are two kind of people.  Those who are okay with what is and don’t push real hard for more.  And those who never stop looking for something.  There’s nothing wrong with either group.

The truth is, and longtime readers of this blog will know this, that I’m in the second group.  I am a yearner, which is how my co-worker described it.  We yearn.  And, the truth is that yearning is what defines us.  There’s a saying that addresses this.  It’s not about the destination but the journey.  We are constantly looking for it, when the reality is that the search is actually “it.”

Listening to my co-worker today provided me with that epiphany.  I have spent years wondering when I would have the opportunity to find it.  I have always thought that there would be a moment when I finally found the place I needed and wanted to be — physically, emotionally, mentally, artistically.  It was just a question of continuing the search.

Another friend and I have had numerous conversations about this as well.  What we discuss is how much we wish we were in that first group.  That we could just accept what is and stop our constant analysis of and search for what could be better than what is.  It certainly seems that people in that first group have it easier.  They just seem calmer, less ruffled by life’s trials.  They find a hobby or two that fills their free time for years and they are satisfied and happy.  They just get through the day, and do it all over the next day.  There are so many times when I wish I could do that.  It seems odd, when all I wish I could do is stop and smell the roses, it seems the people in the first group actually spend more time doing that than me.

But I yearn.

It’s why I made my own beer for a few years and then stopped.

It’s why I golfed for a few years and stopped.

It’s why I tried to learn classical guitar and stopped.

It’s why I coached my kids in their youth sports for a dozen years and when they were done, I was done no matter how much others pleaded with me to stay coaching for other kids.

It’s why, with my kids now 18 and 21, I’m “done” with the job of parenting them and so desperately want them to take on the responsibility for their lives.  So, I can move on to the next chapter.  Continue the search.

It’s why I look back at this weekend and am not satisfied.  Even though I finished writing a short story.  Even though I had some quality time with the family.  Even though I took a run that went well.  Even though I got a couple of hours at the river and took some incredible pictures.


Even though all of those good things happened, I was still unsatisfied.  Something was missing.  It wasn’t enough.  And what I realize now is that’s just me.  It will never be enough because the search will never end.  It will never be fulfilled.

It’s why I am frozen these days.  There are so many things I want to do, to try, to experience, and I can’t decide which is next.  So I do none of it and that failure to choose one and go searching via that choice is part of what I think has left me feeling empty these days.

That’s what I think I learned from what my co-worker said today.  We yearners are defined by the search, by the journey.  We are not defined by what we find at the end because the reality is that there never is an end for us.  There is always something more.

And I’m okay with that.  I want to be that person who never stops searching.  It’s time though that I get back into it.  The search.  It’s who I am and I haven’t been that person much lately.  It’s time to yearn again.

23 responses to “Do You Yearn?

  1. Carrie Rubin April 4, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    So well articulated. My husband is in the first group, and I tend to envy him that. As you say, those who are in that group seem more relaxed. I’m a yearner too, but I guess I differ from you in that I wouldn’t mind joining the first group one day.

    • kingmidget April 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Oh, I’m torn. I’d love to take up that hobby and find that place where I’ll be happy for the rest of my days. I just don’t think it’s gonna ever happen for me. So, I’m trying to embrace the search because it is who I am and I’m apparently never going to change that. My wife, by the way, is also in the first group. Drives me crazy!

      • Carrie Rubin April 4, 2016 at 8:44 pm

        Maybe two yearners would drive each other even crazier! Two ‘contenteds’ are probably the most blissful. 🙂

      • kingmidget April 4, 2016 at 8:47 pm

        I don’t know about that. When I talk to the friend I mentioned, we talk about the things I want to do when I retire and her response is “it sounds like a whole bunch of things you’d do by yourself” and I disagree with that. Having the right partner who believes in the value of the search would not be a bad thing. It could make it 1,000 times better.

      • Carrie Rubin April 4, 2016 at 8:54 pm

        Maybe so. Guess it depends on the individual and the search. Wow. Heavy stuff before I head to bed!

      • kingmidget April 4, 2016 at 9:01 pm

        I’d tell you a joke to lighten it up, but I’m never good about remembering jokes. Here’s one from the mouth of a four-year-old. It’s a joke my son came up with way back when. Why did the spoon cross the road?

        To go to the grocery store!

  2. hirundine608 April 4, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Maybe it may be found within? Cheers Jamie.

  3. cinthiaritchie April 5, 2016 at 1:02 am

    I’m with Carrie. I’m a yearner and my partner is a relaxed and accepting in-the-moment person. It makes us a very compatible couple but also adds tension, and mostly on my part, because why can’t he understand how intensely I want, need, am looking, searching, always wondering about what’s around the next corner, blah, blah, blah. I even exhaust myself sometimes. So yes, I totally get your restlessness. It’s both a curse and a blessing.

    Still, I can’t imagine living any other way. Maybe the first group is happier and more relaxed but I think the second group is more apt to seek and implement change, both within themselves and the world. Plus, I kind of enjoy my restlessness. It feeds me, you know? I like to yearn. I like where it leads me, and always to unexpected places.

    Remember that line from “Little Miss Sunshine” that Dwayne, Olive’s brother, said? “Do what you love and fuck the rest.” It’s kind of my motto (hope I can say fuck on your blog and sorry if I offend).

    Cheers and keep on yearning.

  4. S.K. Nicholls April 5, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I, too, am ill content, married someone most content. He’ll have his five projects/hobbies going on, and I’ll have my one I’m searching for. But I am content to be ill content, it’s where I derive my passion to continue.

  5. vanbytheriver April 5, 2016 at 6:17 am

    You are way ahead of the game when you recognize this one, King. I’ve always believed that yearners/dreamers are the ones who move the world forward. The others keep it at a steady pace and out of danger. We need both. 💕

  6. Kevin Brennan April 5, 2016 at 8:01 am

    I used to be a yearner. In fact, I also made beer for a few years and stopped (because I could buy microbrews that were much better than the stuff I made!). I learned some classical guitar and stopped (in favor of jazz — a work in progress). Then there’s the writing …

    Anyway, I transitioned into non-yearning a while back and have found a sweet spot. Maybe you’ll find one too, but it’s the yearning that gets you there.

    As Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.”

    • kingmidget April 5, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Yes. I think there will come a time when I yearn a bit less. The truth of it is that I spend so much time in unfulfilling activities because of my day job and because of some other things, that I just don’t have as much time to search as I’d like. In about three years, when I’m able to retire from the day job, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to find that balance.

  7. John Callaghan April 7, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Oh man. This really spoke to me. For as long as I can remember I’ve been nagged by the feeling that this might not be where I’m supposed to be or what I should be doing. It has waned somewhat but it’s still always there.

  8. TamrahJo April 8, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    YES!!!! There is always, ALWAYS some new, wonderful world to explore! 🙂 Prioritize with lists by listening to your heart – and keep un-stressed by not trying to cram too many ‘projects/new things in’ at one time (LOL – from one with lot’s of years of Yearning Practice!) LOL

  9. Philip Walter April 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

    This may of course explain why I try not to drink the same beer twice, but I fund myself tiring if the journey. I might take up tea, I never knew there was so much tea.

    • kingmidget April 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      There’s a lot of truth in your comment. While I’m not doing the same thing as you with beer, I’ve loved beer in all its forms for more than 30 years now. And I find myself more and more frequently turned off by the expanding options and just buying the same cycle of beers that are tried and true. Really not experimenting as much as I used to.

  10. A Passionate Dreamer April 27, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Dreams within me. and commented:
    I am definitely a yearner. I Am constantly searching for more. It’s not that I’m never satisfied. I am satisfied with some aspects of my life. But I always want more and to me there’s nothing wrong with that. Now the first group is where my husband lies. And if you ask me id much rather be a yearner than someone who is just ok with what is. To me, people like that rarely strive for more. Why doesn’t my husband go back and finish his degree? Because he’s ok with his job and doesn’t feel the need to finish college. Me however. I yearn to get a degree. I hate my past because it has led me here, no degree and no way to get one yet. I hate waiting. I am completely impatient. I need to see and feel things happen.
    I’m a yearner. I’m a dreamer. But most of all I’m a believer. And no matter how many times I fail or give up I always get back on the horse. And to me… There’s nothing wrong with that.

    • kingmidget April 27, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      I totally get the impatience. That’s part of what has held me back the last few years as well. The frustration that I can’t “have it all,” even when I now realize that I’ll never have it all.

      And, yes, never stop getting back up and continuing on.

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