Out of the Closet and Into the Peat

Posted by - November 28, 2011 | Category: Library

A Grassroots Approach to Discovering Meaning in Your Life

I’m a voyeur.

I love catching a glimpse into other people’s lives. Who doesn’t? It’s why reality TV and Lindsay Lohan’s exploits are so popular. For the next 4 hours I’ll have plenty of time to gander — I’m on a bus from Bangkok to Trat, Thailand (again). Another visa run to Cambodia – one of the downsides to the 30-day visa Thailand gives to those flying in (a paltry 15-day if you’re an over-lander).

Cambodia Border sign, Trat bus station, Thailand

I’m staring over the shoulder of a thirty-something gent who’s enraptured in his magazine. Carefully combing every article. Digesting every written morsel. He revels in the turn of each page, allowing it to take him away to a place far happier than this crowded highway.

Thumbing over the subject of the glossy photo spread, he’s found his very own angel in a centrefold. In his world, there are no other passengers — just him, and his beloved bi-weekly.

The magazine is about peat moss. 

Sphagnum Peat Moss

You know – comes from the earth, favoured by gardeners, goes by the can’t-say-it-without-thinking-something-dirty moniker “sphagnum”. Yeah, that stuff.

Finding Passion in Peat.

I’m not sure of the name of the magazine — it being in Thai and all. This Week in Peat? Pioneer Peat? For Peat’s Sake? For the Love of Peat? I don’t know. That’s immaterial anyway. What’s noteworthy is that he’s found his passion. In peat of all things.

man cutting peat moss

There’s a glee in his face – like in years past when kids on my block got their hands on the Sears Christmas catalogue. Instead of Mickey Mouse, it’s sticky moss. Instead of Cabbage Patch Kids, it’s, well, just cabbage patches. It excites him, and that’s what matters.

Finding Life Meaning in Moss.

He’s one of the lucky ones. He’s found passion in his work. At least I believe it’s his work. He could be a weekend moss enthusiast, but that’s not likely. I can tell he’s almost ready to shout the merits of peat from the rooftops – “We’re here! We’re there! We’re fibrous!”

I’m one of the lucky ones too. I believe I have found my life meaning. Or at least I am finding that I have a passion –travel. I can spend all day looking at maps or scouring flights to Delhi or just sitting on a bus like I am right now. But can I make a living at it?

I’m betting I can.

So how do you find your life meaning? Your own personal peat moss?

It’s different for everyone, but it all starts with listening.

Listen to that inner voice.

woman thinking in the rain

I knew that the job I was doing wasn’t fulfilling me. I loved corporate training – I loved getting to meet so many new people, and I loved watching them transform over the course of a few weeks. But I had been doing it for far too long. The passion just wasn’t there anymore. I wanted something to give me that feeling again. The voice told me to move on.

Listen to the alarm clock.

finding your passion -- boy in bed

Mornings were a dread-filled affair. I was snooze-buttoning my life away. Every pound of that button was a punch to what my life had become. “Just one more minute,” I would say. “Just. One. More. Minute.”

Now I usually get up before the alarm, and I can’t wait for my day to start. Sickening isn’t it?

Listen to what you already say.

Finding life meaning -- girl talking to doll

If you find yourself saying things like “I hate Mondays,” or “I can wait for this week to be over”, you know something’s amiss. You shouldn’t be wishing your life away. And I was doing just that.

Listen to what already excites you.

discovering your passion -- happy woman and lamb

For most, what excites us most is not our work, it’s what we do outside our 9 to 5. It’s probably a hobby, pastime, or a cause we are involved in. Is there a way you CAN make it your work?

Listen to your friends.

finding life meaning -- friends at a pool party

They know you better than anyone. They probably know too much actually. And they probably have already told what you should be doing. You just weren’t listening.

All you have to do is listen. Deep down you already know what you should be doing. It’s only a matter of time before it erupts to the surface.

If that fellow on the bus can find excitement in peat moss, surely there is something in your life you can get excited about.  Finding your life meaning can be a scary proposition. But also the best thing you can do with, well, your life.

The question is, are you ready for it?

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60 comments - add one
  1. I’m listening!! And I’m ready! Wait. I’m already there, I’ve already found my purpose. I truly wish that everyone can find theirs too. Looks like you’re found your calling because your articles are wonderful! Nice title btw. I love your titles!!!
    Big Hug

  2. Hehe, camel drawing = my peat moss. Great advice. I am also living a post-alarm clock life right now and it is an incredible feeling. And like you, I typically wake up early and excited to start the day!

  3. Great post! Really like the idea of thinking about the things you always say, ie. i hate mondays or wish it was the weekend, to know that something isn’t right with your life right now. I’m ready for my passion in life to become my life.

  4. I had no idea that peat could be a passion for…well anyone. I agree that you have to listen to that inner voice and have the guts to follow it. I made a big career change when I moved to Germany and am grateful that I did so.

    1. A lot of people are just so afraid of change — they want more, but don’t want to lose the security that their current “less” brings. (Did that make any sense?)

  5. Like you, we have definitely found our milky way. We wake when we wake. The 9-5 in non existent in our lives and we couldn’t be happier!

    Glad to hear others have found there way too!

    Nancy & Shawn

    1. I remember seeing an Oprah episode once and a woman described her passion as “zits” — as in she loved popping them. That’s why she was so successful at giving facials. Passion is what you love to do. Period. 🙂

  6. I’m not quite there yet, either, but I’m sneaking up on it, lol. Thanks for the encouragement. (now my kids say I should be a park ranger, but idk about that).

  7. Great tips! =) Glad to hear you’ve found your passion…

    I agree with all of them, though I think if we listened to some of our friends we wouldn’t be out here. Sometimes the people close to you (not all) don’t understand or share your vision.

  8. My “inner peat” is telling me to keep blogging and writing because I love it, and hopefully other doors will open that will allow me to continue writing.

    I also wanted to drop in to thank you kindly for referring the media lady for the kids travel guides. Very cool, my friend. If something ever pops up that may be a great fit for you, I’ll return the gesture. 😉

    1. You are very welcome Amberr! I thought it was a much better fit for you! 🙂

      And keep blogging m’lady — do what you love and the money will follow. If it doesn’t you’re still doing what you LOVE!!

  9. Cool! Garden Porn!! But who’d have thought you’d find it on a bus … then again, I guess why NOT on a bus??

    Loving the rest of your tips too – all the more so for having already followed them (she says smugly)! Enjoy your trip!!

  10. Great post, Raymond! Some advice most of us could benefit from I would say. My peat moss = travel also. There is nothing like being excited to get up and out each day.

    1. Very pleased to hear you have found your moss! I don’t suppose there was much of it among those polar bears though. (Did I mention I’m quite jealous of you?) 🙂

  11. Fucking loved this post. You had my chuckling at work with your Peat related magazine titles (you should probably copyright those), but the follow up was even better.

    I’m at a point in my life where I *am* dreading the alarm every morning and counting down until I’m not at work. If it’s not counting down to quitting time, it’s counting down to the weekend.

    Worse, I’m sometimes counting away weeks or months waiting for the next trip away or the next big event.

    Gotta shake this shit up.

    1. Thanks Chris! And thanks for the Top 10 Blogs of 2011 listing!! MUCH APPRECIATED!!!

      I found myself counting away too many weeks and months as well. I was sucking that shit up, when as you suggest, I should have been shaking that shit up. So glad I finally did though. So very glad…

  12. Ha ha ha. Peat moss?? That made me LOL in public just now. Good thing I hadn’t been drinking … there would have been spray for sure.

    Great great post. Glad to hear that you are following your passions and dreams. Now if only more people would do just that. 🙂


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