Somehow my week off has gotten busier than expected the last couple of days. There are people I know, mostly younger, who know me from a capacity of offering advice and wisdom. So suddenly they’re showing up on my doorstep and digging into some deep thoughts and ponderings. I guess it’s what the new year represents: a time of reflection and direction seeking.

As I’ve listened and watched them I see that they are struggling honestly with issues and ideas. Rather than assume what their experiences and emotions are, they are questioning themselves: Breakups and new relationships, life choices in careers that do or don’t speak to what is in their hearts, or even how they interact with the people and the world around them. I look at them and remind myself what it was like for me at those ages and stages of my life. Sometimes I like what I recall and sometimes not.

When I do look at myself through those lenses of young honesty and struggle it’s helping me rediscover some of myself too. Success and failure are notions that being unhomed has truly challenged me to reconsider. When I wake up feeling cramped from the floor or a nap in the back seat it’s easy to focus on the failure part. But what I find interesting is that none of these younger folks sees any failure in what my situation is. Instead they see me working on things in my own ways and there’s a mutual respect that arises. Somehow that is encouraging me that I’m going to be OK.

So here’s to a New Year of opportunity and life moving forward. Be safe.

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About the Author

  • Joe Bright
    Joe Bright is a graduate of Iolani School and went on to study art at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, and later Chinese medicine at The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. Joe currently runs a small acupuncture clinic, Kama’aina Acupuncture in Kapahulu as the first dedicated low-cost “community acupuncture” clinic in Honolulu. Joe has a varied background that has included working as a bicycle mechanic, freelance artist, teaching calligraphy and Tai Chi, a nanny, and even a CEO of a small entrepreneurial company. He continues to create art, even having work recently appear at the Honolulu Academy of Arts as well the Bishop Museum. He also continues with entrepreneurial projects when possible and serves on the Board of Directors for a local Buddhist meditation organization, Vipassana Hawai’i.