One of my favorite movie scenes is from the film City Slickers. In the scene Jack Palance’s character, Curly, a grizzled cowboy with a cigarette dangling from his lips, is riding on horseback alongside Billy Crystal’s city character, Mitch, who is in the throes of a midlife crisis.
Curly turns to Mitch and asks, “Do you know what the secret to life is?”
Mitch eagerly responds, “No, what?”
Curly holds up one, leather–gloved finger. “This.”
“One thing. Just one thing.” Curly pauses. “You stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit.”
“That’s great, but...” Mitch shrugs his shoulders slightly. “What’s the one thing?”
Curly points his finger at Mitch. “That’s what you got to figure out.”
Finding My One Thing
I have dedicated this year to finding my purpose, my one thing. There’s a lot that competes for my attention in writing, but finding my voice, the writing that makes me, well me, is this year's major pursuit.
I spent all last year working on a manuscript which, quite honestly, I would never pick up and read if I saw it in a bookstore. Now isn't that interesting? In part, it was a cathartic project of release. But I also wrote it because I thought I should write fiction . . . right? Needless to say, it wasn't very good. The recipe was off—one heaping cup wrong motives, two cups lack of skill, half cup lack of interest, two heaping tablespoons self-indulgence. Mix, stir and simmer for twelve months.
But I do believe I have a unique voice, a gift to share, and as Curly so wisely said, that’s what I got to figure out.
Of course, the question Mitch probably had, the one only he could answer was, how. How do you find your one thing? I don't have the answers, but here are some ways I’m going about it:
What about you? Have you found your one thing? What does that mean to you? How are you going about finding it? Or, if you found it, share with the rest of us a little of your journey. We are community. But we are made up of such creative, gorgeous individuality. What is your one thing?