Over the past 10+ years of traveling and creating media based on those journeys, I’ve discovered that the hardest part is not the journey itself, but what happens after. After all the excitement and the learning, most journeys end. And most times, it feels good to come home, examine what has been done, and reflect on that. This is especially true if you live in a community, as I do, where people love to discuss and reflect right along with you.
The trouble comes with that age old insensitive question – what next? What more will you do with what you have learned? What’s your next move? Will it be as interesting or exciting as this latest journey? Can’t you go back and build on the first journey?
Sometimes the answers fall into my lap. An invitation, inspiration or an idea that pull me like a magnet in whatever direction seems to be a good fit. Sometimes, however, the answer doesn’t come easy.
Budgets dry up. Invitations expire. Ideas get lost among other ideas. Even the belief in my own self and ability will waver at times. It may all be a natural progression when you’re following a personal mission that is so different from what we normally think of as “work” or “career”.
Thankfully whenever the question of “what’s next” has come up in the past, the answer never took long to appear. The answer sometimes comes from within, but more often comes with the help of good people in my life who understand what this is that I am dedicated to and sometimes see things that in the moment, I am not able to see.
This month will mark the end of the Arab Artists series here on my website. A five week journey that was so rich in learning and communication, it produced more than 3 months of content. Making it the longest series I have ever done for the podcast. A series I hope one day will have a part II. But for now, I’m thankful to have had a part I and that many of you have made the trip with me and enjoyed what came out of it. I honestly wish more people would give it a listen, I think there is an education in there that you can hardly get anywhere else. But hey, as my Egyptian and Lebanese friends would say (in different pronunciations): “khalas (خلاص), you did your best.”
Now for what comes next….