As far back as I can remember (and even beyond that, in the realm of 80s-style, beige-hued childhood photographs), I had to build.
My creations were simple at first; a few carefully scrawled lines would become a stickman. With the addition of more lines and some dots, it become a stickboy. With the addition of some unpracticed letters spelling out ‘Colin’ on the same sheet of paper, it became me.
From crayon to conception to creation, so I would build.
As my understanding of the world around me grew, so did my construction capabilities.
Paint was splashed, clay molded, and ink etched on to thick, textured paper.
I cobbled words of increasing sophistication together into sentences, and those sentences became thoughts, and those thoughts became ideas.
Each and every creation existed because of me. If I had never been born, they wouldn’t have either.
Today and every day I continue to build, not because it’s a habit and not because it’s a job, but because it’s a drive.
When I find chaos I must create order. When I find thoughts, I must create action. When I find possibility, I must create inevitability.
I, like so many other people out there, cannot not create.
This is the burden builders carry, but rather than a sack of rocks, it’s more like a sack of balloons, propping us up and taking us to new heights.
A builder knows that the sky is not the limit, that there are no limits, only goals not yet reached.
We can fight our need, we can decide not to build and only to consume, or worse, to tear down bricks rather than mixing new mortar. But to what end?
We can deny what we are (as I have done in the past) and attempt to shift the responsibility to others, but all that earns us is stagnation, depression, and a partially-built structure that leaves us exposed to the elements. External influences that would bounce off the walls we could easily construct.
With crayons or words or ideas or businesses, build and be fulfilled.
Update: February 1, 2017
This still resonates with me, today.
I’ve allowed that concept, that I build because I can’t not, guide a lot of my actions in the last seven years. It renders a lot of otherwise complex choices far simpler, and allows me to feel that I’m adding to the world, rather than simply taking from it.