The Edison Project: Stepping Onto the Road


Happiness as a Journey: The Comings and Goings to Home

I’ve been scanning the far reaches of my brain, and the internet today in preparation for my preliminary launch of The Edison Project.  Determined to start my journey today, I looked at a “On This Date in History” page and was delighted to see that, (Fictionally) on this date, in 1342, Bilbo Baggins returned to Bag-End after his epic journey through middle earth to rid the world of the terror of Smaug.  The Hobbit was one of my favorite books as a child.  It provided me with adventure, intrigue, just the right amount of fear, and happiness in the end that Bilbo and the rest of his company was successful in their mission.  Bilbo is a lesson to all the hidden blessings that can be found in being disadvantaged.  Dismissed at first for his stature, Bilbo was a critical component of this story.  He was utilized on missions where others would not have been capable and succeeded not in spite of his size; often it was because of it.

So too, are we the disadvantaged.  Be it in one way or another; we are counted out of contention in pursuit of our goals for one attribute or another that disqualifies us from being the ideal candidate.  Our resume, our schedule demands, our intelligence against the perceived minimum required IQ to accomplish such lofty goals.  No matter what they are, none of us are alone in the feeling that we are battling not just our challenges, but the odds others have stacked against us.  But it is in the pursuit of these goals that we find we are able to analyze our challenges and surmount them in various ways.  Diligence, persistence, resourcefulness – these are among only a few of the many talents we can hone just through effort that can propel us beyond the limits we initially set for ourselves.  There is no doubt that Bilbo saw many of these attributes sharpened along the way.  It is in his return to the Shire that he can finally come apart and recuperate from his taxing journey – but we also see something else after the culmination of his trek.  We find Bilbo, years later, to be spiteful of the lack of further adventure in his life.  He jokes about wanting to be left alone; but it is to brood about, not to rest and relax.  Happiness, for many of us, is directly tied to the continuation of experiencing life on the edge.  For each of us, that edge is different.  Some create an edge that is very literally untraveled by those before them.  Others prefer slightly less rare, but equally new adventures, that require growth, perseverance, spiritual interconnectedness and reliance upon community, or family.  These are accomplished in various ways, with mixed results, often requiring we start back again from the beginning, or to resume the journey after its been too long since last we honestly put forth the effort.

Happiness, for me, is an intersection of numerous variables.  My project is about the multitude of ways I’ve been able to find happiness, in hopes its conjures new ways, and provides sustenance to my soul at a depth I’ve never before encountered.  In the experiments to come, I hope to write about my family, my faith, my country, my friends, my work, my hobbies and my dreams.  I hope to come across new topics to determine more fully from where I derive my happiness, in hopes that I can manufacture those opportunities with greater frequency.  I hope to sponsor a space where others can spend some time to think and challenge themselves, and in turn, me.  I hope to foster discussion in a positive direction and I hope to sustain this project with new and innovative measures towards the end of creating and maintaining the happiest life I could possible experience.  I hope to have you join me on this quest.  May we return home together – but only for as long as we need to recover before beginning our next adventure.

Yours in Pursuit of Happiness,

Will O’Connor

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