What does “Searching for X” mean JENNA?
As my friends have so stridently pointed out, the title could be mistaken for my adventures through New York City searching the streets for a certain drug. However, as Louie, one of the funny men I’m so privileged to be in improv class with at the moment said, “That seems like it’d be an easy search. I’m sure you could find ecstasy on any NYC corner, and then your blog would be done. X FOUND, period.”
So no, “Searching for X” has nothing to do with searching for ecstasy. It was just a variable chosen to make a point. I suppose I could have gone with “Y,” but then “Searching for Y” sounds like “why?” and that wasn’t what I was going for.
What do I mean by “Searching for X” then? Well, everyone seems to be looking for something, but no one knows what the eff they are looking for. Let’s look at the expression “X marks the spot.” In order to hit X with the arrow, you need to see the target. We can all run around with bows and arrows shooting at anything that moves. Superb. I’m sure you’ll hit something. But until you know what target you’re trying to hit, you can’t call the haphazard shot, a success.
What I’m interested in is what people consider “success,” because that is generally what people are looking for, whether it be in career, relationship, family, money, fame, education, etc. Very often when you ask someone what they consider “success,” it’ll fall somewhere under these categories. Very rarely, however, have I asked someone what they consider “success” and been answered with “happiness.”
I started thinking about this after reading Somerset Maugham’s “The Razor’s Edge.” In the last paragraph of the book, Maugham writes that after looking back upon the narrative, he realized he’d written a success story. Every character got what they wanted whether it be “social eminence” or “an assured position backed by a substantial fortune…” or “a steady and lucrative job, with an office to go to from nine till six every day,” or “security” and then of course one character was happy to find “death.” But there was only one character who found happiness, and that was what he clearly set out to find. He was specific about it, and did not confuse other pursuits as the means to happiness. Happiness was the means, and the end was happiness.
“Searching for X” is an exploration of happiness, and what it means to have THAT target it mind.