At home, Monday morning after a week in NYC. This might finally be the corner being turned. I don’t know. In some ways, I’ve been stuck in modes of grief, anger, depression, and a desire to seek revenge on anyone and everyone who might have slighted me intentionally or otherwise. The corner being turned involves seeking more health, prosperity, and happiness/contentment with what I have rather than what I do not. The seeking prosperity part is a more wholesome approach that involves incremental saving and acquisition of knowledge/wealth rather than a mad dash for the perfect cash-generating machine.
Somewhere along the way toward become the most perfected and enlightened being, I got waylaid by others–the expectations of others and their opinions/thoughts/beliefs on the kind of person I should be. I was old enough to know better, but still young enough to be hopeful that playing along with the rest of the group would get me farther than standing on my own two feet and carving out my place in the world.
I should be more alarmed at the fact that I now live in a purely middle class suburb and am headed toward the most normal and average of mid-life, office-y kinds of jobs, doing marketing, management, business, etc. and that all reeks of the sell-out I never wanted to be. However, I have also met and known too many fools who have resisted becoming sell-outs and they just end up being old fools with nothing to show for the time they spent not dropping roots, starting families, and going to normal, average office-y kinds of jobs. What’s more, I’ve pretty much have been an office-y middle-class, average kind of schmuck my entire adult life in spite of all of my bad behavior and arrested development in terms of becoming a fully-fledged adult with a home and family.
What started out some time ago as this kind of Quixotic pursuit of spiritual perfection (about the time I returned from that last IS tradeshow having drank too much, feeling awful and nasty and quit that job outright)–through a year an a half of staying at home with my son and a year of seminary and six months of working for a startup-y kind of company with absolutely no direction and was at the absolute opposite end of the spectrum in terms of having its shit together. Maybe that time period was nice for a last hurrah of not taking work seriously, not taking my health seriously, and constantly living as if I was about to completely wreck my job and chances of all future employment by walking the fine line between marketing and spamming people.
But, I knew that it wasn’t going to last more than a year–that last job–and once my supervisor started making moves that I didn’t care for, I knew it was time to leave, to cash out, and go work for a large corporation where the difference I made would be along the lines of moving shareholder value incrementally and the pace of accomplishing a project set to be months-long instead of days-long.
The trip to NYC last week didn’t unveil any grand meaning or insights for me to take home with me–other than the fact that I am now at a level of personal development and maturity where I would be fearless and bold enough to go live there, except my investment in family and life in Texas clearly prevents this from being a reality. I have no idea how someone can go about accelerating their personal development and growth so that they can take advantage of living singly in a place like NYC with boldness and no fear/timidity that spells death.
I was definitely a fearful person for a long time, and quite successful and artful in my attempts to cover up the fear with grand excuses and long narratives about why I didn’t leave Austin for a bigger city. My fears were my own to conquer, no matter how they got there.
For the longest time, any attempt to arrive at a conclusion of “this is who I am” was disrupted by an overwhelming attachment to the past. Telling a story about myself seemed to require the same elements as a contrived work of fiction–the present was certainly to be the moment in the narrative where the climax was about to approach and all that had come before was clearly able to contribute to building up to the climax. Even after I could rationally tell myself that such a notion was absurd, I think that I continued to fall back by force of habit into thinking in this mode–life clearly was supposed to have it’s peak somewhere, and that peak needed a clear path to how I got there, whether it was through overcoming adversity, driving my own destiny, or letting fate pull me along (sometimes confusedly attempting to be in control and have God in control all at the same time–though, perhaps there is a harmonious way of holding these contradictory ways of being in tension, I clearly have not mastered it).
But now, I see life and the reality of the grander Universe, whatever that might be, as great flowing streams–my life, a tiny little stream flowing within a larger flow. I can pick myself up and pull myself in and out of many of these streams at any given moment. Whether or not I want to continue to be fearful of, needful of a given thing–that’s entirely up to me in the moment. If I want to turn a thing like anger over someone slighting me, intentionally or otherwise, into a nothing sort of thing, it is entirely up to me.