For the record, I do like the jangling kind of change. But this is not what’s on my mind, despite that it’s all that’s still left in my tiny purse after my usually trusty steed (the 4×4 i10…) sucked the last signs of life from my bank account last month …
No, I’m thinking of the other change. The one where things don’t stay the same. The one I like (because I can’t stand being bored) but also really don’t (because… well, maybe you can figure it out). Sometimes we cruise along in the comfortable spot, just because we can. Because it’s all we know, and ultimately trust. The status quo. No nasty little surprises.
But here’s the thing, there are always nasty little surprises.
It’s taken me a long time to put my finger on it, but I think I’m finally onto something good, or perhaps just something better. As with all unexpected discoveries, these seldom come in a time of peace. I’ve been in this comfortable but nonsensical place for so long, that I perhaps didn’t realise it was going to cost me more than I could or wanted to afford. But, considering the current state of my purse, I know that it’s possible to survive in the red emotionally, physically and mentally. However, something’s got to give. It’s not good enough.
Two nights ago, I wanted to contact this random stranger who helped me with an IT problem recently, and somehow ended up on his blog, at a post (curiously titled “On choosing me”) that contained a link to a lengthy quote by Elizabeth Gilbert (Don’t you dare judge, some people are able to find vital inspiration in Cheech and Chong). Both these posts were about something I’ve been contemplating for a few months. Maybe longer, I’m not sure.
Despite everyone telling me I’m OK and one of the “nicest” people they know (I am grateful for them, but can I have a retrospective facepalm, please?), I think the following. What I am sure of is that I am wholly exhausted by this version of me. And the direction my life’s going. Why? Because it’s not entirely me. To a large degree, despite all the things I’ve done that seem and probably are pretty neat, it’s still made up of a lot of things that other people wanted, liked, needed, thought was good for me, and so on. The path to happiness is by living outside yourself and for other people (only), I used to think.
That screeched to an abrupt and merciful halt the night before last. I’m not saying I’m turning into a selfish person and everyone can now go and get knotted, and I’m living the opera warm-up life (Me me me me me me me me meeee!), I’m just changing my perspective somewhat. No more unconsidered self-sacrifice and shooting-in-the-footery. I’m tired of sitting there, thinking I’m inadequate. (More facepalmage.)
For much too long, I have been trying to exist so hard, but not just been, I followed a path, a way of thinking and life, call it whatever you like, and now I have come to the fork in the road. I’m turning left. I don’t even want to be right. I just want to be (allowed to be) me. I will have detractors, but those have always been around anyway. Some of them have left of their own accord, because they probably saw this shit-explosion coming. Thanks for the warning (I probably wouldn’t have believed them).
Nevertheless, I’m finally realising that it’s OK to stick up for myself in areas I was not willing to do so before. I realise that a dream in the head is no dream at all, really. It needs to be out there in the air, on your face, your sleeve(s) … it needs to become a “doing” to be of any worth at all. The only failure is in fact not doing and just dreaming, wishing, crossing your fingers. And forgetting to help yourself by always helping out others instead. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people, but the point is, I’ve certainly not been helping myself.
So yep, I’m pretty much over it. See this as a public service. My unselfish selfishness. I don’t know where I will end up, but I’m looking forward to the journey. I hope to find truth, which I’ll simply define as reality, which requires insight.
Lastly, thank you to those of you who have nudged, dragged or poked me along. You know who you are.