Go! she says! Fine! Go I shall!
I’m very good at spinning my wheels in place, satisfying the “go” part of the contract but without always a destination in mind.
For, you’ll see in the many posts I hope to write (I’m in “go” mode, after all), I like to question things. Things like destinations. Goals to achieve. Badges to attain. Places to be. People to connect with. Etcetera. All these are driven by motives, we can all agree. However, while most motives are fairly apparent at first glance – I’m getting this degree so I can find gainful employment and like, buy stuff and live in a civilized, built environment – nearly all have layers that beg further probing.
It’s those layers I love peeling away (yes yes, onions and such). It’s the cultural, evolutionary, psychological, conceptual, and a myriad of other forces at work behind the you “going” about your life. And what is this business of going anyway? It’s generally a bit of doing things; a bit of being the you that you’ve been led to believe is you; and growing that “you” over time as a result of the doing and the feedback you receive in you being you. Still with me?
OK so, for example, let’s say you wake up one fine morning on your 25th birthday – a good time as any when you generally should’ve figured out shit and be in “go” mode, busying about getting, attaining, achieving, connecting, etc. You know, living your life as you’ve been taught to and how it’s reinforced by the sum of everything and everyone around that you’ve accumulated over those 25 years. Then, let’s just imagine, you lose it all. Yep, that degree you attained. Useless. Those people you know. They’re bastards now. The things you own. Some utility while present, but basically dissatisfactory. The image you’ve built up. No longer attention-worthy or admirable.
Crisis? Kind of, right? Then, what do you do at this time? Rebuild everything and regain everything as per the old model, design, paradigm, conditioning, programming and so on? How indeed do you adapt? Is the ultimate model of evolutionary success one where you act, be and think in such a way that yields the most returns on your energy/time/resource investments? The question begs asking, is this quasi-economic nature of the game we’re playing the end meaning of this existence? Rhetorical, I realize, but answering with a euphoric YES doesn’t sit that well, does it?
So, on your frail, abandoned (thankfully hypothetical) 25-year old shitty birthday, do you then take time to contemplate and question that degree, those relationships, the things and all that stuff that filled your life and had you going? Stuff that no longer gives/ nourishes/ engages/ assures you in the way that you’d been led to believe was advantageous and rewarding. Or do you just do a bit of quick observation around you, turn on stimuli response mode and just replace it all with whatever other paradigm is in vogue or promises crazy returns? Because whatever self-help guru that climbed up the Top 10 charts in the past month says so.
Sure, the example may be entirely fantastical and unrealistic. You may be calling me an idiot for even proposing it. But crises that call you to take stock in such a manner are not that uncommon. Rapid, massive changes to your known world do occur. Heck, deaths of significant people, changes in your health, crazy betrayals, natural disasters, immigrating to a new land, obsoletion of your livelihood/education through downsizing and restructuring and other systemic forces… I could go on. Shit happens.
The point I’m finally getting to is that it’s valuable to be in a position to at least be able to call the shots… somewhat. I mean that in terms of the rationale behind the “going,” accepting that going in itself is just a natural, built in, baked in feature of life, unless you truly decide to live as a hermit or a recluse or forego living entirely.
What happens the day after your hand is forced by fate as a result of some crisis or loss or massive upheaval is somewhat still in your hands. You can still decide to some degree the rationale behind your life, the “why” before the “how, who, what, when.”
Unless forced to, rarely does one stop to take a look at the programming that the preceding 25 years had laid down, or the circumstances at that tender age of 25 in your sphere of influence that executes that programming. Even though alternatives to whatever fulfillment you’re going about seeking may abound, they may as well be on the far side of the moon.
And guess what? You don’t need a bonafide crisis either to begin to question or take stock. Do you feel, at times, that there’s just less of a point to some stuff? That you’re going about in a pre-programmed automatic mode with some other shit? That you’d appreciate some meaning that’s unique to your life story and not just the validation-worthy cookie cutter image you present? That the only respite or relief is when outside approval is granted for this achievement or that trait?
Does all of the above then create bouts of depression and anxiety or any combination of garbage feelings, thoughts and sensations that are a symptom of something off that you ignore or distract yourself from? IF yes, THEN, these are all generally markers of stuff that will likely culminate in a crisis at some point down the road. Markers of stuff that are laying down the red carpet to some Q&Q time.
I thought I’d begin with this post since doing some Q&Q at around 25 led me down the path to now and to Twinkleberry. Don’t just accept status quo like it’s a prison. Question the heck out of shit, explore alternatives and take a deep dive into whether the gains outweigh the efforts. If there’s an “Unsubscribe” button to much of the uselessness that abounds in life, I endeavour to find it and then we’re gonna sit down and press it.
Questioning is beautiful.