Where do we go from here?
The battle’s done, and we kind of won,
So we sound our victory cheer.
Where do we go from here?
I can feel a struggle in my head and heart, the old me desperately clawing to hold onto what my sense of self currently is (or used to be) and my new self struggling to emerge. This move, this crazy, dumbass, unexpected move has tipped my world upside down and opened all kinds of thoughts and emotions about my material possessions and home and life and the people in it.
I struggle for meaning in a world that has very little meaning to me (other than what I choose to imbue it with). I have always struggled against the chaos and happenstance, trying to keep order where it existed or infuse order where it didn’t. Everything had to make sense or have meaning or purpose. I couldn’t just accept that “it is what it is” whatever “it” was. Good or bad, I questioned it all. What does it mean and why did it happen? If it was bad, how do I avoid it in the future? If it was good, how do I make it happen again? Can I get back what was? Can I keep what is? Can I obtain what will be? What role do I play in everything that happens around me? What responsibility do I have to fix or maintain or avoid that which needs fixed, maintained or avoided? How will I appear to others by my words, my actions, my choices?
If you think that was tiring to read, imagine thinking and feeling it 24/7. That is my brain, constantly at work, processing and evaluating and predicting. That is how I see life and live it. There are no small choices for me. Everything I do requires some level of thought. My life has been a constant “Choose your own adventure book” but I have continued to try to rewrite the story to have better or different outcomes or peek ahead to see if I can predict where it all leads so I know which page to turn to and which choices to make. And even when I successfully navigate one set of landmines or complete one lap of the journey, I just head into the next one.
Truthfully, I have grown tired of it. The constant worry and concern and hope and expectation. As I prepare to leave yet another home and start again elsewhere, as I prepare to hit 40, as I see my social landscape change for the umpteenth time and as I see new characters step in to fill the rolls others have left, I have become brutally aware that there is very little control in life. Circumstances change, people come and go and the best we can do is go with the flow. Fighting against the current of time and life is pointless.
So I am honestly trying to embrace the chaos and except my lack of control in this world and life and, as the graph above shows, trying not to give a fuck, or at least not so much of a fuck as I once did. I am trying to let go of things…material possessions that clutter up my life, and people who also clutter up my brain and heart but don’t warrant the time, attention or effort. I am trying hard to invest my energy in what is, what exists now, what matters to me and what I truly want and need to be content, safe, and sated. Do what needs to be done and let the rest of it go. I do not have to handle everything, be responsible for everyone or contemplate all things all the time.
But by letting go, I am walking away from a lifetime pattern of how I have always dealt with things and lived my life and it leaves me wondering: where do I go from here? Today, now, how do I move forward without falling into the same pattern of intense contemplation, worry and hope. How do I let go of everything I once deliberated about? How does one go from caring about everything to caring about nothing? (Not that I don’t care about things, but you know the point I’m trying to make here, right?)
It will be a slow and tentative path as I walk with my hands in my pocket and my eyes on the road ahead without glimpsing at all the paths that could lead me elsewhere or reaching out to everyone else to help me determine the right path for me. It will be scary to move forward on instinct and not worry about where I may wind up or who might be there when I arrive. or what others think; to make choices that are right for me, right now, without worrying about how it will impact others or my future choices. I have to embrace that my life is one big “I don’t know” and be OK with that.
It really is time to stop worrying about what I don’t know and can’t control and start focusing on what I do and can.
And what I want, right now, most of all, is another cup of coffee…