It is strange as I sit here, almost freezing in an office filled with years of change, successes and failures, that now I look at a different future where none of it really matters. Wrapped in a couple of layers, scarf, hat and mittens, thoughts become actions, the Windows 98 keyboard seemingly to fight my impressions, clacking away argumentatively, but giving in to my desire to move forward. The monitor behemoth, that still works from the beginning of the century, has seen so much too, fights onward. It is either my eyes fading, or the increasing and merging grayness of the text on the screen, but it feels like an episode is fading away. I am keeping warm by the constant feeding of a scanner, that too has been rewired, oiled, rebuilt many times in its life, to remove my mountainous curse of handwritten notes and paper that organically grew in this journey.
All physical testament to my ability to keep things going much longer than their intended lifespan.
And so it is with ideas, the kind that keep you awake excited in your younger years, but never really have the time to follow through as you wade through the paraphernalia of life. Those ideas, that have launched millions of thoughts through the years, that you placate by dreaming, maybe writing notes, or pacing up and down recording them in the middle of the night, when all others less infected sleep soundly. They explode, multiply, grow bigger and brighter, only to be connected to symbols, text, drawings, whose lustre and brilliance seems to fade the next day, when the urgency and priorities of life smother them by morning.
Now I am much older, feeling much less able, and increasingly ashamed that I allowed the beauty of them to fade. Of course, it seemed more important at the time to earn money, pay bills, fulfil my duty and expectations, to ‘be’ something – and rightly so – a family relies on those that support it, out of love and care.
The problem is, I have failed to be successful as either, the nurturer of these ideas, or the carer of the family. As time went by, the conflict grew and grew, between expectation and the dreams that never pass.
I made a massive mistake…
And, at 53 it is not a good time to come to that realisation.
Illness, in my case flu then a cold, in my terminology, seem to focus the mind on mortality and meaning.
Not that I am seriously ill – I still expect in a day or so to feel the exhilaration of health again as it all passes. But, I look at the office around me and see that I have not made the right decisions on the way, and the equipment and my health show that as some kind of old sick metaphor for my decisions so far. And, I know it will only get worse, unless I correct my course.
To do anything in life, you have to feel that you are doing the right thing – for you.
You cannot ‘be’ something you are not. Or, better defined, you cannot ‘be’ something that you don’t want to be and get away with it. It will come back at you, eat away at your motivation, steer you away from productivity, and lead you into depression and failure.
You have to ‘be’ that person you know you should be. You cannot waste your life doing things that are empty and meaningless without suffering in the end. If you fight to keep going in your path, you end up surrounded by the objects and life that displays that determination sure, but they are probably all going to wear out – and you with them.
So, here at the point of beginning again… I am filled with tiredness and doubt. I have worked really hard for my failures, and they taught me that one lesson – you have to really ‘be’ you.
The demons of my faults, guilts and failures haunt me and I realise I need a paradigm shift – If I am capable of doing it. They have to be turned around and made my strengths!
They have been painful, but they have given me experience of things I never would have had in another lifetime. Those experiences I have earned, that allow me to see the potential, within myself and others.
In the moments of darkness, when pain seems to be the future and hell the past, the universe is unmoved. Everything is still the same. The same as it is for the joyful person living their life to the full. The feelings are simply different, and personal, influencing your thoughts and actions. The sun still shines, but the shade still blinds you to it.
The beauty of the beginning can be a moment in time when you consider the possibility that you can do all the good things you want to do. No matter what they are. The feeling that no one else can really judge you on them because they are ‘you’. That is who you are. That is really what you must be.
My test now is simply my acceptance of a new truth.
In the next moment, when I work, play, when I get up in the morning, will it still be the same. Only if I think of it and allow it.
My gamble is that by doing what is inside me, that fills my heart with joy, is that what will turn a long run of losses, into a win. There is a part of me that shouts out – I don’t care, just do it!
Then maybe I will have enough to turn the heating on, get some new equipment and brighten things up around here 🙂