Note – this is a time delayed post, written earlier in the week on Monday.
It’s amazing how much energy stress or worry can produce. I’m not normally prone to it – but when I woke up this morning my heart was pounding.
This was prior to getting on my exercise bike where my entire workout was conducted with my eyes closed – pedalling faster and faster, and harder and harder until I was completely worn out.
By the time I got off I’d made up my mind.
Back in February 2016 I’d made a choice. A big one. I was changing my life, and going to do something entirely different (link). My path took a number of unexpected turns shortly after this and I remember feeling at the time that things were unfolding the way that they were meant to rather than the way that I’d planned them.
Around this time I became preoccupied with the idea that (although I’m not religious in any way) there was a reason that things were happening the way that they did. I began to think that in some way the universe was listening to me – or maybe for the first time I was listening to IT.
It was a scary and turbulent few months – but also exhilarating because for the first time in as long as I could remember there was no set future. It was all wide open and I felt I was standing on the precipice of potentially great things.
For the most part I’ve used the time I’d had since then very wisely. I’ve made big strides toward being the person that I want to be – but I don’t think that I’d accepted quite how much the changes in my physical state have affected my aspirations and my priorities.
For some time now I’ve had something formulating in the back of my mind. It’s an ideal that’s not fully realised, and in some ways may even be a little naive – possibly silly – but I just can’t get it out of my head. It keeps coming back to me and I’m constantly on the cusp of vocalising it but never quite fully forming the words or structure behind it.
In essence it’s about reaching a state in life where there is an ever decreasing sense of want. I hope as time goes on to need less and less in life. Practically this means I will seek less material wealth, I will spend less, I will use less resources and I will have less negative impact on the world around me.
I want to leave a positive and healthy legacy behind me and not damage other people or the wider world.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not yet at the stage where I want to grow dreadlocks and chain myself to a tree – but I want to continue to be less of a consumer and more of a creator.
This is all airy fairy stuff though.
In itself this nebulous daydreaming is not yet a philosophy – or even vaguely close to an answer to life’s questions. Instead it’s more the beginning of a larger internal discourse I’m having with myself about how I get closer to something resembling this state.
Whatever it is though it’s been gaining more and more purchase in my subconscious as time goes on.
However, as important as this is to me it’s competing for brain time with another set of thoughts that I’ve been subconsciously preoccupied with. My aspirations for the future have come into conflict with the reality of what I’ve been doing day to day.
At the risk of sounding like an idiot – I’d stopped listening to the universe.
This morning on my exercise bike, whilst sweating and panting, I accepted what I have already known for a while deep down. At some point a few months ago fear had quietly crept into my decision making process.
This slowly began to undermine my willingness to be truly different from the man I was.
When I was faced with the choice of uncertainty or stepping back into my previous comfort zone I realise now that I (mostly because of self doubt) chose the familiar option when it presented itself. When I looked for and accepted a position in a company recently (with the best of intentions) I was foolishly attempting to re-create the patterns of my old life.
I thought I could just step back into those well worn shoes – but it turns out I can’t. Not only do I feel trapped by my decision to go back into an office but I feel I’ve somehow compromised the precious ideals that I started out with a year ago.
So this morning I quit my new job.
I didn’t do this because it was a bad one – or because I didn’t like the people – but because I’m not the same person any more.
I just hadn’t realised until now how different old me was compared to the me sitting here now. Old me would have ignored this moment of clarity, and buried his head in the sand. He’d have drunk himself into a stupor in the evening after being moody all day and not faced up to it. He’d have done this every subsequent day, going to work and spending his life pretending because he was afraid that that his job represented the sum of his capabilities and the pinnacle of his achievements.
Without one what would he be?
‘Nothing’ was the conclusion he always arrived at.
Every single time old me took the safe path, with security, comfort and wholly without risk, danger or excitement.
Sitting here now I feel heroic, stupid, vulnerable, happy, angry, confused, sad, elated and many many other emotions. I don’t know whether I’m making a massive mistake or whether for the very first time I’m truly exercising my common sense. It’s all very confusing.
I don’t really know what comes next – I just know now that it’s not what came before. It has to be something new.