People have been telling me lately that I look tired.
Or burnt out.
2016 was hard for me and I was not one of the lucky few who seemingly escaped unscathed. 95% of the folks I’ve chatted with about last year agree that this ’16 was not so sweet. It was so bad, I’ve been considering getting it tattooed, perhaps in Roman Numerals, as a reminder of what it was, what I learned, and how I grew despite feeling as though I was walking through a field of landmines.
For the first 4 days of 2017, I was upbeat, but then it hit me, right there on day 5, that frustrated yearning for a greater experience caught my attention again, and I’m left to look at what hasn’t changed.
Is it the hurt I’m feeling over how the relationship I was in evolved to where we are now?
Or maybe it’s the anger that I feel over not knowing who I can trust these days because where I’ve put that energy might have been misplaced?
Is it the aggravation that prods each day as I wonder, wow, what the fuck really happened since I begrudgingly accepted that I was on a spiritual journey now 10 years ago?
Or is it that I’m just 36 years old and have much more learn.
I’m not only 36 years old, I’m 36 years old and moving through new territory as a man in my family and close circle. No other man who I am close to in my life can give me any guidance that relates to my current overall life situation. That ‘band of brothers’ is non-existent. I seem to recall a statement about being there in the jungle, bolo knife in hand as I consciously traverse the unknown savage lands.
Dramatic much? Perhaps, but I’m a writer, and the symbolic language helps me release and look at the facts.
My Dad and Brother had both experienced marriages, fatherhood, and divorce by this age I occupy. I’ve not. My mentors or older friends? While some similar values might exist, many of their lives are vastly different than anything I shall encounter. My peers are at various poles of experience despite being able to relate as closely as possible: 1. settled down or give zero fucks as to why they should, 2. immersed in a career or attempting a transition, 3. looking to cultivate anew or accepting their fate .
While I can relate to some elements of that, I’m also wired different. So it all doesn’t help me very much.
“Be your own guru.” ~ Adya
So I have to put my money where my mouth is and look at how I feel because experiences are always different and the feeling is the only space where we can relate.
Right now, it feels as though I’m alone, wandering a desert. I might physically be present with people but I’m not really there. Pieces of my Soul feel as though they’ve been scattered along the journey thus far and this is the first time where I feel like the abyss has more Truth than not.
Sure there are people around, but I can’t relate fully as outline above and let’s be real, neither can they, nor should they. It’s not that others are incapable or don’t want to, sometimes time really does not allow us the space to connect. As much as I enjoy the career field I’m in, the spiritual wi-fi signal and connectivity isn’t always serving me well. While I might have cleared the landmines, unidentified drones will randomly drop new ordinances so taking another step in this same direction isn’t all that inspiring.
Going back to the start, where I have been told that I look tired and burnt out. Let’s be real, it echoes in my words:
I’m tired of taking shit. I’m tired of at times feeling taken for granted. I’m tired of people telling me what to do, how to do it, and when I do ask for help or actually need, the ghosting that comes with it. I see Rage, I see it sitting there but it’s not how I feel nor will it serve me so in its place, I feel Lost.
The last time I hit this space in my early 20s, I grew really angry, took up Rage, and acted out in a fashion where I didn’t care. At the root of that, I lacked self-love, which led me to having experienced a bit of Soul-crushing because without self-love and grappling with uncertainty, it was hard to pick myself up or be encouraged.
This time, my Soul is crushed, but I have worked much on loving and caring for myself over the years. I’m just emotionally drained and there isn’t enough happening or time for me to recharge so I feel like I’m in neutral. It makes me look back to the ‘simpler’ times of my 20s and realize how wise it was at 30 to see how much time I’d squandered worrying and in angst.
Since I’ve but a few short years left in my 30s, I am actively working on allowing what feels to come and go, feeling it fully, letting it go as I can, and keeping myself busy. Most recently I re-committed myself to Jiu-Jitsu and grappling, which has taught me much about myself and the human condition over the years.
As I look at the big mirror of the world around me, I see a macrocosm of my own experience ten years ago and my approach in dealing with it is different today, so maybe there’s the blessing.
Or the lesson.
Or (insert to be determined here).
The world is ripe with anger, sadness, fear, and all sorts of powerfully crippling emotions. There are ‘good’ reasons why people are feeling such heavy feelings. And it makes sense why it’s hard to wake up bright and chipper each day.
But we have to.
Whether it’s raining outside, we have to find a way to see the beauty in the rain, how it nourishes all aspects of our life. If it’s sunny, we need to enjoy that for what it is, cherish how long it lasts, and recognize how without balance in the experience, there is no life, at all.
The human experience is an ever-changing experiment, as is each individual life. Getting caught in arguments of ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ is the worst thing we can do because of that ever-changing flow and unique unfolding each takes. While there are days where that voice that once ‘hated’ me preaches darker tones in times of low energy, I shall continue to march, perhaps more fearlessly into the unknown because through all of this, I wake more and more until the day I no longer do so.
That’s all we can do. Keep moving forward until we no longer can.