The Stages Of Life, Paradox Of Choice, And What’s Next…?

in Reflections3 months ago

Another of these points, uncertain where to begin… so just jumping in, letting the writing take its own course…

Ah, life… what a trip. It honestly seemed so much easier when operating from the popular self-help, hustle-culture, and new-age belief systems that we are really the ones in the driver’s seat and can quickly & easy “manifesting everything you want.” Or when a kid and naturally had what it take to go with the flow and joyously revel in the mystery, wonder, and curiosity for all the unknown. But my, how aging fuck both those up. Perhaps first tainting the youthful easygoingness with the seriousness and responsibility of the illusion of being forced into the driver’s seat, and eventually the disillusionment bound to occur once discovering we never did have the degree of control promised and we traded the childish adaptability for a glorification of mind & ego that could only keep us high for so long. Is this the “midlife crisis” we all must face in some form or another as realizing how far we’ve fell from both the wonderful ease & joy of youth and the high ideals we thought we’d achieve in adulthood?

Of course, I can only speak to my own experience, truthfully. It might seem that no matter how much the rebellious, arrogant, borderline-narcissistic parts of me have judged the majority of people who fall into “normal” lives and/or followed conventional societally-condoned paths, there are many who at least appear happy with the sense of “security” that comes from a traditional 9-to-5, family life, and white picket fence. Granted, appearances can be misleading, and it’d be an error to conclude all who give the impression of contentment with their lives actually experience it internally. Certainly, we all have our own variations of inner conflicts & outer uphill battles in this human journey. Perhaps some of my/this outlook/analysis applies to others, some not. So, as always, take what thou wilt which may be of value to you - seeing in it whatever may be relevant in ways only you can feel/know.


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As much as I’ve always “marched to the beat of my own drum,” abandoning societal/cultural conventions to pursue a very different life path in multiple regards, it’s been a weird phase to find myself in lately - at “midlife crisis” point, nearing 5 years into my Human Design deconditioning “experiment,” while observing not only the external world’s old ways & institutions breaking down, but the futility of my own and just how much - in spite of having embodied a higher-than-average degree of individuality throughout my life - I’ve still accumulated programming & conditioning (albeit much from countercultural stuff such as self-help, “spirituality” and motivational/hustle-culture)… that has reached its expiration point of helpfulness, leaving an uncomfortable vacuum in which questions such “who da fuq am I actually” and “wtf am I even really doing with this life” naturally arise to fill.

While I may not have gone the route of pursuing a typical college education to get a well-paying corporate job with 401k and everything else “normal,” there was still enough pressure from the capitalistic philosophies equally pervading entrepreneurial mindsets I was attracted to to sway my direction, bolster my ego wanting/trying to prove itself as big & important, and drastically influence the way I looked at the world, myself, and sought to ‘control’ life. While I may have never vibed with organized religion, seeing it as an outdated repressive control structure, there was still enough fanaticism & fundamentalism manifest differently in much of the “spiritual” and “new age” to shape my perceptions & beliefs, no matter how much I might’ve denied or simply not seen the extent of it… until I did. It’s been happening slowly, but surely. “Shattered reality…” when master astrologer, The Leo King, emphasized this theme to be occurring a couple years ago, there was a particular idea I had in mind of what it’d be like - and in my mind, I’d be exempt from it - but none of us can outrun karma, and while it may not have been an all-at-once dramatic Uranian lightning-strike for me, there’s no question that the/my old reality most definitely is in process of shattering. Necessary, and for the highest ultimate good, sure; though easy, not.

No doubt, there’s merit to the saying, “ignorance is bliss.” Perhaps this is why the child is able to embody so much innocent joy, not yet aware of the complexity of life with all its injustices & depravaties on this planet. Yet, we’re not meant to remain children forever. Save the idealized aggrandizations around the concept of “awakening,” the expansion of consciousness/awareness is part of this human experience - whether looking at it through a “spiritual” lens or a more left-brained scientific, evolutionary one. We’re bound - by design - to grow up indoctrinated by the ideological influences surrounding us… and if committed to growth, unravelling the consequential tangled messes of bullshit we unconsciously ended up in. Though when part of those logically-programmed approaches to life fail and we find ourselves in rapidly-transforming conditions where the old doesn’t work anymore… how/where do we even begin? Or is this the point where complete surrender is necessary, discarding our need for understanding & control to allow life to unfold & guide?


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There’s been this persistent battle within… struggling for clarity on “what I want,” as though the dogma inherent in nearly all personal development & motivational philosophy is some all-encompassing truth - the “choose what you want, set your goals, and make it happen” outlook - yet really not knowing or able to feel into a clear, concrete answer that fits the molds of seminar exercises. And from there, comes the derivative self-doubt, self-consciousness, etc as though there’s something inherently “wrong,” given some inability to ‘do’ something seemingly so fucking simple. Meanwhile, acknowledging wisdom that’s emerged since programmed with all the ego-driven philosophy in my twenties - seeing the futility of trying to carry on with the mind fooling itself that it’s actually (well-equipped to be) in the driver’s seat, let alone rush to control what cannot be (when not in a place/state of clarity).

Do I want to return to Bali? Stay in Canada and establish a homebase in Revelstoke? Aim for a more luxurious sanctuary in West Vancouver? What actually IS within my control that’d make where I’m at “easier” and help to consistently enjoying music & writing again, irregardless of location? The questioning does not stop… even though it’s clear there are no answers. I don’t fucking know.

On one hand, it’s a beautiful direct experience of the “paradox of choice” - moving “up” in life & the world such that there is a far greater range of options, with money not being as much of a limiting factor as it used to. On the other… well, maybe its just the flip side of the same hand - a lingering discontent & restlessness given options are so open. There’s part of me that misses not having to make big decisions, that flowed so much more easily with how life was just unfolding organically, and was more in-tune with some innate guidance that just felt correct to follow. Somewhere, somehow, that connection got kinda fucked up. Or perhaps the trust in it.

It’s tough fully letting go of the person I thought I was. Seeing how much of my life was driven by ego and its desires for worldly success, now hanging out in this void of uncertainty on what’s next and wrestling with/between the outdated desire for control and emerging acceptance that surrender is essential.

As restless I’ve been, as uncomfortable with not knowing, as disorienting the disillusionment of all the conceptions of who I thought I was and what the world is like may be, perhaps the slow-down is in Divine order and for the greater good. Afterall, exhausting myself spinning wheels in stuck mud has well-proven not the answer by now. Should ‘God’ wanna send a tow truck or helicopter to get me out and carry/tow me to wherever da fuq I gotta be next when it’s time, we’ll see. So maybe it’s just best to chill da fuq out as much as possible, trusting that whatever comes next will probably be alright - and I surely needed to shed the deadweight of my past “self” and all the programming & conditioning that fed it, in order to clear space for the new to enter. Or some shit. What do I know. 🤷‍♂️

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I can't really give you much advice on this one. I took that 9 to 5 route and it has been working pretty well for me, but I know it doesn't always work that way for everyone. I'm content though and I think that's what's important. Sure, there is stuff I want to do and places I want to go, but when I put my head down each night, I'm at peace. I know it's cliche and a lot of people make a lot of money teaching their way to do it, but sometimes the best thing we can do is just "be still". Try to quiet all the thoughts, doubts, and what-ifs and often times we gain some clarity. It might be subtle, but it's often there. Then again, I have ADHD, so stilling my mind is a lesson in futility!

I just officially joined ya in the ADHD club yesterday… and 100% get ya on the meditation/stillness bit. zero quiet. if anything, it often just opens the door to the mind going up a notch and nervous system tweaking on high… definitely NOT relaxing, lol. I did a hyperfocus deep dive reading a bunch of ADHD books last couple months and was kinda relieved to hear this is ‘normal’ for us. (And it mentioned finding those same type of meditative states through some activitities… though snowboarding is the only one that really stands out for me). Yet, i do/can see/acknowledge the merit to that “wisdom in silence/stillness” thing - even if only for brief moments. Not always accessible at will and often backfires ‘trying,’ but those moments of peace… dammit. Cool you’re structured your life that end each day with it.

Yeah, being alone with my thoughts is never the best thing. It gets a bit messy and scary sometimes the places my mind goes. I don't think I would ever want to be medicated though. I've learned to cope pretty well with it.