I was sharing with a bunch of good friends earlier, on how going for a meditation retreat changed my life. They laughed, because I seem to be having these life-changing moments all the time.
I do have these transformative moments frequently. I actually think I don’t have as many of them as I would like to. There is a reason why I love new experiences and tons of solitude. I thrive on periods of forced contemplation. It is really easy for me to get into a routine, fall back into old behavioral patterns and simply live on auto-pilot mode – wake up, work, get home, sleep. Rinse and repeat.
I stop looking at my big picture, the snowball I want to build, all the learning opportunities I want to pursue. Work can be empowering, but it can also be an effective distraction if we only focus on the day to day tasks and forget to question why are we working on a particular cause in the first place?
I am not afraid of making big life decisions. I am only afraid of letting myself down after making these decisions. Do I have the will and determination to carry out my ambitions, or do I allow “busyness” to take charge of my life again? How can I increase the level of consciousness I have on a daily basis?
The news of Robin William’s passing impacted me more than I thought it would, just like the passings of Chloe Weil, Aaron Swartz, Ilya Zhitomirskiy and the many others that were not as public. I don’t know these people personally, but I can’t help but feel bound to them in some ways, as though a part of me would die along with each of them. But these are the ones we see, how many of us we don’t see, and how many of us are living as though we are living dead?
It kills me on so many levels inside in ways I cannot describe. That I am never safe from myself, that each time this happens instead of feeling like my old self is miles away I actually feel her close to me again. That I get why. I envy. I grieve. All at once. I can no longer differentiate whether I am grieving for them or for myself. Whether I grieve because I wanted to be dead or that I am now still living.
It makes me rethink myself and the way I live. What is the point of all this technological advancement and progression if the society we are building is fundamentally so broken? The events of the past week or month have not helped.
I have a very dysfunctional relationship with my species. I love and resent us so much. Why are we a species capable of so much resilience and change, and yet so self-destructive?
Some people have asked me why I am able to write so bravely about myself. I tell them that I don’t have an intellectual choice. I must, or I cannot live with myself. I cannot live with knowing that we are so broken and yet we pretend we are not. I cannot live with knowing that everyone of us is broken in some way and yet we make so much judgment on how other people are more broken and less deserving than us.
I want to be publicly broken and yet demonstrate that I can thrive with all the breakage I have suffered, and that being unafraid to be broken is a sign of strength and that it can be tremendously empowering. What power do people have over me, when I am unafraid to break myself?
My regret is not being able to do even more than I already am. That I am not speaking louder about the issues I care about. That I am not living as much as I want to. That I am not making full use of my lucidity and consciousness as a human being and I am taking my ability to think and create for granted. That I am not acting more like the person I want to become. That some days I just want to lie in bed and pretend that the weight I carry does not exist. That sometimes I get really, really tired of wanting to care about the greater whole and I just want to live like a hermit where nobody can ever find me.
But I still try. I try to live on for the rest of us because I know every one of us counts. Everyone who battles daily with their darkness and yet live on just one more day matters to the rest of us who are still struggling. I light my way in order for the ones after me to find their way.
Perhaps I live on in the hope of proving myself wrong. That as a species we are really capable of so much more, that we will eventually work towards building a world where all of us can thrive together, that we can really see beyond the futility of power struggles when there wouldn’t be much of a world left to struggle for if this goes on.