This post is dedicated to one of my friends who might or might not be ready to hear this. I will post it anyways. I feel that it is the right time and the right place.
You know how sometimes it seems that your life is like a rollercoaster? It goes up and down and never goes back to normal? Even if sometimes it seems that you have somehow figured out how to handle life and yourself in it, one morning you wake up and, it seems that somehow while you were sleeping, your life just plummeted into a downward spiral. It might happen frequently and it may take some time between the ups and downs, but you know exactly what I mean. It goes from a harmony to an emotional hell without a reason.
You live your life trying to understand the world, people in it, yourself, and your place in this world, but somehow it just doesn’t make sense. Sometimes, when you are amongst your friends, you laugh, you goof around, and you feel like you fit in, but sometimes you are amongst them and it feels like you are from a different planet. And it is not about your friends accepting you for who you are or loving you unconditionally. You know they love you and accept you. It is about you and the feeling that you have. That feeling that you just do not belong. That there is something else. Something bigger. You just can’t put a finger on it.
There is this void, this unbearable feeling that you can’t explain. It just seems that you do not belong…you are just different. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to find anything in common with other people. You see the world and you see yourself, and it just doesn’t add up.
If you read this and it resonates with you, you might be standing on a border of crossing over. Crossing over where or what?
I will have to use a hamster analogy to explain. We, human beings, are like hamsters in a cage with a wheel. We live our lives thinking that the cage and getting in that wheel to spin (for as long as we can) is the purpose of our lives.
As humans we think that our purpose is to get education, get a good job, get married, maybe start a family, have a career, and contribute to the society. We live and breathe that conviction (spinning the wheel).
It is like a hamster who gets in a wheel and runs in it. When you look around, what you see is – a whole bunch of hamsters who teach other hamsters on how to get in that wheel and spin for a long time because that is what you are supposed to do.
Family, friends, media, books, and TV share pointers and thoughts on how to be happy on how to get the best job ever, how to start a family, how to meet your soulmate, and how to find THE MEANING of your life..and etc. Meaning – how to jump into a wheel, how to pace yourself, how to breathe, how to use legs, and how to master that wheel we are spinning in. There are hamsters (leaders, churches, gurus) that seem have figured out the wheel and how to do it right. They are heroes because life is about spinning the wheel and they can do it longer then everybody else.
Yes, you might trip and you might get thrown out of that wheel, but you get up, get in line again with other hamsters and listen, learn, master your thoughts, and when you get to that wheel for the second or third or hundreds time, you have a whole bunch of new techniques to apply. Family, community, different state/province, and different religion is just a different way of thinking on how to spin the wheel. It seems that this time you got it but then suddenly you still get thrown out of the wheel. You get the feeling of euphoria and then you receive a cold shower and you have no clue why. You are following the best, you are applying their techniques, their approach, and should be succeeding, but it never works out.
When you look around, you might notice that there are other hamsters that behave differently – the odd balls. They either keep to themselves away from others and they do their own thing or they participate in conversations and socializing but never get in the wheel. You can even spot a smirk that they have when they talk to other hamsters and it seems that they know something others don’t. You want to know what they know as they, apparently, see something that can help you.
These hamsters might see other cages with hamsters in them (other countries where things are done differently, where beliefs are different). They might even leave their own cage and wander off to other cages to try out those wheels for a bit but you can see in their eyes that they did it for fun not because they had to. They are not spinning the wheel because they feel that it is what you have to do or that it is an answer to the most important question – “what is the purpose of my life?” These hamsters are aware of multiple cages with multiple wheels in them. They are aware of hamsters and their ways and if they choose to join, it is not because they believe but because they choose to play that game.
The reality is – a cage is still a cage and a wheel is still a wheel regardless what beliefs you have, regardless what techniques you have on how to spin that wheel and succeed in spinning.
If you are ready, you might even notice that there are hamsters that have left their cages and never went to a different one. They are living their lives between cages fully aware of cages and other hamsters. They just have nothing in common with them. What does that mean? You can live your life realizing that your family, your community, your or other countries are just an illusion, just a belief that gets passed on from generation to generation based on beliefs and faith. Beliefs that people have figured out to be the purpose of life. They all spin wheels – some faster, some slower, following some kind of rules and beliefs.
If you do understand the hamster analogy, you might be ready to cross over. You might be ready to choose the right path and let go of the belief that you have to follow everyone else to find answers. We live and we die, and there is nothing that you have to do. The rules of the game called “life” revolve around only one truth – you are going to die and you better enjoy every moment of your life. Find what makes you happy and forget what other people think happiness means.
You are not a hamster and you do not belong in a wheel. Everything that has a beginning has an end but it is up to you how you live the life in between. You only have one chance. There are no replays. You can spin the wheel as long as you understand it is nothing that you have to do. It is something that you choose to and you are having fun doing it instead of believing that you are destined to do it and you better be the best at doing it.
There is no difference between being a homeless person and a millionair as long as you are enjoying living the experience.
What is the day you make a difference? It is a day when you finally do something for yourself regardless your beliefs, regardless people’s opinion, regardless if it’s right or wrong . Something that might not be a huge deal on somebody’s scale but is a turning point in your life.
No, it is not a huge milestone in your life, it is not a life changing / altering decision, and no, it is not something you have done just because you knew is right.
I don’t actually know what that is for you. There is always something that has been nagging you deep inside. That voice that never puts feelings into words, that voice that just randomly shows up in most random situations….Most of the time it is the most ridiculous thing that some people will not understand.
I have had two days in my life when I made a somewhat random choice and I made a difference in my life.
One day I was coming from work. I was walking to the train station as I had done a thousand times before. But that day I did something that I would normally not do. I turned around and walked into Tim Horton’s. I bought a soup, a sandwich, and a cup of coffee . I walked out, scanned the area and then I walked across the street and stopped in front of a homeless woman. She was reading a book and once in a while checked on her cat in a baby stroller.
I had seen that woman every working day for the last two years. That day was a day I was about to make a difference in my life. I stopped in front of her and asked what her name was. As she shrunk on the bench thinking that I will ask her to leave (she was sitting in front of one of the business buildings), she mumbled – “Marry”. “Marry, um….”, I said, “…will you get angry at me if I buy you dinner?”. She looked at me and smiled. I gave her my purchase and thanked her, and just walked away.
It was not about feeding the homeless woman. It was not about doing the right thing. It was not about empathy or reaching out to someone who needed my help. I did what I did not because it was right but because I felt like doing it. I just did it and walked away. That day I did not do a good deed. I just changed the way I was. And, no, I did not go on a mission to save my soul or to change the world for the best as I was inspired to do so.
As our world is based on our perception and we see what we choose to see, it is not about the people who need our help, it is about us who need those people in our lives to help us see the path we walk.
The other day when I made a difference was today. I passed the Canadian Citizenship test. I didn’t think much of anything while preparing for it. I didn’t think much when I found out that I passed.
However, when I walked out of the building, I was different. And again, no, it wasn’t because in a couple of weeks I will get an official certificate that will grant me the citizenship of the most amazing country and, no, it was not because I will officially be considered a citizen of a country that respects me as a woman, as a lesbian, and as a human being. It was because this was a day I made a difference in my own life. How and what – doesn’t matter. It is just a path that I chose to walk.
It is hard to explain. It is not about being more or less. It is not about having more or less. And it is not about being or not being something. And it is not about being thankful or feeling equal or feeling deserving.
It was the day that felt just right. The day that I do not necessarily have to share with others to enjoy. I looked around and everything suddenly felt different and only I knew about it. It could have been a day that I picked up a lonely rock laying on the pavement.
That is a feeling that you suddenly get, that deep overwhelming feeling of just being. And, yes, that is the day that you made a difference in your own life.
This statement made at the wrong time, at the wrong place, and to the wrong person, can cause a lot of damage. In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, only a very ballsy, stuck up, and self-centred person can make such a statement.
It is silly to assume that you have to live up to someones expectations. It is even sillier to think that they have earned your respect or have the authority to assume that you care what they think.
You can be disappointed in the service that you have received.
You can be disappointed with the way things worked out.
You can be disappointed with yourself and choices that you have made.
But unless you are looking in the mirror, making the statement that you are disappointed with someone’s choices, makes you look extremely arrogant.
This statement comes with an assumption (almost a given one) that your choices have always been right and you are the person to look up to.
What kind of damage can it cause, you ask?
You don’t know what is going on in a person’s mind when you make this statement. If a person is in a bad place, if they are sensitive, if their self-esteem is low, if they actually have a deep respect for you and trust every word you say, this statement can cause irreversible emotional damage, and even loss of a precious life.
It can also damage your reputation if you have one. These words, I am disappointed in you, work only if you mean anything to the person you say them to. And no matter how much you think you matter, in reality, there are maybe a couple of people who would not think – who the hell do you think you are?
Even if you are: God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, or whatever celebrity, you still have to mean something to the person you say these words to. In other words, we all live our lives the way we think is right. Sometimes our choices might not be the best ones, maybe we would not make same choices if we had been given a second chance, but maybe we would.
However, choices we have made have always been the right ones based on what we knew at that time. That is why you have to be really in love with the thought that you are someone special to assume that other people care what you think. You can’t compare your choices to someone else’s and that means – just let other people be and focus on yourself.
We are special, we are all unique, and we do matter but in a different way. We are never better or worse than people around us.
Have you ever wondered what that means – living on the edge? I have. We all live our lives the way we see it fit. We see all kinds of things, wonderful and awful, that other people do but, in a mean time, our reality is shaped by our beliefs on what is acceptable and what is not.
For some people, living on the edge means flying. For some – trying oriental food. For others – trying on clothes that they don’t feel comfortable wearing. For somebody else – giving a public speech.
And for some – admitting to others that they have no clue what they are doing.
It is a funny thing when you think about it – most of the people want to know what other people think or do because they do not know if whatever they (themselves) do is the right thing.
Our lives are based on our past experiences and feelings that can be explained by words using a language that we speak. When we experience something that can’t be expressed in words, we freak out. This freak out leads to an internal and/or an external search for a meaning or an explanation. There has to be someone or something that can explain whatever you feel.
What happens when there is no answer?
Living on the edge for me is just living. Yes, as simple as that. I wake up every morning not knowing or wanting to know what is going to happen because wanting to know means control. I can’t control what happens in my life. I can’t control LIFE. If I try to control, it almost always fails. When it fails, I am faced with existential questions. Questions that I can’t answer.
If you plan your day, it almost never plays out the way you want.
You think for hours about questions you will ask during your job interview. You play out all kinds of scenarios in your head about that serious conversation you will have with that one person. However, when you are having that conversation, it never goes the way you want or thought it would go.
Controlling always means safety. When you can control whatever happens, you feel safe. If you can’t control, your life becomes hectic and unpredictable.
Does living on the edge mean not having control or does that mean that you are actually living?
Apparently, magic is a side effect of depression. I can’t exactly cite the source as it is in a foreign language and, honestly, probably not very credible. However, I can see where they are coming from. When you are depressed, when you are down, you believe that the only solution to your problems is a miracle.
I am playing with these words in my head – problems, miracles, magic…and I can’t help it but to come to the same conclusion no matter how I look at it.
You become depressed when your inside world is not or can’t fit in the outside world. You become depressed when no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem fit in. I am not saying that depression is not a serious condition, I am saying that side effects of depression are created by society.
No people, no problems, right? Do you really think that we would feel fat or ugly or worthless if not for our society?
When you remove people, when you remove society and all the perceptions that community defines for you, everything is a miracle. Sun, wind, trees, nature….You breathing is a miracle. Your existence is a miracle.
Love is magical. Ocean is magical. Waves are magical.
Miracles are longed for when you stop seeing that everything is a miracle. Magic is longed for when you stop seeing that you are a miracle who leaves magic everywhere you go.
It blows my mind to know that society requests that you give away a huge chunk of your income in taxes and other kinds of deductions as dues for managing one’s nations relations. These relations include medical, roads, political, social, arts and etc. The whole point behind giving this money away is a promise that you will be taken care of. Is that actually happening?
You have to pay taxes and your dues but society can choose not to take care of you based on who knows what. You are not allowed to stop giving money but you are also not getting what you were promised either. How is this system better than gangs?
I was reading an article, more like a plea, about a 31 year old woman with cystic fibrosis. Doctors have come to a conclusion that the only way to save this woman’s life is to do a lung transplant. However, she has to pay for her own surgery. Government’s medical plan doesn’t cover this.
We are not talking about teeth whitening or braces or botox injections. We are talking about a life saving surgery. You work hard and you pay taxes. You pay these taxes so you are protected by the law, so you can get help when it is needed the most, so the government / community provides you the care you require when times are tough.
But, I guess, that is not how it works. You are required to pay taxes but they are not required to provide or they can choose what to provide or not. If you choose not to pay taxes, you will go to jail. But if the government decides to increase their wages and not fulfill the promise, they are not kept accountable. This is the most ridiculous thing about society today.
This is a one way street and it is definitely not going direction you need. You have to pray to all good spirits that nothing ever goes wrong.
When I was reading, all I could think is the conversation that is going on between the lines:
Woman: Please, I need help
Government: Sorry, can’t help you
Woman: I have been paying taxes, I have been working hard to contribute to this system
Government: Your surgery will cost us more than you will ever pay in taxes. And the money you have given us is not to take care of you but to use as we see it fit. And your surgery doesn’t fit with our vision.
In other words, you are replaceable. You are important only while you work and while you are healthy. Once you can’t pay and you are a drain on the system, you become disposable. So, no, you will not live because it is more convenient. You will live if somebody else steps up and gives you a helping hand. And then, when you recover, you shall pay into the system again.
Surprisingly, so many people still believe in the system and are blind to the truth of their own existence.
You know that one thing that everybody seems to know about but you? You know that one thing that you are supposed to do? That one thing that you are not supposed to do? That one thing that you are supposed to be calm about?
Maybe that one thing that you are trying not to think about but it keeps popping in and out and keeps reminding you of its existence? That one darn thing that doesn’t allow you to fall asleep peacefully?
What about it? Nothing…absolutely nothing.
I wanted to talk about a different thing. Everybody wants to be in peace. Everybody wants to be happy. Everybody wants to hush those voices in their heads. But the truth is – very few are willing to do the work that is required.
You know how they say – ignorance is bliss? No, not the ignorance but thoughtful choice to not know what people are convinced everybody needs to know and worry about.
Everybody wants to be next Dalai Lama – smart, peaceful, deep and inspirational. Everybody wants to be as happy and as worry fee as monks of Tibet. What is the difference between a monk and you?
A monk has no clue that he has to worry about earning money, about a car payment, about politics or about what others think of him. He has chosen to unlearn everything he knew and learn just to be in a moment.
Are you ready to unlearn your truth? I do not think so. You will always find an excuse why you can’t and when you finally run out of excuses, it will be too late.