All of that shit you’re waiting on. Dreaming about. Stressing over. That list of obstacles or goals or specific life events you feel like if you could JUST get those done, you’d feel differently. Paying off your car, moving, getting through some specific project at work. Or maybe it’s the larger and more far reaching stuff. Divorce. Student loans.
You envision these milestones a bit like carrying around a stack of concrete blocks on your back. Only the truth is, even once you free yourself from those specific things you’re focused on, you will simply trade one block for another.
Life, if you chose to focus on it that way, is mostly the same. Atleast in the ways you’d imagine. The predictable routine of your ability to adapt to experiences, or changes, good or bad.
I sold my house. I got divorced. I moved. I paid off all of my debt (save for my car). My credit score is 825. I am Jack’s sense of pained irony.
And don’t get me wrong. It felt good to do all of those things. Necessary. Elemental even. To strip out the clutter in my life by moving, ending a relationship emotionally, legally and changing everything. To move towards something and feel like in the restructuring I was learning about what the things I’d already experienced meant.
Knowing that I can save money for the things I want. That I enjoy a level of freedom and flexibility that has in some capacity eluded me for the duration of my adult life in 40 years. It’s grand. But it’s not such a sweeping mind-bending change that I don’t still wake up and throughout the course of a day, become preoccupied with the same petty trivialities that bothered me before. Those larger successes that I waited so long for… they’re not a magical inoculation against manufactured anxieties. I still worry about dumb shit. Different dumb shit, but by and large. I am not so dramatically changed that I have unshackled myself from the pitfalls of what it means to be a person. Forever struggling against your own patterns, habits, tendencies. Making hard won progress. But only through dogged persistence, luck, and will. None of those requirements change.
So now what’s the moral of this ramble. Hey look at that, I think it’s the same as the last post I wrote. Don’t do it. Don’t dig yourself into the promise of someday as a solution to your state of mind. Because all that matters is right now. You will arrive, perhaps – I won’t even add “if you’re lucky” because luck is irrelevant and it may not be lucky anyway – at your desired destination. You will pay off that car. You will get rid of that student loan. You will move to that new city. And you will still be you. In a different place. And you will have done all that waiting. That anticipatory promise of changes, solutions, a blank(er) slate and you will still find yourself wanting. It’s a giant waste. A pile of misdirected energies. Speculating on how different you will feel with certain obstacles out of your way. The only actual obstacle is the barrier you created in your own head. Crush that shit and move on. You, are really the only thing in your own way.