A self-proclaimed-self-help junkie, I find myself in a predicament.
I know too much. The trouble with all this starting over crap is — whether you’ve moved coast-to-coast, left a relationship, or are totally revamping your outlook on life — at some point you have to stop starting over and, well, — just keep fucking going.
Self-helpers, like myself, will often spend much of their time building themselves up, hoping to arrive at some very specific end result and — they never quite get there. We can’t finish what we start. We give up. Or, worse — we settle. And, we find ourselves starting over. Again.
It’s an existential hamster wheel. And it’s especially cruel when you’ve read something like 80 books on the subject: Starting over. Creating yourself. Recreating yourself. Healing yourself. Losing yourself. Finding yourself. Finding happiness. Creating happiness. Losing happiness. Keeping happiness. — I know my fellow Seekers will understand. Because, we know. We’ve read the book on that — 80 times. We can watch ourselves fucking it up — in slow motion. We know exactly where we’re missing the mark. But, there’s no stopping that train once we’ve boarded. We’re freight hoppers. It’s this: A one-way track. Stay or jump. — But know, jumping off now will hurt.
Since moving back East, I’ve been trying, relentlessly, to deconstruct this goddamn train. I’ve exhausted myself. And so, I’ve had no choice but to give myself a little leeway. And, after watching the same landscape speed past my train-car window — it dawns on me that, this time, starting over won’t require that I design some grand master plan. I just have to ride this runaway train — and try to enjoy it.
The truth is — I’m in love with all these unfulfilled parts of myself. I admire my own willingness to trudge through mistakes and misery to get what I want. It makes me proud that I haven’t settled for someone else’s version of me. I revel in my highs and lows — I would hate for my own story to be linear. While I may be sad, I will never be stagnant. I’m still a kind of mystery, even to myself. And, sometimes, I find some real joy in my own elusiveness.
On my good days I seek patience, forgiveness, and — when I can muster it — a little tenderness. When I get even just a taste of these things, I’m able to locate some hidden part of myself.
There are moments, however fleeting, where I remember who I really am, without making apologies for her. And, when I find myself in those places — starting over doesn’t seem so pressing. I’m reminded that it is in the pursuit of my happiness that I have been most happy.
Keep fucking going. The train will roll on. Without brakes. Seekers, we don’t need them.
We trust the track — and we ride.
Photo Credit: Mike Brodie, From “A Period of Juvenile Prosperity”; http://mikebrodie.net/