Waiting out the blahs
Life is streaming on by and what do I have to show for it? Words that appear in my head as I try to sleep: a foggy imprint on glass. Every so often a gap in the folds appear, and I realize how much time has gone by and how cliches can ring so true. How, when you’re young, time truly does go slower, gosh be darned they were right. You finish school and bam — 3 years gone in the flick of a finger.
It’s unsettling, irking. It makes a person pause and try to tally up the wasted days and hours of their lives. What has all this striving and withering, striving and withering amounted to? At first glance, I want to say “well, not much.” I haven’t achieved any level of fame, haven’t reached any reasonable bar of success in the way that you boast about in Facebook updates. And yet, those of you reading this know how meaningless those yardsticks are anyhow. I know how meaningless those yardsticks are. Success is what we make of it. Success is fickle to measure.
All of the semi-Buddhist, yoga sayings come rushing in. We are not our thoughts. We are not what we create. The chariot isn’t the wheel. The chariot isn’t the spoke. There is no chariot. Yadda yadda. I’m sorry if I sound cynical, but sometimes I can’t help it. Some days I go through the motions and can’t shake off that useless question: “what’s the point?” Even if I can tell you in perfect English what the point is. Some days I just don’t feel it. I write myself into a story. I will myself into a yoga session. I turn on Beyoncé in an effort to lift my mood. But when you aren’t sure what is missing, finding a remedy is like winding up a music box that’s temporarily misplaced its melody.
The thing that’s missing is that thing I know is hiding somewhere. Under layers of clothes that have piled up. Under the cobwebs that have made themselves at home in my mind. Even at my most blah, I know it’s there, just waiting for the right moment to make its appearance again. “Oh hey, it’s me guys! Yeah, what–oh, sorry I didn’t realize I was gone so long.”
I know its there because I’ve felt it before. I’ve had my moments of elation and periods of kinetic motion. Periods where I felt like I was running full-speed down a hill, my eye fixed on the ball tumbling before me. These are the periods that remind us why we’re here, how alive we can feel, if even for just a moment.
But, in the meantime, in the thick of the blahs, life can seem pretty damn routine. Routine, that thing easily brushed off as the opposite of life, of living. No matter how many benefits there are to structure, to frameworks, to guides that channel our energy, there is something fundamentally crushing about them. Hermetic, sterile, boring. The patterns that make us dull to the world. So I hop from one stimulant to the next; soaking up beautiful images, reading wise words, listening to interesting stories, in the hopes of stirring that something hibernating deep within. Be it my inner guru, muse or that elusive devil of divine inspiration. People say that inspiration is everywhere if you open your eyes to it. But even if that’s true, and even if your eyes are open, your heart must give the cue. And when we let our heart lead, greater things unfold.
But when we are in the in-between, we must wait in patience and we must forgive. Forgive our harsh self-judgments and our misplaced urgency to get somewhere quick and to finally make “something” of ourselves. We must have faith that we are in the middle of that “something” now. And that something will eventually be revealed, but only once it’s in our rear view mirror. As long as we keep moving through it, searching high above and deep down below, then that “something” is bound to matter. Matter not in the way of boasting or to satisfy some whim of the ego, but as something we can build upon and root down within. Something that wraps us in silken threads of self-acceptance and straps us in with a sense of purpose. Something that fuels us on a new path and towards a vanishing point ahead.
So, in the meantime, until that something lands in our laps, nudges us on the shoulder, or takes us by the hand, we sit in the thick of the blahs. We wade through the seemingly insignificant, trivial days. We sit in silence and channel that higher wavelength that we float on from time to gracious time. That one we know exists only if we give ourselves the time for it to reappear. We sit and read and look and eat and yoga and work and travel and wish- imperfectly- as we wait for that swell to raise us up and set us down on a new but familiar shore.