The inner continuity of our scattered lives
How many jobs have you had? How many lives have you lived? How many relationships have you been in and out of (and sometimes back into)? How many diets have you been on? How about creative endeavors — how many of those have you undertaken? How many ‘looks’ have you personified? How many emanations of yourself have you lived?
If you’re like me, you’re putting your face in your hands right now trying to recount.
I start feeling guilty about this. I’m 36. I have a wife and a kid. And I haven’t stuck with much of anything.
Sometimes I wish I’d started something as a kid and continued it through now. I see these young musicians — 20-year-old phenoms who create magic with their fingers and voices — who are crushing it right now and I start feeling like it’s too late. Too late to be really good at something. Too late to master anything.
But then I call myself out on my bullshit.
I remember when I was 16 years old, playing competitive golf in high school. I was a ‘late’ starter. I’d just picked up the game a couple years prior.
And I remember feeling that I was doomed.
I started too late.
Tiger Woods started when he was 3.
There’s no way I’m gonna make it in this game.
That inferiority complex haunted me. It was over just when it started.
I got pretty good — good enough to become a club professional and give lessons. I’ve even broken 70 a few times. But never really got close to playing at the professional tour level.
It’s easy to get scared.
I feel it with writing. I didn’t start writing seriously until I was in my early thirties.
It’s easy to feel that we’re pissing aimlessly in the wind… Wasting our precious lives chasing one gig after the next.
But we should all just chill.
We may have switched jobs. A lot.
We may have left people, hurt people, disappointed people, including ourselves.
But this life is whole, no matter how fragmented it may look. This life is groping its way towards something, it’s just made of different segments.
Some souls find ‘it’ when they’re 5.
Some just act like they’ve found it, or are pressured into finding it that early and fake it until they burn out like supernovas at 22.
But is there really an ‘it’? I don’t know.
I stress about jumping so much. But I feel that there’s a subtle recurring theme with everything I’ve done all working towards a certain.. ‘thing’. It’s not totally clear what that ‘thing’ is right now. Like Steve Jobs said, it’s only when we look back that we can see the dots connect. But I have a feeling tone for what it is.
I can feel it. Something’s coming together. It’s probably different than yours. But can you feel it? I’m sure if you pondered it long enough you could.
Now, the question is, can we trust it?
I feel a connective thread forming beneath the surface. I feel it carries a certain meaning that has been trying to establish itself in this life.
This is the inner continuity of life.
No matter how scattered life may seem, there’s a common thread we’re all being pulled back to.
The highs and the lows. The breakups and the makeups. The times we’ve walked out and the times we’ve run into something, arms open and scared shitless.
Both poles are necessary. North and south. For each is not possible without the other.
We find that what’s important isn’t what’s happened but our relationship to what’s happened.
Can we finally surrender ourselves to the movement of our lives?
Can we rest peacefully in the notion that something is trying to emerge, no matter how hectic and worthless we feel?
When we step back from the noise, we can see that thread. This thread keeps us on a certain line. It lets the slack out just enough before it tightens and pulls us back.
What are we continually being pulled back to? Maybe we should take notice of that. Maybe we should trust it.