When life jumps a curb on Easy Street

I wrote yesterday about my attempt to live an easy life. On ditching the strain, struggle, and stress of the world as much as humanly possible. And I wanted to follow up on that today. Because here’s the thing…

Shit happens sometimes.

Yes, it’s true. As Ernest Becker says, “We’re gods with anuses.” He nailed the human experience perfectly with that statement.

We’re born with a sophisticated, divinely intelligent tie-in to infinite Source energy that knows no death and creates worlds, but we’re also mumbling, fumbling, shitting, bellyaching, ego-inflicted, and survival-based human beings.

Another divine dichotomy we’re forced to live with.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably on the path of wanting to live a more joyful, creative existence. I just wanted to say to not beat yourself up if things get flipped on their face at times. It happens. Keep going.

Back to yesterday… For the first 2/3 of the day, it went exceptionally well. It was probably the best day I’d had so far in this strange town in France. Finally felt like I was starting to get the hang of the way things work here.

Easy street even took me to the most genius business ever — a little cafe with a play area for kids. Sipping delicious espresso while watching Rory play was perfect.

But then, later on in the day, during rush hour traffic in a busy town I don’t understand, I tried to meet Alex for dinner. And got lost. And couldn’t find parking. And got more lost. And had GPS issues. And road rage, disappointment, and everything else that comes with one of life’s small, albeit gigantic cluster fucks.

Being a traffic situation, there’s the whole emasculation element. Being a man, I should be able to navigate wisely and efficiently. I shouldn’t want to cry over my steering wheel, right? A ‘real man’ should know exactly where he’s going and get there promptly, should he not?

(Oh, the stories we live by.)

Well that wasn’t happening. I had to pick Alex up who was sending me her location and coaching me via text as I tried to type into the ancient GPS we’re borrowing from friends — nothing of which was showing up as a result (it’s a German GPS unit, but the menu is in English, and we’re in a French town).

It was bumper-to-bumper traffic with unreadable street signs, no free parking (I had no cash and parking meters don’t take cards like they do in the US), no place to pull over to figure things out, and a ticking clock.

I should have picked her up 45 minutes sooner, but instead, I circled downtown trying to figure out where she was. Her texts were growing more impatient, as I should have already had her home for an important call with one of her clients.

I was failing. Miserably.

I finally found her. We drove home and I sulked. Poor Jonas.

Funny thing is, when you’re deep in the shit, the last thing you want to do is feel better.

You want to feel worse. You want to blame and be the victim for awhile (or, at least I did/do).

Embarrassment soon kicked in. I’ve made a mountain out of a molehill.

Being the victim feels good in a weird, masochistic way.

I’ve found that, when in one of these depressive loops of doom, everything comes up. All the stuff that’s been suppressed rises to the surface and builds, builds, builds into a giant snowball of misery, helplessness, and bitterness.

I’m still there, to a certain degree. And it’s the next day. Ugh…

But, this is why I write about it. Obsess about it. And constantly try to work on it.

Both of my parents had anxiety issues. It looks like I’ve inherited it. But I also know that, with emotional fortitude, we can reprogram our genetic makeup.

Writing about this stuff sometimes makes it harder.

It brings me back to the days when I was a golf professional. Mind you, I was a club pro, not a touring pro like on television. I was pretty good, but I worked. A lot. I managed the shop, worked behind the counter, ran tournaments, and gave lessons. The last place I wanted to go on my occasional day off was the golf course. I barely played.

However, when I went out to play with people, they expected me to shoot in the low 60's every time.

You ARE a PRO aren’t you?

Some of these people played three times as much as I did. Many were retired. They’d beat me at this game that I was a ‘professional’ at. It was disappointing to them and frustrating to me.

I feel that during times like these. I have a sense that, because I write about this stuff and dole out insight every day, I need to be perfect. And when I’m not, I stress. Silly, but true…

If you’re still reading, thanks for listening.

What I have to offer you today is this... Every low spot is a jumping off point for a higher one. Know you’ll fall into these contrasting moments of darkness. But use them as springboards, not pitfalls. See them as places you care not to go. And keep truckin’.

There it goes again. My inner GPS is rerouting to Easy Street. Now, if I can only follow my own directions…

I’ll let you know when I get there.

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Jonas writes daily essays and meditations here at Medium. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.
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