Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sense of doubt

The title of this entry really cheapens the weight, or felt reality, of the confusion and doubt that I am experiencing these days. Sometimes it is just too much, too obscure, too massive to get a handle on. I don't know how I am getting through each day, but more of a concern for me is that I don't know why I am getting through each day. It all seems rather pointless. (If that's not a sign of depression/cry for help, I don't know what is!)

But as I was telling my team of therapists today, up until recently, I've always had something on my plate to look forward to. When I quit my job last summer, I focused on getting my ESL teaching certificate. After that, my focus was getting the hell out of Madison, Wisconsin. Then once I accepted the job in South Korea, my focus was preparing for a year abroad, getting rid of my apartment, selling possessions, etc. It was a very busy time for me, yet I clearly remember that I was not "happy", merely looking forward to a possible respite from a life(style) that I had grown bored with. Then after Korea fell apart, I quickly focused on Mexico, and geared up for that adventure, all the while hinging salvation on some obscure alternate reality where I might find happiness only because I am "elsewhere".

Well clearly, my attempts to pursue meaning and purpose through travel have not done the job, and now I cannot delude myself any longer. So this is where the doubt comes in. Even on a superficial level, if I rebuilt my life to where it was -- with job, apartment, friendships, dull routine all in place -- the doubt and emptiness will still be there. I could totally reshape my image, wear new clothes, grow some hair, etc., but there is no escaping that feeling. Because now there is nothing on the horizon to set my sights on, and I am left with the barren emptiness of the present moment. Some would say that it is here, and only here, that one can find answers (peace, contentment, acceptance, whatever) to life's challenges. I wish I could disagree, because it was much easier to delude myself and think I'd be happier somewhere else, doing something else, being someone else. It just doesn't work that way, sad to say.

So it seems very much like the traditional path has come to an end. Not that I've ever really been on it, but I took some sort of sick comfort in knowing that it existed, and that everyone else seemed to be gleefully following it. Now I know that I have to hack and stumble through my own version of a path, but perhaps the hacking and stumbling IS the path. In which case, I am right where I need to be, which is ironically where I've always been.

1 comment:

  1. Michael:

    Congratulations! Life is SO much more fun AFTER the traditional path has ended--for then you get to blaze your OWN trail. And YES, in the beginning it does feel like "hacking and stumbling" but after some bushwhacking it does open up into a beautiful new path that you've never quite seen before...Glad to hear of your progress my friend! Been thinking about you....

    Btw, LOVE your pic w/the wig. A GREAT photographer must have taken THAT one...! ;-)