I Will Choose

It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted. All the discipline I was cultivating started wilting from lack of nurturing and essentially came to decay. The pressures of all the different stresses in my life were too much, and instead of caring for myself in positive ways, I turned to negative releases. About five months ago, my world was turned upside down. I don’t want to go into details for many reasons, but it involves taking on the care of a pre-adolescent child. As one can imagine, this fundamentally changed the course of my entire life as I knew it, but more importantly, as I wanted it. Raising children, no doubt, can be a beautiful thing…if that’s what you want. But when something like this is thrust upon you with no choice in the matter (and zero time to prepare), well, I don’t think anyone can truly understand the gravity of it without experiencing it. Actually, I misspoke – I do have some choice in the matter. I can leave, but that would involve also leaving a relationship of nearly a decade. That’s longer than most marriages. But, as we all know, the sheer number of years is not reason enough to stay in a relationship. And I’m a firm believer in making truly conscious decisions about the path your life will take. I don’t want to be swept away and then carried indefinitely by the tides of chance. But that’s kind of what I’ve been doing…

The part of my life that I’ve actually been the most unhappy about is my work. It’s something I’ve been complaining about for awhile now. The single most exasperating part of my life. In the interest of making conscious decisions, I gave up my career as an attorney (so cliche, I know) to pursue something more creative. That “creative” pursuit was a career in fashion. I like it well enough and would take it over law any day, but it isn’t in line with my innards. That thing inside of me that I feel I need to get outside to the world. My calling…my purpose…my dharma. There’s this saying I heard once: My job isn’t who I am, it’s what I do. I know many people who feel this way, who can make this distinction. I, myself, have tried very hard to do the same. But, I can’t. It’s just not how it works for me.

We spend the majority of our lives working. There’s 168 hours in a week. Take away about 50 hours for sleep, and that leaves us with 118. Conservatively (and I’m being super conservative here), it takes us about an hour to get ready and another hour to commute to and from work – another 10 hours. That leaves us with 108. Assuming we only work 40 hours a week, which again, is a conservative measure in this ass backwards society of America, that means that 37% of our lives are spent working. That’s almost half of our waking lives (and this doesn’t account for the fact that we’re usually dead tired by the time we get off, so forget about spending that time productively).

How can I separate 40% from who I am, from what I’m contributing to the world? And if all that time is spent doing something I don’t really care about under people I don’t really respect, then can I truly say that I’m even in control of my life? I know, I know, everyone has the same number of hours. It’s not that I don’t actually have enough time, I’m just not making certain things a priority. And of course, there’s the ultimate: I can get another job. But, we all know that isn’t as easy as it sounds. And I’m not here to make excuses. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last half of this year. I’m done with that. I want to fuckin’ do something about it.

Now, I go through this phase every so often. Pumped up with motivation, sick of being tossed around by that tide of chance, ready to make moves and make shit happen. Then I lose momentum and go back to spending my extra time wallowing with friends over alcohol. But, hey, so what? One defeat (or even hundreds) doesn’t mean the game’s over. And even if I’m defeated over and over again, that’s still better than nothing, right? So how do I do this? How do I equip myself with enough tools and ammunition to give myself the best odds for success? Well, I’ve been gathering just such tools for a while now. Through podcasts, reading, meditating, conversing with people whose opinions I respect. Now it’s time to put it all down and make a plan.

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