Decide What to Be and Go Be It!
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Decide What to Be and Go Be It!

Decide What to Be and Go Be It!

Sipping wine at my desk on a Friday afternoon, reflecting on the events of the past several months. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been clear. I’ve felt lost, confused, angry, sad, depressed and anxious. Something about the way I’m living my life is killing me. My wife and I have been talking non-stop for the past couple months about how we want to make some major changes and take some major leaps. She has her professional journey she is exploring and I have my ever-present puzzle I’ve been putting together for years with a quizzical look on my face. I was happy for a while in my current job but that has come to an end, giving way to more soul searching. The hardest part about my journey is feeling blind about what I’m supposed to be doing, arms waving in the dark for something to hold onto. I’ve written about it so much its becoming nauseating. I sat down just now to try and write something different but I couldn’t. This is still what wants to be written. So be it.

I have gone back and forth between chasing a fuzzy and unarticulated dream and accepting that there is no one thing I should be doing. I’m feeling angrily finished with pathologizing my desire for something more, something bigger, something that is an expression of my heart. I don’t want to settle any longer for accepting my discomfort and quieting my yearning. I’m scared though. I’m scared that if I don’t find this thing I’m yearning for that I will just sink.

The yearning. I can hear my father and many others say things like “maybe you won’t find what you are looking for in your job” or “your job isn’t going to make you happy” and 40 other sayings about a frustrated existence being more about thinking the grass is greener on the other side and that only God, or here and now radical acceptance will suffice. Nothing against my father, he’s a great and smart man. He’s just trying to help.

But I refuse. I refuse, I refuse, I refuse. I refuse to settle. Something in me yearns. It’s not just a hole that God needs to fill. I’ve tried that. I’ve tried everything under the sun to deal with this yearning. My wife and I were driving back from seeing the Avett Brothers a couple weekends ago and talking about our lives. My confusion has been discussed in our relationship for years and let me say that my best friend has always been there for me, listening and supporting me to find what I’m looking for. We’ve had many great talks in the past couple months. While driving in the car and discussing whether or not there is something I am missing or not, it hit me that I wouldn’t have this yearning if there wasn’t. Many people like their lives. Many people don’t yearn for more. If they do, they’re either missing their own calling or their learning is more existential. Not everyone feels like there is a huge frog lodged in their throat. Not everyone feels like there is a deeper and more creative part of them they want to share.

I have something to share.

It scares me to say that because I’ve circled this many times online and it only sets me up to failing in front of everyone again. Failing at what? Sticking with whatever it is I need to share, whether that’s through words or some other medium. It still feels fuzzy. And what is it that I need to share? My story? My life? Is my writing helpful? Academic? Creative? Humorous? I just feel like I haven’t found my writing voice. But I guess I’m going to try again. Can you feel my hesitation? My uncertainty? I’m afraid I’ll just stop after a week or so.

Fear is a bitch. You know what else is a bitch? Living a life that is eating away at your soul, killing you by the day. Working in a mainstream job, making good money, having influence and being in charge felt great for a good 2 years. I thought I’d found my calling. And then I started to slowly become a shell of my former self. I lost something. I was unable to foster something that fed me. I became hungry and now starving. Why do I like being in charge, leading others, having influence with my ideas if I’m not supposed to that? That confuses me as well. As you can see I’m a very confused individual.

I don’t believe this is my writing voice. But this is what you’re getting today. I went to a very intuitive health practitioner the other day and she helped me to see I’m blocked off to all that is more primal in me. My intellectual and spiritual realms are functioning well but not the heart, the passion, the deeper seated sense of being, the primal scream in my belly. The creative and free wheeling child within me.

I don’t know how this all sounds to others. I don’t want pity or coaching. Validation is nice and encouragement is nice. I just want to share it. I hope it helps you think about the core of your being. My favourite quote is “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive” by Howard Thurman. This IS my quote. I’ve never known a tattoo I would get but this quote I should get. I feel this false self duty to help and care for others and it trips me up all the time. I think if I do something else it will be selfish, spiritually bankrupt, or misguided. Whether I was or not, I felt responsible for other people when I was a kid. Because this became a fabric of my false self, it is super hard to find my way. And because I can’t seem to find my way I end up a more selfish father and husband and friend anyway. So the quote is right. It speaks to me. It makes me angry as well. I’ve been craving that feeling of coming alive. I want to come alive more than anything. It’s the how. How do I do that? This has eluded me for years.

To be continued….

“Decide what to be and go be it!” – The Avett Brothers

  • Alexis Costello
    Posted at 17:54h, 04 August Reply

    I love that quote too. I’m looking forward to reading what happens when your ‘primal scream’ comes out on paper.

    • JMac
      Posted at 19:01h, 04 August Reply

      Me too!

  • Kathleen O'Neill
    Posted at 21:49h, 04 August Reply

    I enjoyed reading that and believe it would be helpful to others. It made me wonder why I haven’t felt that void or confusion lately..mayhe I am happy with what I’m doing but sometimes,I still think there is more I should’ve done with my life and it always comes back to I should’ve helped addicts.

    • JMac
      Posted at 08:31h, 05 August Reply

      Thanks Kathleen. Maybe figure out what the smallest next step toward helping addicts might look like. Also, there will always be things we regret to some degree or didn’t choose. Choice always contains loss. I don’t think I will ever find the perfect thing that allows me to feel more at home in myself and my vocation but I do think I can get closer than I am. My point is that even then, there will still be things I also wished I did. I think that is normal. I guess it depends on how strong the yearning, the craving.

  • Jim Evans
    Posted at 05:10h, 05 August Reply

    This piece really spoke to me. Thanks for sharing!

    • JMac
      Posted at 08:28h, 05 August Reply

      Thanks Jim! Thanks for reading. Hope you’re well.

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