I do this thing where I reset. I stop pursuing everything, make a few decisions on the kinds of things I want to pursue, the kind of life I want to live and the kind of person I want to be. Then I set a date and say, “it begins then.”
This way, I can ease the load off my mind, relax a little and come back to my life with fresh eyes. I can then look over old projects and old ideas, old bits of media and literature and do my best to stay present and focused and really live with them.
(Because of course, the last time around, I was too distracted, too busy multi-tasking or playing with my phone or living with my head all the way up my ass…)
It tends to work for a while, but it becomes too easy to drift off and lose focus.
I used to be pretty extreme about it. I’d tell myself I was shedding all past affiliations, judgments and grudges, throwing away past behaviour and starting fresh, like some kind of insane mash-up of Tyler Durden and the Dalai Lama. Lao Tzu and Johnny Rotten. Ghandi and Hunter S. Thompson.
There were times where I’d even insist on shedding my own memories.
You probably won’t be surprised that it didn’t work. You might be surprised to know that I’ve been doing this since I was seventeen. Or maybe twelve, when I was going to confirmation classes and being a little keener, reading the whole bible front to back. By the time I got confirmed, my whole concept of morality had been turned upside down.
If you want to remain a Christian, I would recommend you never read the Bible in full. There’s no better argument for atheism that the Bible itself.
The search for some sort of philosophical framework has gone on since then, and ranged from pure fatalism and nihilism to Buddha-like ideas of meditative bliss.
I’m not sure where I’m at, but I am again at the beginning of a reset.
This time though, I’m not shedding any conceptions of the past, simply focusing on those things I know to be true.
First, I am imperfect. We are all imperfect. The shared experience of that is the foundation of which all philosophies revolving around empathy, compassion and kindness are centred.
Two: Imperfection is a good thing. Imperfection allows for change. Perfect is static. Static decays. Imperfection grows.
Three: We are all free, all the time. Technically, beyond the natural laws of physics and biology, there are no rules. The good news is that this means that no matter the circumstances, we always have choice. The other news, and whether this is good or bad news depends on your interpretation, is that we are therefore, being free and in charge and control of our own thoughts, words and behaviour, responsible for the way in which we interact with this world.
Everything else is pretty much up for grabs. I’ve ideas, but these are the fundamentals upon which this reset (and most past resets, each incrementally building to a point of hopeful sustainability) is based.
Freedom plus imperfection equals both the ability to engage independently with the world as a person, and a basis for my decision that morality needs to be based on shared experience. We take responsibility for ourselves, but understand we are not alone, and therefore, have a responsibility to engage with the universe in a manner that makes things better, not worse.
My future hopefully lies in the path of authordom. That’s what I’m shooting for, starting with a little ditty I like to call my depression epic. I’ve given myself about six months to work it through, exploring the depths of a disease I’ve struggled with since about the time I hit Leviticus and realized, “This is all bullshit.”
The hope here is to use this space to explore both ways in which I can personally grow, as well as grow within my chosen profession (writing) and not my actual profession (telecom, ugh).
I intend to bare my soul here, if not specifics. M.T. might not be what I go by in real life, but what I write here will be as real as my self-awareness at the time will allow. I won’t share details about others without their consent.
Perspective is probably the most important tool for self-growth and anything that creates it is ultimately useful. Whether that’s challenging ourselves by doing something outside our comfort zone or listening to someone else’s experience or reading a new idea in a book or a newspaper article, whatever helps us open our worlds is, in the end, nothing but a good thing.