Saturday, September 1, 2018

T.Notes#28: Lauryn

I went away to a self discovery retreat because my 'good' friends convinced me that i was hurtling into a serous case of early mid-life crisis. To be honest, i was not really bothered about the prognosis until i started seeing real implications to my account balances - i.e maintaining a mid life crisis is expensive and certainly not sustainable!

So there i was in a lovely country side along with other misfits - literally being force-fed a lot of new-age, self-help propaganda. As you can imagine, i was not very coperative. The facilitators had one particular underpinning theory. They insisted that the key to life fulfilment is by rediscovering the person you were towards the end of your teenage years - because the person you were at ages nineteen to twenty holds the key to the real "you" and therein lies our personal contentment.

The logic is that most of us have already figured out who we are and what we want to become by age twenty. Therefore, every experience or decision after that age is either consciously helping us towards that goal, or we are intentionally adjusting our aspirations to accomodate life, pressure or society.  I told the psycologist that it all made no sense and that she was talking rubbish. My defence was that it is not practical to build one's life on the naivety of teenage-hood.

She asked me if i was happy. I told her my current salary, recent bonus and asked her if she'd be happy if she were earning that much. She said maybe, and asked me again if i was truly happy. In response, I reeled out the long list of people that rely on and benefit from my adulting routines. Their happiness gives me contentment, albeit in a depressing twisted way - i argued, whilst mulling if my life wasn't disimilar to how Paul refered to being poured out like a drink offering.

Before giving up, she asked me to reflect on the things i was doing at age twenty that brought me joy and give myself a break from adulthood to indulge fully in those activities and afterwards take time to reflect. I reluctantly agreed to take up her challenge. So when i got home, i borrowed a bicycle and rode to the local music store - with the wind and fond memories in my sails. I bought a reel of old 90s music and dedicated the weekend to allowing myself space to breathe.

Then for the first time in six years i turned off Bloomberg and welcomed instead Miseducation of Lauryn Hill strumming in the background whilst i read through all 200 of my old posts here - in search of a consistent trend of "who i am". I cringed at  some, prudently archived some, but for the most part, I loved, laughed and ultimately accepted every facet of experience that has brought me to who i am today - with a better clarity of the sum of all those colorful parts.

What does this all mean for monday morning when i resume back to work and the deadlines and stress-lines kick back in? I don't know. I'm still trying to figure it all out. But i do know that this weekend i feel lighter with a lesser burden from the weight of the person i am trying hard to become. And i know that it's a feeling i'm not keen to give up too quickly.

How do you deal with life on your journeys to becoming?

This is a T.Notes