You know what I just did?
I just said yes to something, going out on an errand with my brother in law and then having lunch with him and my sister. I was in the middle of writing when he proposed this and I had a list of other things I wanted to get done. I pondered the situation a little and then was whisked away by my one year old nephew who wanted to go on a walk outside with me. Decision made. I came back inside after some playing under the blue sky on the wooden ramp that he likes and I showered, put on some clothes and doubt began to creep as I was putting my computer into its bag… Was I really going to get done what I said I was?
I went out of the room “You know, I think I will stay here” , “alright” he said, took my nephew and went out the door. Disease slowly came from my gut to my chest and I wasn’t sure I was ok with this decision going back on a decision that I hadn’t totally committed to…
I told him I wanted to clean the room. Why isn’t the room just ready to go?
Do I even really want to clean the room or do I just feel that I should?
All of these decision floating around me and as I try to weight them all, I seek to recognize where their source truly resides. Within myself or others? Within doubts and fears?
I wanted to have lunch with them, just to have lunch with them.
When I was in college I remember some friends referring to FOMO. “Fear of missing out”. I never really felt like this applied to me. I felt like I understood the gist of it, revolving around parties or social gatherings, that if you weren’t present, your friends would become closer, experience something magical, that you would miss out on. I didn’t really care. So I thought.
It began to creep on me after this summer though. In a way I never would have expected. Something FOMO I didn’t think could be associated with: duty unfulfilled. My social circle (be it physical or social media) transformed, I am blessed to say into a tribe of committed, strong willed artists, activists and innovators. Bringing up, responding and reacting to social issues of injustice. Be it economic, social, ecological, political…
There is a shame I feel, if I care about these things and yet am not responding in those ways. Or not showing up to those marches. I feel it shapes my life in other ways. And yet I feel incapable of expressing how. I feel as always like an in betweener, delimiting my connections, not being a part of something because I don’t agree with the core or the actions, because there is another way and no I don’t know the answer, because it’s not my place, because it is my place, because all these things. And I am overwhelmed. By why the room is not just as it should be. It’s not cleaned up. And I do want to clean it up. I’m here trying to figure out who and why I want it clean and if that task is more important than having lunch with my family.
Here I pause. Because I begin to hear all of your voices and thoughts and opinions. Yes I do make that assumption.
“It seems to me you are overthinking. What I hear is that you are stopping yourself. You gotta do what you gotta do to do what you gotta do”
I care about every action.
I examine every decision.
I want to know where I come from. I want to know what my soul is bringing forward, I want to allow it a conduit, I want to sharpen my mind, I want to recognize the shaping of habits, of the result of my environment.
“Going with the flow” is not for me. I jump from oceans to lands to mountains. Trust me the salmon does not go with the flow. It beats itself to a pulp going against the flow to its target. I was born in a foreign land, that is where my mind and heart reside, and the land of my recent generations that carries the shaping of my familial core and values is foreign to me. I have never been in the flow. Semantics you might say. Just something we saw. Bergson would reply “It is in words that we think”. Don Miguel Ruiz would say we cast spells with our words. The Bible would ask us to let our words be blessings.
When we go with the flow, in my understanding, we often are influenced and carried by outside sources. Our upbringing, our socialization, our way of interacting. I know, many of us might think we are different. We don’t resonate with our upbringing, we don’t think the way everyone else does, that “they” all are unaware and sheep and cattle and “we” are reformating ourselves…
I am tired. Of judgement. Of pride. Of judging pride. Of shaking my head no. Of the curve in my lips as they tighten when I hear something that bothers me.
To navigate the rocky waters of this life, we must know how to sail. You don’t inherently know how to surf and catch a wave do you? Is living part of learning?
A skilled sea man recognizes the waves, currents, tides. He has been through storms and maybe a ship wreck. I’m pretty sure if he were to go with the flow he would end up lost at sea starving and result to cannibalism in order to survive. The dude has a map, has the stars, has the sun, has a plan, provisions.
Are we all the captains of our own ships? Do we travel alone ? Do we hop onto other ships and let them sail, trusting the captain’s plan, going with the flow? If so what type of a shipmate are you? Do you question everything? Do you trust the captain? Do you leave all responsibility to said captain? Do you get on a boat with a bunch of people and just expect for someone else to have the plan, the provisions, know how to sail?
Recognize where you are in life. Who you are. Who guides you.
I know, we all have lessons to learn. For myself, I am not going with the flow. I am aware, that I may be inflicting dissonance upon my own life. That I might be blocking the way to blessings. But still, I tread on this path. I do have a captain. I do trust him. I do trust I am being taught to navigate as I travel these seas. I do falter. I do often, feel alone, surrounded by others but far from the spirit of comfort and purpose that I seek to always be in tune with.
“It’s not easy”. Still, we think we know in which ways. We think we know, for us it will be because we have this gift of knowledge.
The mundane, the shame, the inability to make decisions, the finding of myself, the trusting that I don’t need to always understand and at the same time the striving to build my understanding. It’s not in letting go that I find truth and comfort, it’s in digging and expressing.
Examining all of the undecisioning.