What I’ve written has only been shared with one person before.
It was written on January 20, 2009. I wrote it three months after an October night when I couldn’t fall asleep; just under three months before I would hear echoes, feel “just alright”, swerve, quit, and embark.
In one poem in God Whispers on the Wind, I write about how our minds are so desperate for knowing; to know, so we might have less to fear. To be less paralyzed by choice and uncertainty. So we may have fewer doubts about ourselves, our paths in life, and our futures. We want to know more and more, because we think that life can be figured out, and wrapped in a little bow.
It’s never really the case.
But, maybe knowing is never the problem — it’s the searching that is.
Maybe we always know. Maybe we always know who we are, and what we’re here on Earth to do. Maybe our dreams are premonitions; soulful forecasts that demand a bit of action. Maybe our wants are more than fleeting desires, but blueprints embedded in our spiritual DNA.
Maybe we always know what we need to do in life.
And maybe that’s why searching for it feels so torturous.
January 20, 2009
“I woke up this morning to the cross of my rosary stabbing me in the back. I had fallen asleep on the couch with it clutched in my left hand. For the first time in some time, I so desperately asked God for guidance in hopes that I might see some vision in my sleep or wake with all the answers I wanted.
Instead, I awoke to that pain in my back.
The night before, I was sunk in a foul mood while deeply pondering my future. A crossroads had approached, so it seemed. On the one hand, a major job opportunity had arisen at home. On the other, the indescribable sensation that made me feel dead inside.
Upon a sudden, I realized that trying to foresee my life for years to come — even if for only just a few years — made me feel like that. “Dead inside.” I pictured my life from a bird’s eye view. I tried to foresee, to predict, to plan out, the next year or two. And it made me feel sick.
To what degree was the sick feeling because of what I was specifically trying to foresee? To what degree was it sickening because I was trying to plan out parts of a life of which I knew I truly had no control?
Was I sick over moving back to Rhode Island and feeling like I’d never get out again? Was I sick because I was trying to foresee life, which is never foreseeable?
Whatever the reason, it made me feel dead inside.
And I just don’t know what the hell to do.
What is it that tortures me?
For months I have agonized about my path and my future and my goals. It is because I believe I have placed perhaps unreasonable expectations upon myself to be something unique for this world, to do important things.
And to do those things I feel my spirit being drawn to the unconventional. I will not thrive within the confining boundaries of convention. I need to try different things, and live in different places, and explore different worlds, and meet different people, and have different thoughts.
I will fail in a world of convention, in a world of 9-to-5, in a world of salary considerations and career opportunities. And I will fail because my spirit will die. In that world I will feel dead on the inside, as racing to the grave, and not even for the right reasons.
I don’t know who I am or what I will do, but I know that my talents depend upon my spirit as their perpetual source of energy. Simply existing in a world of convention, I will feel dead. I might rather be dead than live my life in the solitude of convention, if not only for a hope that future children might be able to break from convention’s cyclical nature that engulfed me, their father, and destroyed his spirit.
So, what do I do?
How do I break free from the life of convention from which I have managed to accidentally step free?
I can either start now, at the ripe age of 23 and fresh out of college, or live a life of convention that I know will make me miserable for years, but then perhaps in my mid-30’s have some sort of life altering experience that will cause me to quit the life of convention and embark upon my dreams.
At 23, I can choose to take the unconventional path, believing that for all its risks, it will keep my spirit alive and thus become an unremitting source for my dreams. Or, at 23, I can choose the path of safety and convention, a path that I know will hamper my spirit, my creativity, my dreams, my hopes, and my happiness.”
I never could have imagined what the next months and years would entail.
I never planned it. Or anticipated it.
I never knew.
Maybe we always know.