choices in difficult times
I am not my problems, but sometimes I am. I am not my labels, though I have waved them like a flag. For instance, when so focused on a singular result, there is often nothing much else of us. Our personal genius on a mission. Until recently, I was a developer intensely working on a web app to make the world a better place. The world, however, had other plans.
I’ve been a brother, friend, boyfriend, husband, ex-husband, artist, teacher, trainer, designer, musician, New Yorker, and a hundred other labels of “I’m a…”.
As a developer, I identified completely, and my immersion in the project was its own high, gamifying my professional identity, and rewarding myself with the idyllic vision of how sorely this program was needed.
After the world said no, it was me who was sore, but not without a sense of belonging. As if my hardship and disappointment entwined with the sense of sad awareness, all centered on the unfortunate event that happened to me. A joined pathos in action, and compassion chorus of, I am so sorry it did not work out. Can you understand my choice, confusing even to myself, too simply not accept the failure? A persona crumbling enticing me to crumble in kind.
Sorry sir did you forget your cross?
I was failing at failure. I didn’t feel connected to it. Something was off, maybe it’s still not over? I don’t know. But how do you reject a failure without rejecting the support that came with it? There is a comical twist to this. How dare you not be curled in a ball whimpering when we drove all this way to lift you up?
But I did refuse the misery, and that’s the mystery. Even while walking through the supermarket parking lot having spent my very last dollar, I just could not give into it. But in that parking lot, what I did lose was “I’m a this, a that, or another”.
When this singular experience swooped in on me. I was no longer a developer, a coder, a designer or anything at all. Only what was, intrinsically myself. Just human. Nothing more, nothing less. Who in the world would have thought, because certainly not I, that a lifelong lackadaisical search for the self would be found, quite literally in finding nothing in my pocket, and possibly a failed career. Does nothing left to loose mean nothing left to protect? And yes, I am playing the song.
And now? Should I crumble? Do you see the dilemma? A professional passion play followed by a worldly cry of failure? Damn! My collapse would be so upwardly validated, it practically came with a bow on top. But a lot can happen within a second’s time. And within this second, I held on and allowed the drama to pass. And then, what I did let crumble, was my performance to myself.
Will code for food, so long as its farm sourced.
This still moment, to explain was purely quiet. A lightness of spirit and heart, without overtaking me. I made a choice. And grateful that I was capable to do so. While no amount of photoshop was going to make this rack of shopping carts look like a wooded babbling brook properly suitable to an ah-ha moment. Reality be damned, realizations happen where they may. And it’s holding me still as I rebuild.
If you find yourself dancing in my shoes. Fallen projects, businesses, partners or any life goal you’ve put your all into. It’s about the expression you’re making to your life. Remember, that’s the energy that drove you to try in the first place. The business world, people, or even reality itself may not always agree with you. Keep your wits about you and protect your passion best you can. Every moment’s a choice for a new beautiful mess.