Pitfall, and not the Atari kind—What happens when we set out with full steam, and suddenly find ourselves at the bottom of a pit, alone, lost, and calling out to no one?
Imagine, if you will, that you are running at top speed through a maze, where the floor is falling out behind you, and the walls are electrified. If you slow down, you fall; if you stray from your path, you’ll be electrocuted— So you run. You run like hell and pray that each direction you turn, each path you choose, will be the right one.
Until you trip— and wake up somewhere else, far away from the maze, uncertain of where you are or how you got there.
WELCOME TO WEEK 4
And boy, did I fall off the horse this past week… and by horse I mean forty story window, because I feel shattered, tired, and lost. I’m about as energetic as a narcoleptic cat and as coordinated as a Giraffe playing limbo.
We all go through hard times in our lives—Times when what’s going on around us is sapping our strength to the point where we are struggling with even the simple daily activities, like waking up, putting our shoes on, or just eating breakfast.
We are plagued by the unpleasantness of our mundane life and our constitution is such that we feel as though we can bear no more.
I was that narcoleptic cat-giraffe playing limbo this week. I only managed two days where I could get myself up early (only to go back to sleep shortly after). I tried to work on some writing, and yet each time I did, I managed only to stare at my screen until I was so fed up with my inability to form a cohesive thought, that I just gave up. And lastly… I think I managed to truly relax only during my Huaquan classes all week.
This is the cycle of my life that I am used to. How easy it seemed for the first three weeks of this journey to simply change my life around and power through like a hulking Viking champion mercilessly pummeling his foes. How I strove for greatness with a superpower— yet now that I have returned to my normal state, I cannot seem to find the strength to rise up and continue.
I feel broken. Fatigued. As if my legs were replaced with bricks that could care less where or if they carried me. I am sore. Weighted. Mentally, emotionally, and physically drained.
How could I have returned to this dilapidated state with all of the effort I’ve put in so far? Has it really made no difference?
I spent much of my week in deep contemplation, wondering if I was approaching this journey from the right angle, with the right tools, at the right time. Had I fudged this up already? Am I just hopeless?
The answer came to me this morning in a text from my best friend of over 15 years:
“Extremely stressed. Not making any progress. Want to just sleep and/or retreat to my video games. Have no energy to workout and haven’t worked out in over a week, so I feel extremely guilty and useless because of it.”
As with some of the feedback I’ve gotten from readers on the first few weeks, I was shown a little glimpse into another’s life, reminding me that not only am I not the only one fighting this battle, but that it is indeed a battle, and this feeling of hopelessness can be beaten.
Life is difficult when we throw ourselves into situations, denying the truth of the matter and hoping to accomplish something that we are pretty sure is not what we wanted in the first place. My best friend works a job he hates, and the boredom is killing him. It’s similar for myself, but in comparison to his Master’s in Electrical Engineering, my Bachelors in Writing looks miniscule. I feel inept simply by the fact that I have not continued my education, which I have not done because I haven’t had the money, and I have not had the money because I have supported myself since I was sixteen.
So back to the original question from which this journey erupted, a question that I will revisit throughout this year and on for the rest of my life:
When we are unhappy with the life we have, how do we obtain the life we want?
There are so many success stories out there, and among a planet of 7.2 billion people, I dare say there should be, how do we find what will work for us?
And how do we defeat our daily demons?
This week, after much contemplation and struggle to regain my strength— I took a quiet break, took a deep breathe, and revisited some of my older words of wisdom. What do I want? What DO I want? What do I want?
And the answer is this: I want to wake up and love what I do. I want to do it with the woman I love. And I want to be able to have the time to do the job I love and the other things I love too.
What I want is simple, it’s what we all want, isn’t it? So why is it so hard to achieve?
For a long time I have been drawing up plans to begin my own company. I have multiple plans on the backburner, many unfinished, but a few that I could run with if I put in the effort to finish them. I have a problem with staying motivated. I’ve found over the years, that depression’s favorite meal is my motivation, with a hint of happiness.
So my challenge this week, is to finish one of my many business plans and pitch it to my best friend, who is also yearning for a fresh beginning. Anything is possible if you try, so I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and who knows — maybe this is the change I’ve been waiting for?
My advice to you all this week:
Find something that needs to be finished, or started even, and get to work. You can’t have what you want if you don’t put in the effort to get it. Ask yourself what it is that ails you right now and search for the solution. There may not be one at this moment, but you also might find something else in your search. And trust me when I tell you, we are living a difficult life full of questions, and every single answer helps.
If you are struggling with your life, or thinking about making a change, or having a hard time finding the motivation to get up and go— remember that you are not alone.
Take a risk. Challenge yourself. Get out there and make a difference for you or for someone else. And then come back here and tell me about it. Tell US about it, because you are important, and what you do matters.
Photo:Flickr/ Steve Jurvetson