Answer the Question – Where the Road Closes

Maybe it’s a good time to end this here.
Maybe the intentions of our lives are not something that will always match our best wishes which, again, there’s a saying for this which goes, “That’s life.”
Isn’t it?

I began this journal with the same intention that I begin all of my journals. First, I use this place as an escape. I start my day this way to help me start the process of what we call daily life.
At the beginning of my journal, I am sitting in the dark, in front of a white screen that offers a slightly bluish light to the room. This is my loft.
I use this empty white screen as a canvas. I type my thoughts down which, I can tell you this much, has brought me far beyond where I used to be with paper and a pen.

I started this journal with a question: What the hell was I thinking?

There was a time when I was out with my friends – or should I call them my so-called friends. Either way, for the time being, they were my circle of influence and what happened was amazing to me.
I looked around at a group of people who I had known for years. I came to the realization that as much as I knew them; all of them were complete strangers to me. I was nothing like them and they were nothing like me. 
We were like a pack of mismatched wolves who tried to face the social scenes of New York City. And me, I was misled. I was caught up in a thousand different misperceptions of life, of me, of anything and of everything that I thought life was supposed to be like.

I was sitting in my so-called social circle. I hardly liked the places we’d go to or the things we did. I admit it; I used to go along with crowd because the idea of being left out and alone were unattractive to me.
The idea of me not fitting or not having something to do was uncomfortable enough that I submitted to people, places and things none of which were in my best interest.
My thinking was that I didn’t belong or that I was somewhat of a man without a country; like an island to myself . No matter how I tried; I could never really match or find a good fit and as I looked around at the places I had been and the people I was with; I thought about the million things I could have been doing instead.
I came to a realization

I opened my eyes and realized how this was me. This was a place that I had led myself towards. Through a series of loops and decisions. I came to a level of awareness and at that moment, I could see how I traded my best interests for a lower value.
But why?
It was my thinking that led me to places like the ones I outgrew. And to contribute, it was my thinking that kept me stagnant and stuck in the rut of a common existence.
The idea of exiting stage left or “getting up” was unthinkable to me.

I explain this only to detail the times I have woken to the realization that this is what happens when we accept a trade.
People marry the wrong people.
And why?
They accepted a trade.
They can blame anyone and everyone else in the world,
but the trades began within.

People settled for less.
But why?
Perhaps the answer is they were never secure in themselves or they never believed or had faith that anything or anyone else would actually come through. Plus, it is my estimation that there is a common and huge fear about going at it”alone” which has absolutely been a crippling fear for me.

People stay in dead-end jobs.
This was part of another trade.
I’ve done this. I’ve done all of the above.

People dig themselves into a hole which can eventually become so deep and irreversible.
It’s because they never learned or dared the edge; it’s because they never nurtured their true form of life or nurtured their gifts or explored their advantages. Also, this is because as prisoners to our own mind, we never knew that we could also act as the warden and set ourselves free.
People find themselves burrowed in a life that they never wanted and never asked for. Then one day, the lights come on.
We find ourselves at a moment of realization. More than the question of “What the hell was I thinking?” you find yourself asking, “How the hell did I get here?”
Why me? is another question that happens.
Why can’t I be like other people?
That’s another one too.

Why can’t I get along with others?
Why do I let people get to me?”
Why do I have to be sensitive to everything or feel everything?
These are more questions, too, which each of the above has an answer to.
For those who live with empathy, the question is why do I have to feel the perception of other people’s pain?
Why do I have to feel “everything?”
This is not to say that we don’t want to feel “anything” but instead, this is a wonder of why we have to feel so much or interpret everything then dissect it down to a cancerous bone. 
Is this life?
No, this is an honest assessment of thinking.
Does this make thoughts fact?
No, but this does help us understand the symptoms of our thinking.

I began this journal with hopes that maybe someone out there might find a paragraph (or two) and say “ah, I get it.”
I started this for the same reason as any other journal.
I wanted to write something to act as some kind of loudspeaker to ring out and be heard by at least one person’s ears and say “WAKE UP!”
I wanted to do this because waking up too late is something that leads to an unforgivable regret.

But still, there are questions that remain for so many people such as this one:
“How the hell did I get here?”

I will say that there is a definite misconception or misunderstanding of terms and conditions.
There is a string of ideas that are connected to internal connections to memories of perceived rejection or low self-worth.
This includes a wired connection to moments of sadness or shame, depressive thinking and/or suicidal ideation.
Or this could be associated with bouts of trauma, such as personal or intimate trauma, stress, physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect and then – let’s top this off with moments of public exploitation or social humiliations which take place in our earliest memories. All of this adds up and figure in with the different characteristics of our thinking.
This can be a result of bullying; or this can be a memory that is connected to a series of different feelings of guilt or humiliation. But wait, there’s more. 

Let’s add the physical and invisible or personal, social, or the intimate scars that come with life. Let’s add family history and the symptoms of what comes with parental challenges or the misguiding of a person who was given the role (or title) of mom or dad yet these people were only human. At best, they were only as capable as their mental and social limitations allowed them to be.
Let’s add all of this and mix the contents of past biases and inaccurate lessons.
Shake them up in a bag called “our head” and then we find out why and who we are.
Let’s have all of these tiny additives that perhaps calculate into the trillions and act like seeds that turn to saplings that grow like wildfire and suddenly, we have roots that branch into systems of thinking.
This is a rooted system that works in the backgrounds of our thinking and creates our subconscious maps which influence our choice selections.

The damage to our belief system is something that leads our decisions to the maps of our subconscious programs.
And me, who am I to say this?
Am I a doctor?
Am I some big grad student or someone with a bunch of degrees on my wall?
No, that’s not me.
Who am I?
I’m nothing and no one else but a person who came to a point where I opened my eyes to different stages of regret.
I’m just me. This is my way of understanding and breaking my thought systems down to a basic, understandable way.

I began to realize how many years flew behind me.
I’m someone who opened my eyes and recognized the trades I made.
I can see the value and the impact of my old forfeits and that where I am in life, where I live, where I work and what I do for a living has all been part of my thought patterns and assumptions. 

Take this for example:
I used to work with someone who finally retired after nearly 40 years of service. He started in an industry at a young age. He was about to be married. He had no vision for the future.
But hey, the future is for old people. Right?
By his assumption, he believed he would have plenty of time to figure out what he really wanted to do with his life.
The job was only supposed to be temporary, which eventually became permanent.
He told me “I figured I would do this until I figured out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”
I asked, “And how’s that going for you?”
“I’m still working on it,” he said.

There are times when we seem lost or out of place. So, maybe we grab on to whatever’s closest to keep ourselves grounded (or at least somewhat valued).
There are times when we have outgrown our surroundings yet we’re afraid to dare or go back to the beginning.
And dig it –
I get this is hard.
I get the assumed intimidations that come with starting over again.

First, let’s not pretend that financial fears and insecurity are not huge.
Let’s not forget the bills we have and as we work and earn our “living” so-to-speak, we still have financial responsibilities.
Our financial life can be tough enough.
So in this case, the thought (or fear) of starting over and finding yourself with a lower salary or the threat of losing your salary is an additive that makes this process become unthinkable.

And guess what?
It doesn’t matter how many people tell you, “You can do it” or that “It’s easy,” because whether you can do it or not, nothing is easy. Time is not always the most available commodity.
The uphill battle might be too up-hill.
Life has its dilemmas.
This is why people quit.
Or better yet, maybe it’s safer to say that this is why people never dare or try. 
In my case, this is why I remained stuck for way too long.
And me, I’m still working at this.
Some day, I see improvements.
Other days (if I’m being honest) it can certainly seem as if I’d taken one step forward and two steps back.
I suppose this is called being human.

Another challenge is this: say we do try.
Say we give our next best dream a shot and say it doesn’t work.
Say there were opposing sides that shut us down.
Say there were people who saw our dreams as a thorn in their side.
Say this and then add the personal or life-long and historic intimidations and rejective theories that take place in the mind – and then, let’s add the self-deprecating nonsense that happens in our brain. Let’s add our personal chemistry.
Know what this is?
This is life too. 

I can never honestly say that I don’t know what I was thinking.
I can also say that it wouldn’t be honest to say my thinking is fact or fair to myself.
All I can say is that our thinking can do one of two things: We can either think ourselves into success or we can believe ourselves into failurism.
I get that. In fact, I get this from both an intimate and personal level.
I have lived it too so, if this helps anyone wake up or open their eyes and if this encourages anyone; even if only one person reads this and changes their steps; then good. So be it.

Safe to say that we are not born alike. We are not the same.
No one is.
We all have our own battles to contend with and, rest assured, not everyone will understand or be sensitive to this.
To someone else, they might look at you and think how you should be thinking differently.
They might not get what you see, thin, or feel.
Expect this to happen.
There might be days when the world is the loneliest place. There will be times when everything and everyone is so distant.
When this happens, ask yourself “What the hell am I thinking?”
Scale this out and dissect where this comes from.
Take a mindful approach. 

For a long time, I saw myself as nothing more than a high school drop-out.
I saw myself as nothing more than a worker.
I was part of a huge assembly-line process on a conveyor belt which I often regard as Project Earth.
Day in and day out.
I was a cog in a wheel and maybe I still am (to some degree).

I know that these journals tend to get intense and that for some people, well, none of this is an easy read.
But I say yeah well, fuck it.
It’s honest.
I say that my journals are not for everyone.
But more so, these are for someone who might be lost at the time or for someone who might not understand the value of their thinking. There might not be any commercial value in my books, which is fine.
That’s okay.
My journals are for more than people who battle with depression or live with anxiety disorders. This is more than a journal entry about being in recovery. No, this is just a series of honest thoughts that people rarely (if ever) talk about.
This is me screaming out about the darkness in our lives which tends to attract the light; hence, the darkness fades and our intimidations can be less intimidating.

I think about my friend at work who never learned to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.
I think about his two heart attacks and his life as it is now. He’s retired and that’s good.
I have a lot of time left before I retire. 

I am honest when I say that I do not have the answers.
In fact, no one does.
Do I know what I want to be when I grow up?
Not really. I just know that I want more than this.
I know that for the time, I have to go back into my workshop and start over on my trick.
I know that my goal here is to build this idea and find a way to pull this off – my trick, that is. 
Sometimes, we have to go back and start from scratch
or whatever that means.

It’s changed over the years. My trick, that is.
And my trick is going to have to change again.
That’s fine, I accept this.
I’m not dead though. I have another day to take a crack at it.

So, what am I thinking now?
Well, I’m thinking this is the end of another journal.
I’m thinking about the day ahead of me and the work I have to deal with.
I’m thinking about the life I have ahead of me – and the changes I need to make.

Maybe there’s room for another journal.
But that’s a thought for another day.

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