Striving For Balance
"how confident are you, on a scale of one to ten, that you'll achieve x", she asks me and the additional two people in the room are staring at me waiting for an answer that will impress them. i didn't want to tell her that it means nothing to me, that the goal we're currently discussing in the grand scheme of things is pointless. i give her a 7. she says its too low. she says if it's not eight or above then you need to adjust your goal; make it more realistic. and i thought that's a really good way of looking at things. i pretended, like we all do with some aspects of our lives, that i felt deeply about this banal work goal. i said with confidence that i i'm past eight, i'm more like a nine/ten. i convinced them this is important to me; i'm invested. i will do what you ask of me, and i won't complain because i know how to play the game. i know how to please you even though it has soul crushing consequences for me.
i think of everyone who's trying so hard to live a wholehearted life but reality disables them to do so. we need jobs. we need money. we're community animals; we know survival means staying together. and when the society you're living in demands things from you that you necessarily don't agree with or like, you adapt. there is hard work involved being able to live outside the herd. to follow your own heart and make up your own rules. there's a privilege that comes along with being able to simply let things go. say no to people. to quit your day job. it's not easy. it's doable, but to assume it's a piece of cake is ignorant. i can't just go travel. i can't be honest at work meetings. i'm dependent on the money they pay me, so i can eventually do what i love.
i was watching given on netflix. a fiction/documentary about the goodwin family; a surf/hippie family who travels around the world and visit different cultures. it's shot absolutely beautifully. and yes it would be amazing to have the opportunity to live such life. but i can't help but thinking as i'm watching it: how are you making money. where do you adjust. where is all the paperwork. hours spent at regular airports being regular people. things going wrong. the truth is the goodwin family is dependent on people around them to live their lifestyle. they must be. assistants. accountants. and so on.
we're all trying to survive. and of course i see nothing wrong with seeing light in everything. that even though most of your life is just ordinary, to focus on the extraordinary parts. the travels. moments with family. views that are breathtaking. meeting people that are nothing but nice to you. meaningful conversations. delicious, organic, self-caught food. i guess i just also want to point out that while all that exist, and we should focus on it, we should also not forget that in the shadows we're just animals with obligations to our herd. unless you're extremely privileged, and more and more of those obligations disappear. you can be lion roaming free. abiding to no one's rules. but most of us are just lionesses with cubs. living in constant fear of having your babies eaten up by other lions. having the responsibility to feed one's entire family. tired. exhausted. but you strive to see the light instead. to enjoy play, sunshine, earth and its gifts. because all of a sudden it's over. gone.
and with that in mind, i'm gonna carpe diem this day and the rest to come. i'll endure those meaningless work meetings. i'll enjoy those magical moments that follows.