Do you need a fresh start or to find the “real” you?


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In March 2010, I moved to Washington D.C.. In my mind it was going to be a fresh start in a new “movers and shakers” city, which was closer to my long-time friends and family. In my last year in the ATL, I said frequently and with disdain, “I’ve outgrown this place!” Well, it seems I was somewhat mistaken. Actually, I outgrew the the Atlanta version of me.

I didn’t create this person knowingly. It just happened “naturally” as I adopted and adapted. The next thing I knew, I was in a job I didn’t much care for and around people I with whom I couldn’t identify. I felt like I was in the Matrix. My only outlet was writing. And i wrote often.

Since then, I’ve been in a bit of a transition mode. A new job, different friends, and a new city to explore has created a different adopted and adapted me. Yet, I still feel the much the same as when I was in Atlanta. So I asked myself, “Do you need a fresh start or do you need to find the “real” you?” My answer was the latter.

I started reading Eastern religious and philosophical texts along with doing some meditation and self-reflection. Many of the scholars and Holy men of Ancient times urged us to realize the illusionary nature of reality. I had no clue what that meant until recently. I simply asked myself, “why?” over and over to fully understand something I did habitually and/or believed. Here’s an example:

Q: Why do I need a “good” job?
A: To make a lot of money.
Q: Why do I need a lot of money?
A: To live comfortably and provide for a future family.
Q: Why do you need “a lot of money” to do that?
A: Because things cost money and I’m going to need things.
Q: Why do you need these things?
A: To survive.

Do I really need the stress of a “good job” if it’s only leading to survival? Are the physical and mental stresses of our lives leading to benefit or detriment?

This line of a questioning lead to the real question. If I wasn’t surviving, what would I want to do? And how can I survive doing it?

I finally understood the reason why monks often leave their family, friends and fortunes to live a life a poverty in a cave. Our materialistic artificial reality clouds our judgment and understanding of who we really are. I can’t imagine that anyone really wants to be in a cubicle, pressing buttons, staring at a screen, and breathing in recycled air for the rest of their life. I do it because I believed that this what I was “supposed” to do.

Supposed – Assume that something is the case on the basis of evidence or probability but without proof or certain knowledge.

Maybe we’re supposed to be happy, healthy and well…

4 Replies to “Do you need a fresh start or to find the “real” you?”

  1. BAnjeeB says:

    Good post sir, as always you gave me something to think about.

    I have dreams of “leaving it all behind” and living an unencumbered life. Then I remember that I’ve committed to a mortgage, and I actually like my smartphone, and I like my siblings and my family and my friends even though at one time or another they drive me to drink, curse, and think that the arctic circle might be a nice place to live. Some days it all overwhelms me, I won’t lie but then I remember to breathe, pray, and remember that regardless of what is happening this is all temporary. It will fade, there will be bad days, jobs and people will come and but there will also be fantastic days that will have me riding with the top down, hair flying all over my head, singing loudly and badly at the top of my lungs and not caring. I think it’s all about balance, finding out what brings you joy, and allowing yourself the time away from the crazy to revel in that joy. Those are my moments of starting over 🙂

    • admin says:

      Love this insight! I am reminded of an old Bob Marley song. “You’re running, you’re running, you’re running away. But you can’t run away from yourself.”

      As you said, if you learn how to be happy, you can be happy any and everywhere.

  2. Safiya says:

    I enjoy all of your posts, but this one in particular struck a chord. Hope all is well on your search for the real you.

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