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…