Nearly to the day as I’m writing these words, I reach the end of my sabbatical year.
I should be going back to work soon, back to that grey endless stream of meaningless days. I shiver and catch my breath just thinking about it. That is how much my perspective on my previous life has evolved.
Seriously. How did I ever manage to spend 8 full hours and more in a day, sitting in front of a computer, fretting about numbers and deadlines of utterly useless items of a never ending to-do list and think for an instant that such was life and that it was it. Today, I can’t believe I actually fell for this comfortably numbing nightmare. I guess I was asleep.
Now, red pill and all, I have my eyes wide open. Which just made me completely unfit to go back to my previous job. Good because I’m not going back.
I am not going back. I AM NOT GOING BAAACK. I want to stand up and shout like a kid at the scary monster and run away laughing at my own temerity.
I am not going back. I wouldn’t be able to even if I wanted to. Perhaps that is what scared me to make such a bold move before. Scared me into keeping my head down and continue « un-living » my life. Perhaps it is what scares people in general into not changing their lives. What you know is comfortable, (well-) paid, stable. That change is a leap into the unknown, unstable and most probably won’t pay well or at all, and the worse part of it, once you go for it, you can’t go back. You can’t because your eyes are opened and it’s too late, you cannot undo it, cannot forget and go back. The effort of doing so would probably mean making some major part of yourself numb and dead for the rest of your comfortably numbing nightm…I mean, life. So no, not going back. I can’t and i don’t want to. What a relief.
Everyday, I experience a freedom of mind I hadn’t had since I started working. 8 hours per day is a long time to cross off your life, that opens up a whole lot of space to think when you don’t spend it hooked up to your email inbox.
I get scared still. Because of old reflexes and simple common sense sometimes are hard to fight. Unknown and unstable are scary for an ex-office mouse. Then I reason with myself, think about where I am, what I am doing, why and the path which I am chosing and I relax. Nothing is certain on that path but it is going to be exciting and breathtaking and I will learn and grow at every step. None of it will be a loss for sure so why fret ? No reason really, other than this anxiety that drives the world mad. The fear of lacking which leads to this quest for comfort and stability and accumulation which in turns… you know, consumer materialistic individualistic society and all. Topics for other articles, books even I guess.
So I get scared sometimes but most of the time, I have never felt both freer nor happier in my life. This feeling that tomorrow will not look like anything before, that today, these moments you are living are unique and that you are both enjoying them and building a future out of them, growing from them towards your objectives. The ones you set yourself and for yourself, for your life, to make sense of living it. That feeling is freedom and happiness and serenity, all combined into one big warm ball that gives you the confidence to continue and not go back.
So there is that in Alice’s wonderland, red pill and all, there is this feeling. There is meaning too. Chicken and egg between those two. You find meaning, you get this feeling. Searching for meaning gives you this feeling that is probably the meaning you are seeking. Get it ?
Meaning because I chose a cause and when you chose one, one that is linked to finding meaning in life, it’s like the one cause attracts others and you can’t really help yourself but you are pulling on the thread and the whole ball unrolls. A bit like a cat, a meaning-searching cat if you wish. Cats are cute and distracting, aren’t they ? So thread, I mean, meaning.
When my journey started, I thought I just needed to do something with my hands, get out of the office and throw away the keyboard. It seemed that malaxing a big ball of wet flour would be a nice enjoyable manual labour that would return some serenity to my heavily exhausted soul. Manual labour to connect back with the physical reality, my body, the stuff around me, the bread I eat and put in my body. It should be good flour then. How to get to it ? Cutty cutty cat pulling on the thread. I want to be free and autonomous and be sure of what I use. Let’s do the flour then. Grow your own wheat. Good wheat. Paws out swinging around that big ball of threads. Wait, how is wheat grown these days ? What a catastrophy ! I look for people who do it right. I find people who care about growing food that is healthy for your body and the Earth itself. Kitty kitty kitty playing its ass off all day long. I think freedom and autonomy, being responsible for what I eat and what I could give to eat to others. I discover permaculture. I think they have it, the right way to look at things, the systemic holistic one. I am an engineer and a former consultant, I love the « big picture » approach. Ball of threads unrolled, kitty is napping happily under the sun. I will learn how to put these principles into concrete actions because I want to contribute to a better ife, because I want to share my awakening with others. In fining meaning and freedom, I also found caring for others, the large others, not just the close circle of known faces, the humans. Wow that’s big.
That’s Alice’s wonderland. The realization that I am responsible at my scale to make humanity better by changing myself and supporting others to do so as well through sharing and encouraging.
And if I go back to my very first post of this year. I will say I find myself happy with the red pill and will definitely stay on this adventure !