Boy oh boy, it’s been a long way to today, 30 years and some to be precise. What a journey! And now that I have to reflect, now that I have time to look back and forward, I start to finally break free of this 30 years long trail of stuff, experiences, emotions, feelings, heartbreaks and traumas. Breaking free, not as in, let’s reset, start anew, start from scratch, learn nothing from the past but as in, lifting away the weight of these years, pulling down on me, trying to keep me on predefined tracks.
How easy it is to let yourself be pulled, settled, nice and comfy in your little track set out for you by this inert mass of stuff we call our personal past.
How easy it is to let yourself be in this flow, feel the life slipping away through a damper called routine, amortized emotions, color-free days, dream-free nights.
How easy it is to forget, to lessen the perspective, to live in this 2D world that offers no more choices than would a steep vertical wall of a tall office building.
However is easy and cozy and comfortable the way I want to live my life, when my heart lungs for strong, fierce and fearless experiences, when my brain is starving for pure emotions, piercing, deafening, nourishing to the point of overdose.
Hell, the past is like an anchor forcing me to stay on the spot, in this empty constantly moving ocean of industrial waste of time, of resources and of life. How the adrenaline courses through my veins to think about breaking free, fear mingling, serpent of doubt and burden of experienced comfort. It feels like going uphill the mountains of Mordor all over again, the enslaving ring are my shackles and my blinkers, dreams of ambition and career nagging and cramming in the doubt through them. One step then another, one article, one conversation, one conference, one new person I meet, those are my steps up the hill to reach the fiery volcano in which I may one day dissolve the Ring and free myself of its allure, power and cortege of doubts and fears.
And I take them! One by one! A slow process, a lot of thinking, not much action for now. The gravity of my ignorance of how to use this newfound freedom is keeping me glued to the solid ground of my cozy prison but even that can be defied. I am gathering those forces inside, packing them up before taking that leap.
How much I fear to even write this article, committing myself to myself by writing those words to make that break. What if I get too fearful? What if I find myself in debts? What if I cannot sustain myself? What if I don’t find an activity that can bring me to economic neutrality and lets me survive too? What if? What if? Yes but. What if it works? What if I find something I love to do and that brings me just enough money to survive and do other things I love? What if I continue meeting amazing people that have this rage to live and survive without letting themselves shackled by the industrial capitalistic world? What if I succeed? So?
Why is it so hard to stop this self-doubt? To believe in one’s own value enough to have the faith that somehow it will work out and that if it doesn’t then it will, after repeating, retrying, falling and standing back up again?
I offer these words without hiding, plain and straight, because I am afraid and I don’t want to be a coward and putting this black and white it pushes me.
When I feel tired, when I think about where I am and where I want to go, up that hill which top seems so unattainable, the ring lures me into thinking that it isn’t so bad, living your life like you did, a job in a big corporation, sheltered from financial needs, with nice colleagues and interesting challenges. “Why not?” it whispers treacherously. And I let myself imagine that future, it is easy to do, I know it already, I can preview it without any effort of my imagination. That is when I hit the ground where I am now laying face down in the industrial dirt and I suffocate and realize in a flash that that world isn’t suiting me anymore, somehow the mold doesn’t fit anymore. Rising is then my despair at seeing that cozy world floating away because I can never be happy anymore in this world, like a domesticated bird of prey that learns about big empty spaces, flying over great canyons, wind whistling furiously under its wings can never go back to the safety of food and shelter in the company of men, does this bird feel even a hint of sadness at the thought of living a golden cage behind forever? I guess not, but I do as I see this option slowly closing off while my desire for freedom gets too big, too wide, too fierce to be contained.
I feel the transformation during this extreme hike. The laughing that comes more easily, the heart that opens up, the serenity that I feel when I do something I love, little and big things, the feeling that each day is enjoyed, tasted, lived vibrantly, the emotions free floating, unhindered and unmolded back into their cage, the choice to not tackle what I do not feel interest for, the constant learning of new things, even the evolution of my vocabulary, the feeling of my body rested and happy and the sluggish heavy rough undercurrents of mind shifting slowly to free my self of its restraints of fear and habit. That last is the most difficult yet most fulfilling change I experience. Not all in a straight line, with setbacks, reversions to old way of being that I abhor but every time less old and more new. It takes time and strong will to make it. “Hold the fort! Keep it up!” I yell to myself against the waves of self-doubts washing over my hopes and dreams. But here it is, there is hope.
Living free, out of the system, in Wonderland, make for beautiful dreams, what happens when those meet reality? Only one way to find out! Go further into the rabbit hole and up the mountain of Mordor.