When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. — Steve Jobs
We live in a culture that’s driven by systems. The system guides children to becoming young adults to parents and so one.
Unconsciously we have a plan in place for us, or a plan that we should be following, per the system.
I grew up with this mindset. I went through school, studying, doing homework, mesmerizing course materials to get goods grades where I can get into a great college or university.
I pick up where left off, studying and getting good grades through college so I’ll be able to enter the workforce landing a great job where I can begin the trek up the corporate ladder; promotions, more money, better titles.
Then I fall deep in love, get married, have kids, buy a home and the system’s fairy tale is a breathing living thing.
It’s everything I should be doing.
This is the dream we have for our lives. This very image that gets painted and ingrained in our minds at such a young age, and through the journey to adulthood, illustrates the way life should be.
This is the life I’ve lived, it’s the life I’ve followed for most of my life.
Layers add on.
For each and every passing day, week, month and year of living through the lens of the system, we add unidentifiable layers to the core of who we are; our truth.
As we try not to bump up against what we shouldn’t be doing, or what the system has laid out for us, we begin to evolve into someone we are not.
We let the noise of other’s drown out our own inner voice. Instead of leading a life from our soul and hearts, we look around us to gauge our next move. We live from a place of should.
There came a point in my life where the system, for me, began to crumble. The promises of what the system had painted for me looked to be all there, but, the pursuit in obtaining those things didn’t make me feel any happier.
I started asking questions, on paper, through writing.
I didn’t have the answers, I didn’t really seek to find the answers. All I wanted to do was open the vault to explore the unknown. I wanted to see if the life I was living is the life that was meant to be lived.
I wrote everyday, exploring, asking questions, pouring my heart and soul onto paper. I let my thoughts and the things I am feeling release through my pen to paper.
The more I wrote, the more of those layers that were gently layed on began to peal back. I felt a sense of release. I felt lighter. For each layer that was removed I began to see my true self once again. The truth, that over the years, was unrecognizable to me.
It’s not that what the system provides is any kind of wrong. The disappointment is in how I felt by the lens in which I saw my life at that point. I wasn’t happy, in fact, it became extremely unhealthy and dark.
You’ll never be the same.
As Steve Job describes, once you realize that you can change it, that the system walls can be broken down, you’ll never be the same.
The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again. — Steve Jobs
As the layers shed it opened up an entirely new world of perspective to the very same things that made up my life prior. I am now living a life from a place of truth. Paths taken are now my own.
It’s not that I didn’t have a good life before, but the very notion of seeing life through a different lens other than what society provides, is profound. I’m now in love with my life.
The pursuit is no longer about arriving to a destination, but rather, the very pursuit itself; it’s embracing the journey. Tweet this
Writing in my journal has been a godsend for me. It’s created a safe place for me to just bleed. It unearths the truth within. It’s brought an entirely new meaning of gratitude and service to my life.
Writing, most importantly, has provided me the gift of embracing the journey. Writing is the intentional in this journey of intentional self growth.
Photo Credit: Markus Spiske