This morning I woke up to a paralyzing panic. It was as if I was steadily sailing through the stillness of the sea, until an unexpected storm swept me away from my boat, knocking me unconscious. When I came to, I was in the middle of the sea with no shore at sight. Alone… amidst the endless blue.
For the past few years, I had been noticing myself pulling further and further away from everything that used to define the general outlines of my life. You know… events I thought I had to be a part of, openings I had to catch, new trends I had to adapt, future ambitions I had to conquer, people I had to meet and catch-up… goddamn networking.
I’m not sure if it was the insincerity and superficiality of my surroundings that made it all feel so forced. Maybe it was my impatience that exhausted me. I wanted to see immediate results from running on that urban treadmill towards what… happiness?
This longing, too large for Heaven and Earth, fits easily in my heart.
What was it that I longed for… too large for Heaven and Earth? No longer satisfied with things that were supposed to fulfill me, I gradually distanced myself in order to find the answer to that question. I cooked up a rationale, called it finding myself and garnished it with terms like “social detox.” But in reality, it was just comfort food. It was binge-watching. It was breaking my promise to vanquish procrastination. It was escapism.
Sure I was desperate to escape unnecessary car honks, idiotic clients, bad dates / tastes / manners that surrounded me. Every morning I woke up with the best of intentions to tune out the noise and listen to myself, make time my partner, and turn my potential from an abstraction into something concrete. But every night, I went to sleep with my legs and heart and mind aching from running so far, away from everything.
This morning, I woke up to the harsh reality that I am completely lost. I surrender and admit that my entire life is momentarily a blur. The storm crushed my boat that was monotonously carrying me through the years. So here feel free to insert a cliché about how the calm comes and the sun shines after a storm.
The currency of wellness is connection.
John W. Travis MD
No matter how lost though, I am now awake at least. I now see that in an attempt to disconnect from anything that disappointed and frustrated me, I also cut the connections I needed for my general well-being. To disconnect in order to re-charge your batteries is entirely different from cutting all the ropes that anchor you.
People always think that happiness falls upon them like bird shit. But no, happiness is generated from within, and this requires discipline. If the currency of wellness is connection – “with the physical world, with the mental and emotional world, with our sense of the divine” – then I need to be disciplined in my quest to find those healthy connections again.
We forget what a profound impact a small step can have. Whether it be connecting to nature by remembering to water my plants, or connecting to my body by finally getting out my dusty yoga mat, or connecting to an idea by creating the time to read a book that’s been patiently waiting for me… Little things add up to a whole.
I’ve been contemplating, probably since I was a teenager, what home means to me. I struggled to decipher between nationality, property, occupation, family… I’ve always felt afloat in my life… just like this morning. What differentiates this morning from others however is that I woke up to the cold realization that home, just like happiness, is created from within.
I hope this blog to be a personal portal that will function as a disciplinary figure, which pushes me to get out of my head and make those connections again…. recording those small steps that will create my story of finding home and growing roots underneath my soles.
I invite you on this struggling journey. It will be colorful, clumsy and hopefully inspirational.