The other night started out like most Thursdays do, with a few beers at the café on the corner. As always, the evening stretched out before us, filled with possibility. What conversations will be had? Which confidences will be shared? How, by force of our collective interactions, will our tiny corner of the world become a better place?
Four beers later, the possibilities had narrowed to:
a/ McDonalds on the way home; or
b/ Fridge leftovers
The metro vs. taxi debate had been long settled and as I battled to stay awake on the short drive home I wondered what the point of any of it was.
I couldn’t get the word out of my head. It taunted me and haunted me and tore my heart in two.
Nothing we (I) do or say matters. Nothing ever changes. Not significantly anyway. The system, this ‘organized’ world. The structures and limits and categorizations we insist on boxing everyone and everything in with. The norms. The acceptable behavior. The dampening, the watering down. The endless choice and the no-big-deal attitude. The prevalence of ‘chill’, not caring as the new caring. Appearance over substance.
All of these thoughts swirled around my head and smashed into one another and brought me down with them.
Why am I so obsessed with finding meaning and purpose and pursuing truth and authenticity? No one else seems to give a shit. And where has it gotten me anyway?
What if my whole dogma, my whole life philosophy, the idea that I am Different; that I am ‘special’, that I was placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose is just bullshit? What if, I’m not, actually, destined to write books and essays that will one day do their part to help change the way we think, the way we live? What if I’m just another brick in the wall, another link in the chain?
What if I’m just a person in the room?
The thought crushed me and robbed me of air and hope and I felt smaller than I ever had in my life. I sunk to the floor and wept for my own futility.
I would like to say that there on the floor I found the way forward, but I didn’t, not then at least. I crawled into bed, tear-stained and drained.
I woke the next day, heavy-hearted.
I sat down to the same breakfast I eat every morning and almost didn’t pick up my pen.
I started writing, the ink and my words staining the page with their darkness, their heaviness. I wrote and I raged and I cemented my bad mood for another day. But, as sometimes occurs, the pen took on a life of its own, my subconscious and it bypassing my brain and writing something I barely understood, let alone believed in:
“Be as infinite as your possibilities.”
I’m not sure the sentence even makes sense, but its timing was perfect and its sentiment unprecedented.
Maybe we are inconsequential. But maybe we’re also infinite. Each and every morning we wake to a new day, a clean slate, a billion different paths we could take, things we could say or do or be.
The possibilities for my day are infinite.
And so am I.