I glanced at my horoscope today, and read the “If today is your birthday” part, and lo and behold, the oracle spoke:
…You value your personal integrity, which is why you like to reveal society in its most honest likeness as well. You are observant and not afraid to shock, but you buffer the raw truth with humour to make it palatable. Personally, you are emotionally open. In the year ahead, something you’ve been involved with for about nine years will diminish or end to make room for something new.
Which is about a damned fine summation of me as I’ve ever seen. I was dismissive of my school guidance counsellors when their tests came back and recommended a career for me in “Communications.” Actually, I was insulted. Communications was the name of the English class for kids that were failing English. I knew better. I was going to be like my hero, David Suzuki, and be a geneticist. If had even a smidgen of foresight back then, I would have taken up journalism…but alas, I was still years away from discovering a new hero in Hunter S. Thompson. Such is life.
The nine year comment jarred something in me, and I went up dug up some old emails. And indeed, it was about nine years ago that my life completely collapsed. In the space of six months, you can go from a happy family man in a home with a car, at the peak of a comfortable career with a bright future ahead…to jobless, homeless, and down to the possessions you can fit in the passenger seat of a car. You really don’t want to think of such a situation as the beginning of a long slide downhill, but it was.
I did a lot of cool things in that long slide down, but there was no doubt that the wheel of fortune was well and truly pulling me down and getting ready to grind me but good. I can easily say the only reason I survived was that I had my Satori, my moment of enlightenment, just before it all went downhill. And in the midst of it, I was able to really make something out of that experience by embracing the practice of Stoicism. I found new ways to be happy. I wouldn’t give up any of those hardships I went through, they truly taught me to live.
The wheel is turning again now, and there are a lot of new things coming up, and a lot of old things falling by the wayside. It’s a hell of thing to discover confidence in yourself. It’s kinda like having the training wheels taken off of a bike. It feels damned wobbly at first, but you can tell it’s the right thing.
The next four weeks are going to be a bit of a life changer for me. This weekend I’m off to Cascadia North, and teaching a group for the first time some of the things I cover in my personal training. I’ve got an easy format planned for it. If it works out well I’ll know I can teach it elsewhere.
The following weeks are all going to be tied up with the wedding and honeymoon…life is pretty good!