This article is the third in a series penned by Quincy.
I’m at a point in my life where I need to make a major decision. You know, the decision you’re always warned you’ll have to make by your parents and teachers to keep you from acting like a little shit; the one Frost drilled in your brain–two roads diverged in a yellow wood, yada, yada–you know the one I’m talking about.
No, it’s not the decision to find some work so that I can afford to get out of the back of my car and have a safe, comfortable place to call home. No, it’s not the decision to limit my alcohol and caffeine intake, commit to a nutritious diet, and start exercising. No, it’s not the decision to go back to school (or even start, in my case) so that I can fill my brain with knowledge that will hopefully bolster a successful career. No, it’s not the decision to only let love in once I’m confident in my choices and truly happy being single.
So what’s left? Why else would I recover if not to find my way to a relatively happy and simple life sans drama and toxic people? I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m so used to chaos and struggling to survive. Maybe the heat (oh, how I wish my roads diverged in the crisp of fall and not the sweltering summer) or all those empty calories are starting to wear on me, but I can’t accept such normalcy anymore–not if I expect to be fulfilled anyway, let alone happy.
A month ago, probably even a couple of weeks ago, all that mattered was having a clean bed, a place to shower, food, and the security of knowing I could have those things the next day, and the next. I was totally fine shelving other luxuries–things like true love and a salaried job with insurance–if it meant I could get off the streets (not in the hooker or junkie kind of way) and find a quiet space to regain my strength and dignity.
But that just seems too easy now. Don’t get me wrong, given my current circumstances, I’m well-aware of the difficulties I’ll face in finding work and a home, but surely there’s a, dare I say, higher reason I went through all this suffering–and I’d kind of like to think it’s not so I can finally have some IKEA furniture my spouse and I will argue over while piecing together, my name on any signage, or an upgraded grocery store to go to, really just to show off my new LuLu’s at.
I referenced the hero’s journey in my last piece (Joseph Campbell, please lower your hand). That got me thinking about my own life and what it would actually look like for me to lose everything good, comfortable, and easy so that I could make that hero trek to greatness (the very small hippie part of me calls it enlightenment). Then I realized, with a rather ironic smile, that I had already done all that; all that was missing was the ‘great’ part.
And maybe that’s what it is we’re all being asked to do; why such evil people force us to be tested in such cruel ways. Maybe we’re all just super heroes and it’s because of our supernatural abilities to put up with bullshit, make excuses for nonsense, commit to fixing unfixable people, and believing, even when given every reason not to, there is good in people. Without us, how else would our species survive? Sociopaths and narcissists would have killed off each other eons ago (I actually think as empaths, we owe it to one another and future generations to let them do this still).
I’m thinking, albeit rather reluctantly, that the great me doesn’t need the distractions of gorgeous men and opulence to be happy, and that being kind to a stranger with character is all I’ll ever need to reach enlightenment.