Inertia - Nº118
Build a life you don't want to escape from
The closer you come to knowing that you alone create the world of your experience, the more vital it becomes for you to discover just who is doing the creating.
— Eric Micha'el Leventhal
How do we know if a dream is helping or hurting us? Letting go is never easy. Separating from the comfort and serenity brought by our deepest fantasies for ourselves and the imagined contours of our lives. In doing so, letting go can feel like failure. We crave things that last. But we need to learn to let go in order to build.
People who have been in this situation—relentlessly pursuing consistency and control—realise one important thing: the box you draw around yourself can be redrawn. You can start over. The trick is that you don’t mind doing so. The perfectionist inside us varies in shape and size, but they are all the same. Haunting with insecurities, whispering doubts and fueling the fear of making mistakes. But our perfectionist is just as afraid. Trying to hold us back from changing ourselves and living happily without perfection.
Starting over is one of the best ways to grow closer to your authentic self. You shake off the weight of each little bolt that holds you back or slows you down. You learn from previous constructs how to think and feel more aligned. How to react and recover from stress or intense situations.
Life is what we create. And the box is ours to draw. We carry a handful of experiences through our lives that leave an imprint on our minds. An imprint that has a stronger significance as we get older because it slowly takes more control over how we lead our lives. How we think, move, react to and grasp information. If you only were allowed to take a few existing qualities through life with you, do you know what you’d keep and what you’d drop?
Some people inadvertently encumber themselves by carrying larger imprints: the weight of other people’s wishes or scars they never healed from. But in figuring out how to build the life you want, you must realise how important it is to let the lightness of what interests or captivates you be your guide. The things you do that bring you clarity, sharpen your mind, have you swaying in the background with an undiluted sense of calm, or give you a sense of awe. Let it be your spirit level.
Build your life around them.
I wasn’t always happy with my experiences growing up. But what helped me understand happiness slightly better was unconsciously separating myself from my environment whenever I needed. It then became easier to look back on my life with more conviction and self-trust in the lessons I learned from the past.
We can all have wonderful friendships and plenty of money and be able to book a taste of any experience with a few clicks. But none of that will make us happy if we try to build our lives entirely around someone else’s instructions.
I’m deeply interested in what wakes me up with motivation each day. The consistencies: past my home, its accessories, the people. What changes, and what doesn’t? I’m a lot different and a little the same. More flexible, more receptive. At times, overly optimistic. I dress unlike before: softer, brighter. I’m attracted to form almost as much as function. I used to not care. I’m attracted by deeper beauty and stories. I prefer motion and stillness but enjoy conquering inertia. I hate overthinking—although I can be guilty of it. I love learning about behavioural and social psychology—without trying to go too deep into people’s psyches and creeping them out. I love analysing the flow of words and conversation and making people laugh from dumb humour.
Much of this came from starting over numerous times at different points in my life. Rebuilding myself. Accepting change. Some are born from failure, while others come from a long time of grinding it out to love myself a little better. But most of all, the blocks I use to build my life are more consistent and more reliable. And that is what helps me to experience happiness.