“If you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength. The spiritual truth is dramatically opposed to the values of our contemporary culture and the way it conditions people to behave.” – Echart Tolle
My husband is totally content with video games and Netflix. Sure, he will let me drag him on every adventure I come up with, but truly he is just fine with his Skyrim or latest episode of American Horror story. This used to drive me nuts about him. In fact, on one of the most recent adventures I planned we even had a slightly heated debate about it in the airport pub. I had just finished reading yet another “inspirational” self-help book, The Desire Map by Danille LaPorte, and I was all fired up about my purpose in life. I stirred my coffee round and round and sighed heavily until he finally said “Ok, what’s wrong we just got back from Ireland, you should be happy”. I rolled my eyes up from my mud-like cup of an imposter liquid posing as Seattle’s best and whined “What does it all mean? Every time I think I’ve found my calling, it’s wrong, it’s just all wrong. What or who am I meant to be? What is my purpose? Why can’t I have it all?” My very patient husband gave me his “here we go again with your crazy thoughts” look and scoffed “no one has it all honey, but we are close!” I knew this was going to be followed by a lecture on how great our life is and our jobs and how we travel often and want for nothing and truly are quite lucky and I knew this. I knew this was true. I knew that everything I ever thought I wanted had come true, but…but…here I was. I sighed heavily again and returned to stirring my coffee. You see, my wondering what it’s all about never ends, it’s a constant journey of searching and questioning and searching and questioning. All the while my husband is happy as a clam playing his silly games. Uhg. He drives me nuts. How can the simplicity of life make him so damn annoyingly happy? How? Well, because my husband is insanely insightful and has not even had to work at it. My husband is not concerned with the nag of his ego pushing him along. So, there is no need in his mind to change the status quo, he’s totally content with being nobody in particular. At least nobody beyond my amazingly content husband.
So, I’m torn with this question, why is it that I possess this drive, no need, to do something spectacular? I do sometimes think it goes back to some deep rooted childhood issue pertaining to my very conception. Picture this, I’m eight years old and like so many times before and for some morbid reason I think looking back now, I ask my mother to tell me about when she became pregnant. My mother didn’t hold any punches, she just wasn’t like that, she told it like it was. Not in the way you would imagine, not like a hard or lacking emotion person, she just told the truth. My mother would go back into the gas station to pay them the 2 cents she went over back in the day when they didn’t stop the pump for you. I’m not kidding, she did that all the time and the cashiers would laugh at her. So, when her eight year old looks up and asks her to tell her about when she’d become pregnant, well, she told the truth. She painted the grim picture of two teenagers who had just turned 20 having found out shortly after they were expecting their third child. They were broke. They were scared. They were young and in love and had no idea what they were doing. My mother nervously told my father she was expecting and they decided it was too much to take on another child. They decided they couldn’t keep me. So, my mother made an appointment and they head into the doctor. My eyes were always as wide as cookies during this portion of the story because for some reason it always put me on pins and needles as if I had no idea what the outcome would be. My mother undressed, she put her gown on, she laid on the cold bed staring at the white walls as my father waited impatiently in the waiting room. My mother became inconsolable, put her clothes back on ran out to the waiting room and into the arms of my father who had also decided not to go through with it. It was all very romantic, the opportunity to live, at least in my mind. So, as you can imagine, the pressure to do something great with my stolen romantic life was high.
Since then, I packed up my bags with the bible in hand my grandmother gave my mother during her “dark thoughts” of aborting me and I’ve dabbled in music, writing, acting and even modeling. I’ve dabbled in just about everything society tells us are successful and great endeavors. Meanwhile, each time was a spectacular failure, depending on how to define success, but if we are talking superstardom it was a spectacular failure, clearly I mean, you have no idea who the hell I am. So, here I am, nobody in particular, just some crazy girl doing crazy things to feel alive. Meanwhile, my husband sits quietly from the side lines cheering on whichever latest hair brained scheme I am undergoing, all the while the one that has it all figured out. Finally, at the ripe old age of 30, I’m feeling like I am starting to figure it out too. I have accomplished great things in my life, I have learned to appreciate the “small” things, that are in fact truly the most important things. I’ve learned to love my art and expression, even if it doesn’t make me a dime and even if I die knowing I never did anything “great” by society standards. My romantic stolen life, was a gift, it was an opportunity to be great and I am. I’m at my greatest when I am nobody in particular, when I just am.