First, you jump headlessly on the moving train, and the next moment – fast forward a few years later – you have arrived at the destination that is definitely not where you expected it to be. Sounds familiar? Well, the story of my life. What is missing in all of this? What is this space and time in between, that traveling vacuum that sucks us in and stops us from seeing woods from the trees? What is missing is the path, the journey, the conscious and informed stations on that train ride where you can jump off or just explore, look and savor the scenic landscape that is displaying before your eyes.
»The jump« is perhaps the job you took but never really liked or the marriage you thought would complete your life but in reality leaves you empty. Maybe you took the jump and shattered your beliefs out of fear of not being able to provide for your family, out of the existential fear of having to pay your mortgages, monthly bills and so you made decisions that just went against yourself. Or maybe it is a fear of never being good or smart enough, of neglecting your inner self and the little intuitive voices that ring true to you but are constantly shut down by reason. I should know, I have been there. And it hurts, especially when you hit mid-life. I have jumped unconsciously like that from one job to another for my whole adult life not ever stopping at any of those train stations and asking myself: »What the hell are you doing or where the hell are you going?« Where will you jump next, you jumping Jack Flash? You’ve been to all these »jumping junk instant pleasure places« and what they offer is this meaningless life passing you by like the latest fastest Japanese train.
And so at a certain point in my life, I found yourself listening to the Talking Heads song on the radio and singing loudly:
»You may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
“My God! What have I done?”
Isn’t it finally time to pause and embark on a truly important journey, the only one we owe yourselves before it’s too late? Because I truly believe it is important to consciously identify our life meaning and craft our own life stories.
And the arrival, the final destination? I don’t think we should think too much about safe landing when if you really think about it, the ultimate final destination is death. So let’s just keep moving and smelling, feeling, capturing the path as it unfolds before us with all its curved and twisted turns so that we are able to change it, move faster or slow down.
Bot how to really feel the path, to acknowledge and enjoy the journey? Well, try for authenticity. I learned that I am only able to stop time from meaninglessly passing by when I pause to collect my thoughts and write them down. These are the precious moments during the day (or night) when this crazy world stops and I can hear my own voice. And when I am able to reach for that kind of authenticity, everything falls into a place and the world appears in colors again. Then I can go back to the »Boogie Street« as Leonard Cohen used to sing and face the everyday again.