Dead end

Truth seems to get flimsier the messier a situation gets. How I even view the idea of truth depends on who I listen to, what I manage to remember, who I seek out to cross check me, what mood I’m in, how recent an event was, whether there’s documentation, what my value system is, what I tolerate in my life, and more. Today, I found myself desperate to call an old therapist who has since retired grasping at the chance that she might be able to help me figure out which way is up. I hovered over her name but didn’t call convinced I needed to figure it out for myself while simultaneously reminding myself that life is not meant to be done alone.

As I shovel more nuance into my life, I find myself understanding to a greater degree the decision paralysis so many feel. I usually have great capacity to be decisive, to take action, to find a way forward. Right now, I can’t see one for some situations in my life. I find myself circling a dead end convinced this time I’ll see a little side path guiding me forward. I shrug off the signs clearly stating it’s a dead end. I even ignore the neighbor standing in their lawn telling me it’s a dead end. For some reason, I imagine myself on a bike in this scenario slowly looping back around over and over. You can’t will a way forward. You can’t always bring others with you. Sometimes, it’s just a dead end and, the sooner I can acknowledge that, the sooner I can spend energy finding a new way forward.

I often think about how nothing will be perfect (job, relationships, friendships, hometowns, etc) and you must instead think about, “is this the problem I want to have?”. I find myself returning to that thought. Is this the problem I want to have? Do I want to spend my energy on the people I have this problem with? Essentially, is it a dead end I can recognize and move on from or is it one I want to take the time to transform into something else (or some other option — is this a dead end I want to visit from time to time but not loop through as much)? The options feel endless and my energy feels limited. All I know is that this is not the problem I want to have and spend energy, time, emotions, money, etc on. I have for far too long and there’s a growing inkling of curiosity at what that same exact effort could be spent on instead.

The only truths I hold onto as I try to discover more truths is that I don’t need to figure this out today and the truth can always evolve.

One Comment

  1. Bryan Wagner

    I identify heavily with the feeling. I do rely on my extensive history of dead ends though to remind me that my feelings are temporary. It seems that all past dead ends were only feelings about not having a resolution I wanted. Every single one of them resolved themselves. I love this post because it awakened that perspective.
    My favorite quote from Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, “Fulfillingness is in waiting.”
    Thank you so much for this post.

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