We're all afraid of something.
How about bunji jumping? As a person who has skydived before and would do it a second time but will never be caught on a roller coaster ride, I will not judge you over any fears you may suffer from.
It has been said that there really are 5 basic fears from which all other fears stem from. These fears include extinction, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and ego death. I invite you to do further reading on these and get curious about which of these categories, your fears may frequent the most. I shared them because I believe one major fear was missed. That is, wasting time. Or on a grander scale, wasting our one precious life.
If you are reading this and you ever think "This is not the life I signed up for", please keep reading. You may be reading and thinking you are wasting your life raising these kids, saving this marriage, or you may be enjoying something in your life right now like traveling, being online or your creativity but at the same time guilting yourself, 'should'ing' all over yourself into DOING something more 'productive' you too, please keep reading. You may end up finishing this blog and shouting out loud "I am ALIVE, what I am doing is EXACTLY what I signed up for and NONE of it is a waste"
"I've wasted my 20's" I used to say. And I used to mean it. Deeply.
I then got curious as to why I was quick to write a decade and some change off my relatively short life. Many of you understand the segments in our lives when we feel nothing worthy is happening, It all seems a waste. We are either stagnant or even worse, regressing. What happens in such places anyway? Are such times truly deserving of the void, anguish and depression they seem to induce in us?
I started that decade of my life in the middle of the boonies in Botswana. A young new mom who needed so badly to be brought up and nurtured herself but was in a new marriage that was anything but nurturing. That girl strongly felt she should have been working on her degree in something somewhere, instead, she was learning how to sustain a new life she helped create.
"What a waste of life?" She consistently thought about her life, because all she knew was a mother who disliked the two main titles that defined her life "mom and wife"
Her mother had loathed motherhood, the one thing she had mastered in her own way of doing, the one thing that would've made so much sense for her to take pride in, to flourish in. Because she never felt like she truly chose it for herself.
Let's blame society for the example of loathing motherhood my mom set for me, or loathing her choices even. My mother was once a young girl who was never trained to believe in herself, was abused and neglected, abandoned by everyone she loved and trusted, taught to feel incomplete without a man and multiple kids and so she would drop out of school to 'choose' that life instead. There I was, living the same life I swore I would not, a slightly different variation than my mom's by mere generational change and more sacrifices paid for me but I had similar lacks and made parallel choices, and absolutely RESENTED life just like she did.
Talk about inherited wounds.
The rest of my twenties would take me deeper into suffering through the cycle of running away from my shadow and traumas. I slaved for love and approval from all kinds of relationships and friendships.I feared the disappointment of loved ones as the one who had a promising future was 'cut short' as the words would constantly echo in my mind. To the point where the psychological pain would get unbearable, I'd engage in numbing habits and spin in the cycle where the fear of wasting more of my life would paralyze me even more. I could not risk living, trying, experiencing because the thought of 'not getting it right by any means necessary', whatever that meant, would keep me in the cage I was chained in. It may have looked like a wild ride to those who witnessed it in disbelief but in reality it was painful suffering.
To me, it felt like home. It was home. A home I loathed but a home that later made me powerful. A home from living in which I gained so so much!
But isn't that the thing about homes? they're not meant to always be exquisite. Unless they are the staged kinds, the model kinds, the lifeless kinds. If a house is worth the HOME title, if it has life and movement, it will get icky, stinky, messy at times. Sometimes longer, others not. Do you ever hate your home though? You know It's potential to get tidy again, it's going through this thing all homes that are homely are meant to go through, this is it exercising its homeness.
"Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering"
Said Dietrich Bonhoeffer , a German theologian before he was hanged for trying to stop Hitler by playing a part in an assassination attempt. If anyone should have been entitled to complaining of a wasted life, it was him, having suffered loss of freedom and great indignities in prison after the Christian Church in Germany supported the Nazis. He had volunteered to return home from USA to do his part as a theologian to bring an end to the suffering. He knew his time in prison wasn't wasted. It was the expression of the life he signed up for. No loss in that but gain.
Let's come back to you, to the life you think is -a-wasting. Life isn't trying to be a model home. Life wants to experience itself through you. Unlike societal conditioning, life isn't salivating over 7.5 billion of us graduating college, earning titles and a shit load of money so we can pollute the planet further. How limited must we think life is? Life wants to cry through us, suffer and heal, jump and break through us , love, lose and love again, break and bond, fall and rise, pause and forge forward, laugh franticly and sob incessantly through us. You have signed up for life. The only time you waste is the time you resist it's fullest expression.