The Next Logical Step

Recently, it’s become apparent to me how much alike we all are. The fragility of man. Sometimes, despite having a good life, a good career, and a decent-enough income, a have a day where it all seems too much. A thought enters my mind that says “Really, what’s the point?”

It’s not abnormal to have these thoughts. In fact, it’s completely ordinary.

You’d be surprised. I’ve heard the same story from people who appear to have to all: 6 figure incomes, doting husbands/wives, and gorgeous kids who’ve achieved great heights. They feel exactly the same way, from time to time, with whole backstories going on in their lives that could be straight out of an episode of Days of Our Lives. Or worse, Jersey Shore.

You get the idea.

The problem is, despite the occasional crappy day being completely normal, it’s equally normal for people to pretend everything is always fantastic. I wonder who started this? Who was the first person was to think “oh look, everyone else is having a wow of a time. I must appear to be doing the same”? This behaviour feeds on itself, leading others to subconsciously “up the ante”.

In other words; false pretence breeds false pretence.

Today, I can’t be bothered with false pretence (heck, I can’t be bothered with it any day, really. But today especially so). I don’t feel like I want to talk to other humans, or be in the vicinity of other humans. And as a side note, I’m not depressed – a term, in my view, thrown around far too easily. It’s just the light and shade of life. Without the shade, how would we ever know the light?

I know, that sounds so terribly cliché… but really, think about it. We wouldn’t! On these sorts of days I still try to focus on the many things I appreciate, while allowing myself to step back from the world a little.

I am reminded of another time I felt like this. I was in the middle of the outback for a writing job, and needed to come up with 10 travel stories. Feeling overwhelmed, I did not know where to start. My friend gave me this simple advice: “Just write a paragraph, Denise”. And so I did. And another, and another. I ended up with a stack of articles that all received positive feedback.

I think back to that story sometimes, because it’s a good aphorism for life. “Just write a paragraph”. It can be said in other ways, like “just take the next logical step”. Or, in the words of the great poet Rumi (my favourite), “as you start to walk out on the way, the way appears”.

That’s all we need ever do. We can still hold onto our big dreams, and be “shooting for the stars”, without trying to get there all at once. And sometimes, our goal is to just make it through the day. Just take the next logical step…or write a paragraph…or start to walk out on the way.

Today I shared these thoughts with a good friend who replied:

“I once told my ‘young soul’ and job searching brother to ‘just do SOMETHING – from there your path will reveal itself’. He, as other youngsters do, got tied up in the idea of self-worth through employment. He was only fucking 17 or 18 at the time…Just do something, I told him, stop worrying about THE thing and do SOMEthing. Life will sort its shit out from there… He did and it did. Sagely shit huh? If only those that look up to me knew that I simply wing it every day!”

And today, a rather crappy day, I won’t offer you any false pretence. Now that the day is almost over (and all humans successfully avoided), all I want to do is have a nice, warm bath and read an embarrassingly wanky book to lift my spirits.

For me, that’s the next logical step.

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