This week, I made a valiant and liberating decision: A decision to “unsubscribe” – both literally and figuratively – from various mediums of un-satisfaction.
Mediums included news organizations, uncomfortable acquaintances, and faux friendships – those people who we’re all still “friends” with online, but we don’t actually follow-up with in reality.
Well, this weekend I cut the cord.
Over the past 3 weeks in sunny San Francisco, my heart has been made full and happy, my life richer and more vibrant than it has ever been in my young adult life. I have found another home away from my home in Athens, my home with my family. This jubilation has called for myriad forms of celebration – laughter and jokes namely – but it has also given me pause.
Contentment, I have found, is not settling for complacency. Contentment is living every day with good intentions and being at peace with one’s place in life.
I spent the last four years seeking in earnest, battling and thwarting with all of the struggles available in this life, but I realize now there really is no need. The energy I so often expended, flailing and struggling to make sense of the waves around me, would have been more satisfying, much more gratifying, if I would have just learned to breathe easy a little sooner.
Martyrdom used to flash a shiny promise – “I will be the best at this, and I will commit myself to this impossible end or die ambitiously attempting to achieve it.” Fear of the unknown, seemingly empty world, also drove a hard bargain, as I grasp for what comes next (even though we know we’ll never know).
But San Francisco has helped me escape this vortex of anxiety and ambition I somehow decided to strap upon myself. To deny myself of this life, for the sake of others, is not noble. It’s just unhealthy and pitiful.
And so, I have decided to honor a promise to my newfound happy self: To keep only the people, the relationships, and the news media that is both positive and relevant to my life goals (at the moment). Because to wade through all of the negative energy zapping the Earth at every second, for the sake of “the cause” or “knowing it all”, is damaging to our souls. No one person should bear the cost of the lives of others. And I shouldn’t be responsible for keeping up with the lives of everyone I’ve ever known.
This clarity I feel – of identifying who or what I need in this life, and who or what I don’t need – will have an everlasting effect on me, I know.
I would encourage those struggling with a sense of identity to critically (yet truthfully) examine the information and people that you surround yourself with. You may be surprised to find the energy you receive, in a constant feedback loop, doesn’t define you or doesn’t serve you.
So just drop it. Own who you are and do not be ashamed for filling your life to the brim with the definition of your own happiness.
This post also appears on labellamemoir.tumblr.com