Many have called asking me why the sudden switch from a visibly ‘successful’ assignment.Here is a blog post dated June 4th 2011 that can probably throw some light on the question. It was called ‘Can Identity come at the cost of Individuality’? Here goes –
“We are forever in the midst of beginnings and arrivals: the child’s tiny crumpled face, looking out from its white, linened nest; the bowed heads of green buds beneath the Hawthorn, just about to open into colour. We are just as compelled and caught by endings and departures: the deathbed hand held in ours, its parchment transience grazing in ours, just as it seems to be closing into something definitive and sure. Out of birth comes anticipation and imagination; out of death and leaving we are given lit memories and stark sorrow, haloed by significance. The three-year-old becomes the thirty-year-old becomes the three-times-thirty-year-old becomes an ancestor to our own years, their work strangely forgotten while their face is clear in our memory. We work in the midst of all these beginnings and endings. We coast past the silent blue ambulance lights on the freeway and complete our commute in the midst of dying and loss. Through the seasons we cut sandwiches, chop celery, wipe two-year-old noses, put together formidable business plans and hold important meetings. All the while, life arrives and departs as we labor.
Most of our days we do not perceive beginnings and endings; births and deaths feel blessedly far away, and we find ourselves almost always in the middle of things. Sometimes for years we seem to be nothing but middle. Middle and muddle. Real beginnings and real departures seem a distant memory, and after a long time without the rawness of firsthand experiences, they become something we are not sure we want anymore, something we want to hold at bay.”
David makes we wonder – am I living someone else’s life and doing someone else’s work? It will be 3 decades of work that I will complete next year and when I look back, I remember many gratifying and fulfilling seasons. Seasons that have tested and helped me to grow into who I am today.
But, there’s a strange emptiness within. I find I’m searching for the real me very often. I find that I have become a stranger to myself. I find me constantly yearning to be somewhere else. Where? I don’t know but not here!
There’s a strange emptiness within. An emptiness that refuses to go away. An emptiness that seems like an invitation to step into the unknown sea and explore and create something that is consistent with my values and dreams. An emptiness that is begging to be filled with the small precious moments that are increasingly being usurped by the ‘middleness’ of work. Work is important and will continue to be a definitive path in establishing ones identity. But, can this identity come at the cost of one’s individuality?
Suggestions? Thoughts? Would be interesting to hear your perspective