Posts Tagged With: existential crisis

invincibility and rain boots: an existential conundrum

I’m having a bit of existential conundrum.
You might think it has something to do with not being accepted into the masters program at Mason, but you’d be mistaken.
I am in full on ‘What does anything actually mean?’ mode because of this moment.

On a sunny and warm yet breezy Monday, YBW and I went out for a shoot day.
We shot loads of photos.
We walked for miles.
It’s been raining a great deal over the last two weeks so I wore my monogrammed rain boots because I knew trails would be muddy.
When we came to Young’s Branch, (a small creek that feeds into Bull Run) I made the choice to go through the creek while YBW went across the bridge.

(He later told me that he shot me in sport mode so he could capture everything in case I slipped and fell.)
As you can see, I did not fall.

That said, I did not come out of the creek unscathed.

My right rain boot leaked.
My foot was ankle deep in cold muddy water INSIDE MY BOOT!
I was completely and totally flabbergasted!
In what realm do rain boots fill with water!?

I’m over here like, You had one fucking job!

You see, I am of the mind that I am invincible when wearing my rain boots.
Quite sincerely, I have this theory that my rain boots make me invincible.
Meanwhile the rain boots are all, Haha nope!

This feeling of confusion has been with me since the incident.
This feeling of questioning everything.
Existentialism, you bitch.

I know I’m a fully-functioning adult person. Logically and rationally I understand I am far from invincible. But when I wear my rain boots I feel like a superhero. I feel safe and protected and capable of absolutely anything.
They are amazingly comfy. They have my monogram, therefore specifically mine.
With these boots on my feet, I am a total BAMF ready to tackle any messy or wet thing that comes at me.
I am invincible!
It really is as simple as that.

YBW and I were talking about it yesterday and he reassured me he didn’t think it was as childish as I’m imagining.
He provided the analogy of spending an afternoon washing and waxing your car and feeling like it drives faster or better when you’re finished.
I mean, I’ve never experienced that feeling, but I understand it in concept.

I talked with my precious sister in law, Sally this morning.
She used the word innocence in response to this conversation.
That rang true in me.
She spoke of being jaded. Of losing one’s ability to move about freely.

As we become adults, we are jaded. We do spend a great deal of time looking about for things designed to trip us up, or keep us from growing or doing or becoming. We’re defensive, and somewhat fearful about how we move about in the world. But that’s a terrible way to be! I mean, paying attention to one’s safety is paramount, but functioning from a place of defense and disillusion isn’t a healthy (or enjoyable) way to go through life. But I understood her point.

She used the word freedom.
When she talked of freedom and innocence the word that came to me was autonomy.
I’m sure I took away something from our conversation that she did not intend. Because she used the word freedom as a synonym for autonomy. But that’s not exactly how I meant it.

I looked like this to me.
A child becomes autonomous when they’re ‘big enough’ to do things with more independence.
How is this autonomy applicable to rain boots?
How often does a child pull on rain boots with the express purpose of jumping in puddles?
They are using their independence to make smart choices. Their autonomy provides opportunities for exploration of the world around them. Their innocence encourages their joy and wonder.

I cling to that bit of childlike innocence in my rain boot invincibility theory. However disillusioned I am. However defensive I am. However fearful of my freedom I may be, I will always strive to foster my own sense of joy and wonder at the world. I will use my autonomy to provide myself opportunities to explore and engage the world around me.
I will have moments of disillusion. Of feeling defensive. Of being so jaded I neglect to see the wonder around me.
But I choose to actively seek out the joy and wonder in this world. To hold on to the remains of my childlike innocence. To use my autonomy to the best of my ability.

My rain boots did not make me invincible the other day.
You know what? That’s not entirely true.
My rain boots were not invincible the other day.

I’m solving that problem in two ways.
The first is to seal the seam on the boot I have.
The second is I ordered a new pair while they were 50% off!
Do I need two pairs of monogrammed rain boots?
Um…yeah!
Two different fashion opportunities for invincibility FTW!

I am a woman who’s lived through forty-eight years of life. Some of it good. Some of it bad. Some of it just plain indifferent. I’ve spend enough time feeling defensive and fearful. I’ve spent enough time worrying about my freedom and autonomy. I’ve lived through and come out the other side of every single thing this world has thrown at me.
I have not lost my sense of wonder.
I cling tightly to my joy. To my gratitude. To my childlike innocence.
And dammit! I am invincible when I wear my rain boots!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

do what you love

I’m in existential crisis. It sounds ridiculous to say, but it’s true. I’m struggling with the difference between a job and a calling.
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve always felt I as meant to spend my time with little children. As a mom, as a teacher. But I’m beginning to wonder if that’s my actual calling. I’m experiencing feelings that the time has come to “hang up my spurs”. The part that gives me pause is the fact that I can’t clearly identify from where those feelings come. I keep thinking if I could understand the why I could apply logic to it and be able to make a more informed decision.
I don’t know where these feelings started, it’s not that I’m tired or whatever, it goes beyond that. It’s deep in my gut. And if I’ve learned anything in forty three years of life, it’s that my gut is NEVER wrong. My brain can argue both sides until I’m completely lost. My heart knows what it wants and will stop at nothing to have it’s way. But my gut just ‘knows’. I’ve learned to trust that instinct, because when I haven’t I’ve paid the price.

So I’m hearing the gut feeling, but don’t know what it means exactly, neither do I know how to articulate what I’m feeling. Hence the crisis of existence.
I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m frustrated that I can’t figure it out. (Have I mentioned patience isn’t at the top of my skills list?)
I feel so strongly about early childhood education. About what’s best for children.
I’m not so sure I’m what’s best for children.

I am so sad about this situation. It’s absolutely consuming me.
I was in the car with YBW last night and he said: Are you OK.
I shrugged and said: Yeah.
He asked: Are you sure.
I asked: What do you want me to say?
He said: You just look so sad.
I replied: I am sad.

I’m sad because I don’t know what to do with the feelings I know I have to trust.
What do I want to do?
Ideally I’d like to be able to write or take photos to earn my living.
What inspires me?
Children.
Do what you love.
I love to write.
I love to take photos.
I love children.

YBW expressed his concern about me leaving this job I’m spectacularly good at for some random job. He has a valid point. I oughtn’t “jump out of the frying pan into the fire”.
There really is no solution at the moment. I need to understand the ‘why’ so I can figure out how to proceed.

Le sigh. Le really big sigh.
See how I get nowhere?
I’m walking away from the vehemence of my gut’s opinion. I’m just going to be in the moment.

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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Debs Despatches

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