progressing from one stage to another in a single series of steps; sequential.
Envisaging my adult life as a young dreamer, I could only foresee linear movements from one experience to the next. I expected that even on the crossroads of big decisions, forward motion would always be both clear and accessible.
Was it naivety or ego that rendered me incapable of imagining the inevitable detours of disappointment? Despite good intentions, the ace in my hand has often been nothing more than a joker whose face I’d written the letter ‘A’ across.
I bought a house, and within six months, it needed a new roof. Within two days of completion, rising damp turned up like a goblin on a catwalk. Within a month of damp-proofing, and during the York floods, the flat roof above the old bathroom started to leak in various places, and needed replacing in its entirety. Within five months of this, the house was burgled and a laptop with non-backed up short stories dating back to when I was 18, was stolen. Within 18 months, the boiler packed up and needed replacing.
Today, a new boiler has been installed (I’m hoping for some book sales to help budget for this).
The language of our daydreams is linear. But I am increasingly seeing life as a series of moments that demand we find a path around obstacles that cannot be contained. Life does not have hurdles, it is in itself a hurdle. Our existence is, in every form; a tension between the self and the awareness of self. It is a series of wars fought across different realms – physical, metaphysical and egotistical.
My daydreams did not come to pass, but I have learned and continue to master the art of finding chasms on the unlit track ahead, where I hope that progress lives. I am learning how to move forward when the winds are loud and unrelenting. I have learned how to stay silent in a cacophony of babble and bull shit.
I no longer dream of becoming a better version of myself in the days to come, nor indeed of those days at all. Any omnipotent creative force, in all its glory, has chosen to remain invisible in these times. It is important then, that we surrender ourselves to uncertainty, to the unseen. It is not an accident that we are not Gods. That we, like flowers, perish with only ever seeing a glimpse of the garden. Let us not waste our time romanticising a linear life, it does not exist in the human experience.