Responsibility

One of the most intriguing things about life is that the lessons and discoveries you actually learn are not the ones you expected. (or often planned for). Continual sequence of small surprises keeps me on my toes. 🙂

I think (hope) I will look back on this year (stretching back to last July) as when I learned some self-responsibility.


A growing awareness of the complexity and predictability and changeability of my self. The voice-of-calm has been getting louder (conscience?) and I can’t really pretend I can’t hear anymore.

IF there is any kind of ‘path’ to life, it’s not all direct motorway. I’ve spent a fair bit of time muddling about country lanes and polluted city streets. There are also always junctions and off-road options, MacDonalds Drive-thru service stations, pay-per-hour love motels. (ok this is a werid analogy even for me). Some of these places just distract or refresh you momentarily before you carry on with where you’re going, others can seriously divert the whole journey into a new one with a different destination. Sometimes I feel on a huge roundabout with many different options, including heading back where I came from or going around forever indecisively.

Destination: Purpose for which anything is destined; predetermined end, object, or use; ultimate design.
At the moment, I believe “destiny” is something that we make for ourselves, with help. Though maybe – it’s more a case of – chose from a whole series of destinies/lives handed to you by others, often unconsciously, or craft your own. A key point with the second one seems to be – *taking responsibility* for your actions and decisions and reactions.

Coupled with the responsibility *has* to be a kind of self-compassion, because otherwise it’s too easy to cut yourself up over failures and mistakes. “Become your own best friend not your worst enemy”.

The scariest thing to me is, that this is not just about -where- you ‘end up’ or -what- you doing, but actually the amount of control and affect we have on -who- we are. Accepting that the decisions I make and the things I open myself to seeing *will* change who I am. Personality is a lot more organic than I realised – but I kind of like that. 🙂

In this sense, every day offers a creative oppurtunity; not just about drawing or writing or building, but your whole life, and actions, and words, and interactions with others. It’s annoying when I miss the chance to do anything because I’m too fixated on bringing yesterday into today or worrying about tomorrow.

At some point you’ve *I’ve* got to get out of being a victim. The oppurtunity to do this is all around me at the moment, as are many oppurtunities to become someone else, better or worse, or to simply stay on the roundabout.

life.

3 thoughts on “Responsibility”

  1. Your thoughts on destinations and paths are interesting: I feel that there are two functional flaws in this reasoning though –

    Firstly: How will we know – at an individual level – when we have arrived at our personal destination?. Following-our-own-paths [or blundering around in the dark] is generally an iterative process – but all closed iterative processes require some sort of termination clause unless, Ancient Mariner-like, they loop indefinitely with no way to determine an end-condition.

    Secondly: What happens when we reach our destination? To my perspective far too many people predefine their own end-condition [be it marriage/2.4 children, getting a career/house, retirement or whatever] at a relatively early age and then when they achieve it they essentially ‘die’ at an intellectual level and instead of continuing to search for anything they become mentally-sessile like some sort of barnacle stuck to his/her own little rock and unable to move on.

    My sort-of answer to both these questions is that – for me at least – there is no real destination in my life and so also no sense of “switching-off” once it’s been attained! I’m not someone who ever really wants to ‘retire’ in the conventional sense of stopping work and signing-up for the local bowling club on my 60th birthday. That would be a form of living-death to me: without intellectual challenge my mind would go to pieces very quickly.

    “Responsibility” also interests me: your comment “Become your own best friend not your worst enemy”. is certainly resonant! He/she who never made any mistakes never discovered anything – either about the wider world or about the inner nature of themselves. Too many people are growing up seriously risk-averse both in the physical and emotional sense – they’re afraid of being injured by the Big Bad World of fast cars, terrorists, flesh-eating superbugs, perverts, fraudsters etc. which the media tells them they inhabit. An inevitable part of growing-up is to throw away the innocence and cotton-wool your parents wrapped you in, and develop your own mechanisms to deal with reality.

    Sometimes it hurts.

    That’s life.

    Sometimes our own ineptitude or overly-aggressive coping-mechanisms may hurt others. This can in turn hurt us [I often worry that I’ve said/done things which have hurt those I care about – this can easily become a self-destructive spiral of doubt and depression]

    Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. But thats not a reason to give up. If you’re walking on thin ice, you might as well dance!

    1. I don’t want to be a barnacle!

      re: the destination idea – yes, I didn’t describe it very well. Like you, I don’t really think there -is- a specific destination (other than eventually being dead, sooner or later). I suppose at the moment I see ‘destination’ as more of an approximate way and style of living, including someway of earning money and so on. Though even then I don’t really want somewhere I can STOP.

      I think we know we’re somewhere good, at an individual level, when things feel like they are flowing cleanly, rather than stagnant or muddy (which is how life feels at the moment).

      maybe what I’m trying to do is not find a good destination but put together a better, hardier, more comfortable car so I can appreciate the journey??

      That would be a form of living-death to me: without intellectual challenge my mind would go to pieces very quickly.

      I feel very much the same way. If that’s not happened already (going to pieces from lack of mental stimulation); maybe it did a bit and now I’m trying to sellotape it back together and get a move on.

      I’m also very much in a ‘trying to remove the cotton wool’ stage. 🙂

      It’s quite key for me at least to get somewhere (job wise in particular) that there is potential for -continous- learning, in fact that is an integral part of it.

  2. IF there is any kind of ‘path’ to life, it’s not all direct motorway.

    awesome. love this whole analogy paragraph! “roundabouts” – yes!

    i’m still amazed at how young you’ve come to this awareness. took me 10 years longer, and i get people in their 40’s amazed at *my* “speed”! guess the world really is at accelerated evolution 🙂 how interesting

    yea that victim thing is hard, i’m still struggling w/it…

    sounds to me like you’re doing great 🙂

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