The first part of this blog is here: Swimming in the Uncertain Ocean (Part 1)
He enjoyed his solitude. An existence of peace that he had only experienced as fleeting moments while driving in his car.
Or in the occasional evenings when he pretended to be working on a late-night project. A fiction he’d told his wife so that he could take advantage of an angst-free and clean hotel room. An oasis of sanity in a desert of whirling incessant drama.
His journey to self-awareness was a gradual thing. It began with the helpful doctor-therapist he had been seeing, as she merely reflected his journey back at him.
His life took on a patina of gratefulness, as his mental chaos slowly subsided.
He grew to appreciate his now mostly-permanent peaceful home. It began to be a place of joy, where he could still his racing heart.
For many years, he grew to enjoy his bachelor existence. To be sure, he liked being with people too. But the prospect of that solitary nest always beckoned him at the end of the day, as a target – one that promised a whisper of studied silence, settledness wrapped in a certainty of cushioned peace.
He still experienced moments of panic. Often, when he stayed out late he became aware of an unreasoning anxiety. He hadn’t called anyone to let them know he would be late.
Then he realized: there was no one to call; no one to whom he need be accountable. He was on his own. His time was his own. He found himself laughing out loud at the absurdity of his thoughts.
It would be a number of years before he truly grokked what his freedom entailed.
His life took on an examination of the variables that had put him in a position where he had almost committed suicide.
Religion played one of the largest factors. Rules and dogmas to which he’d adhered; demands which had enslaved him to a life of torturous upset. He couldn’t blame the preachers or his friends and companions of the religious fog. He had walked into the scene, willingly, with his eyes wide open, as he knew many people do.
His ultimate rejection of religion was therefore singular. He decided that he didn’t want to make it a grand thing. He wasn’t interested in loud proclamations of the futility of following man-made religious laws. He only knew that he had to make peace with the fact he was walking away from it.
Though not from God. His belief in the divine was too real. But it was also much less defined than he had at first thought.
His solitude became routine. Routine became boredom. Boredom provoked dissatisfaction.
Dissatisfaction provoked realization.
Having divested himself of the limits of marriage, and of the laws of religion, he realized that he was bereft of a ton of limits.
Were there any, beyond the limits of the laws?
Not much, he found.
There were the limits of his character, and of his morals, of course. Those he held as precious necessities.
Beyond those though, there wasn’t much in the way of limits.
He was subject to the whims of others. His job was his, only as long as his employer required him.
His house and home was subject to the limits of his employment.
His health was subject to his behaviours (which he could change), to his genes as exhibited by his parents and ancestors (over which he had no control), and to the vagaries of fate (he could be hit by a bus at any time).
Ultimately, he realized, there were no guarantees and for all practical purposes, no limits on him.
This understanding was both negative, and positive. The negative was obvious.
The positive, though. That was new.
Put simply, there was nothing he could not do. If he had a mind to do something, and the determination to do so, there really was nothing to stop him.
One day, not so long ago, he realized this. Not just understood it conceptually. He knew this.
He could do anything.
The only thing stopping him was…..himself.
He knew what that meant.
Routine, boredom and habits were no longer his friends, crutches on which he could depend.
That enlightenment blew him away.
Suddenly, he could see the changing horizon, a distant place of shifting colours, full of the promise of possibility, absent of definition and finality.
He was undone.