The prequels to this are ‘The Long Road Down’ (9th April) and ‘Midnight on Dream Street’ (27th June).
Dreams are strange things. I have always regarded them as an adjunct to hope, nebulous things that defy circumstances and pessimism in their persistence.
But recently, I have discovered that there is another form of dream, the one that we ride every day, the one that supports our little lies to ourselves about our motivations. It is a difficult thing to see, but it is there, under your feet, helping you cope while decieving you ever so gently into doing things that really do not help you, no matter what the so very relevant justification is.
Let us call them ‘cushions’ as opposed to the ‘sheets’ of dreams that we generate and carry or accumulate as time goes by.
I caught one today. It was difficult to pin down, and in the end I had to kill the poor thing. While it was concieved with good intentions, it had persisted far beyond the possibility of realisation and become one of things that imprisoned me.
How did I catch it? Simple, really. Last year a very good friend mentioned that I should use one of my main work talents on my situation, that of process and situation analysis. What would I say to me if I were reviewing my life as a set problem for identification of negative factors. I sat quite thunderstruck at the simplicity of this and the necessity of it that had quite evaded me. (For I have used those skills in such a way to help friends.) I did not realise it, but he had helped me kill one of the cushions.
A few months down the line and his sage advice has remained with me. If I were contracted to monitor my life as a continuation of the initial problem analysis, a review between six months and a year would be essential.
Today I did that review and discovered another cushion. Combined with the receipt of various expected but nonetheless unpleasant legal documents, it’s edges became clear and I set about removing it. As mentioned above, I had to kill it. The insidious ways in which it continued to influence my thinking and persevere in backing some very personal reasons for not doing certain things was just incredible. So I let my work side loose on it, cutting it to pieces with blades of reasoned argument.
All this imagery is well and good, but let me be clear. It is never easy or pleasant admitting to yourself that you have been actively lying to yourself. It hurt and it made me angry. (Which actually helped to finish it off.)
Thus I am resolved to work with the long road down. I bemoaned the fact that the various organisations that service and indeed subsist off those caught in the debt trap are only geared to take you down. The cushion fooled me into thinking that I could be the exception. It fooled me into believing that my extended period off work would not adversely affect my chances of returning to a job that gets more specialised every day. It fooled me into thinking I could dodge the accumulated debts of decades.
“Live now, Pay later.”
“Pay later” has finally arrived. No more evasions or justifications. Certain things need to be arranged to ensure that family members dependant on me are not adversely impacted, then I shall take a complete and voluntary bankruptcy.
I said I knew what I wanted to do with my life. A friend said that once you knew that, the rest was just process. I finally understand. The process dictates the ghosts and debts of my affluent lifestyle and loveless marriage must be laid to rest. The process dictates that I must move past my noble but futile intent to pay my obligations off. The honest thing to do is admit that I cannot and likely never will have the werewithal to pay back the tab that I and my ex-wife ran up. Carrying that would be as self-destructive as carrying a grievance against her for my weaknesses.
Falling off the dream hurts but it ensures that the next dream that rises will be closer to your truths. It is an evolutionary process tailored for your own development. No, I don’t like it. But the fact that I am writing of it here tells me more than anything else that some real progress has been made. As to what I am progressing towards, I have no idea, and that is a good thing.
Life should be journey into the unknown. It should never be mundane. It should never be predictable.