Updated: Jan 1, 2020
Fellow geeks will recognize “Redo from Start” as the error message which a BASIC program would throw at a user if they did something really naughty. Something irrecoverable. So the program, in its machine brevity, was asking the user to go back to the beginning and start all over again.
That's what I am doing in some ways. Starting all over again.
That’s not new. I’ve done this before in other ways. But this time it's different.
Most people, when they look at a change, break it down into a beginning, a middle and the ending. One way in which it's different for me this time is that there is no well-defined middle. (There is also the other small matter of what is the ending but I’ll save that for later). It's like showing up at the start line of the race, hearing the gun go off, and then realizing that there is no course laid out for you, no mile markers or maps, heck not even any other runner you can follow.
But there are some folks at the sidelines. I can see your faces clearly. Family, friends, even recent acquaintances. I have a few coaches shouting at me to mind my form. And everyone is cheering and waving and leaning across the fences and yelling “run Forrest run”.
Ok maybe not that last bit. But the rest is true.
The feeling is equal parts exhilarating and scary. I have spent the last few months at the peak of happiness whenever I was not wallowing in despair. I have done things I didn’t believe I could. I have failed miserably at doing things I thought would be easy. I have shut down completely at times and been a complete asshole. I have been searching for that elusive spark and inspiration in the darkest places of my mind.
It's as if someone told the runner in me “Go find your own course”. Sounds good… sounds great, in fact! I can set my own pace. I can decide what’s the right distance. I can define when the race ends. So I ran around freely for a while. I sprinted up hills and, winded, caught my breath at the top. And after a while, not knowing where to go next, I stopped. I hit the wall.
Just when I thought I could say and do anything freely, I choked.
That's when I had to do what I was not doing too well: listening to my coaches. I am blessed with many. One who has the job but goes beyond it. A long-time friend who understands the spirit. Another who taught me how to run. One whom I promised to spend the rest of my life with and understands everything. And I am adding more to the roster as I go along.
I realized I am addicted to the job I had for all of my life. It doesn’t mean the job was bad. Like coffee isn’t bad but caffeine addiction is. My job defined the way I lived in ways I am only now beginning to appreciate. And that way of living is leading down a path I don’t want to go. So I need rehabilitation.
And just as a runner who hits the wall, I need to go back to the basics; I need to learn to breathe again.
So here I am - Redoing from Start.