You know when you wake up on a Sunday morning, play your favorite Chick Corea and feels that everything is going right? Maybe you need to think it’s because you worked very hard for that. But it’s better if you don’t.
There are times when the therapy seems to get stuck. Psychoanalysis. Restlessness is real, it feels eternal in its while. How can you possibly remember that it will go away eventually? However, it will go away. And just then, it goes away.
Nevertheless, sometimes it goes so far away that it misses the mark. And then you’re beside yourself with joy. And you forget that it’s coming back. Restlessness, that’s the one coming back. Fatal oblivion.
Neither a caterpillar, nor a butterfly. Sometimes it is good to just be in the cocoon, metamorphosing.
We know how it feels to be in the bad side of this story: it feels bad. We do all we can to get out of it. We want it to go away! Nevertheless, when it’s euphoria time… We never want to remember that anxiety may come back. That it will come back. How nice it would be if we could marry that ecstasy. However, euphoria is that wonderful person that you meet at the bar, whose smile makes you fell invincible, but then in the next morning you wake up and he is gone. The more beautiful euphoria is, the harder the hangover.
It comes, it goes. We are lucky there is the middle in between. Neither a caterpillar, nor a butterfly. Sometimes it is good to just be in the cocoon, metamorphosing.
To analyze yourself. To let go of the chains. That feeling of freedom grows stronger and stronger, until it stumbles on one of those ideals. Any of those idealizations we collect through life. A project that doesn’t soar, a candlelight dinner darkened by silence, rain at the beach. You trip because there is not yet comfort with this way of being that should be particularly yours. It is still easy to feel like you are way less than what you could be in the ideal version. Contentment is not enough: we want euphoria! And you slip away from the neutral. In those moments, it seems like all the analytical efforts were for nothing. Or it may even feel like they were detrimental. Because during all that time spent trying to figure out who you are, you might have struggled to move towards the ideal. We do know that this yellow brick road leads us nowhere. But we occasionally forget it.
Sometimes I tried to take it easy at my job. I attempted to keep Friday afternoons free for reading stuff not fully related to economics. I would let the mind roam free, to try and clear up the mental skies so that new ideas might show up. I gradually convinced myself that it made sense to just waste time, to be inefficient, for the sake of coming up with something more interesting (or at least something that would make me more interested). But then comes a call from the boss’s boss, with a cumbersome question that I obviously did not have an answer for. Guilt. I should have never lost focus. Corporations feeds on neurosis.
Perhaps the turning point comes when guilt turns into indignation. That question did not have an answer at all. And if it did, it didn’t have to be immediately. But cumbersome questions, or other equivalent oddities of the creative corporate world, will not stop coming simply because we know they are inappropriate. Luckily enough, along with weird questions came also the perception that doing things my way could work as well. All in all, I would uncomfortably notice the discrepancy between the way I would like to work vis-à-vis what I had to do.
It is not from within the hurricane that we know how we are going to feel outside it. We can barely see what lies on the other side.
To work at a structure seems to be less risky (or at least the risks are better known). But that comes at the expense of less flexibility. However, flexibility seems to make things work better. In a first moment, anguish was related to not meeting a certain ideal and to the obsessive attempts to get there. Later on, wider perspective, it became the uneasiness of being distant from what made sense.
However, there was not time to think of what exactly would make sense. We can’t be asked to keep delivering results, to deal with this kind of uneasiness and to find out what makes sense at the same time. It is not from within the hurricane that we know how we are going to feel outside it. We can barely see what lies on the other side.
I could never think of what would come after leaving the financial market when I was still inside. I needed to expand the concept of “Friday reading” to a much larger period, to start with. I chose to just give myself a break, and to trust that sense would eventually come. And it did. It still does.