Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T’ang dynasty, said: To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.
So have I seen:
Everything is trash: used, ragged, second-hand, devoid of meaning or value. My relationships are worthless trouble. My work doesn’t matter. My accomplishments are meaningless, and what have I really accomplished, anyway? I don’t care what comes next. It’s my whole life, sure, but let’s get specific. This Temple is garbage. Being a Jedi is ridiculous, mostly because Jedi are ridiculous. The forum is mile after mile of idle speculation on things no one is actually going to change. The lessons are a waste, with no bearing on my real life. In the end, this place is just a sad little clubhouse for crybabies to either puff themselves up with how serene and humble they are or to rub their insecurities together to see if it makes a spark. And I’ve been right in there, doing it too. And it’s nonsense and I hate it and I wish I’d never heard of any of this. My stupid life is hard enough. I’m lost and I hate it and none of this is helping.
Alright. Enough. There it is. I said it all. Enough suffering. Breathe. Open up.
I have been lost before. The meanings of things come unmoored sometimes. It passes and I find myself again. I always forget that. Today, I want to quit. Today, I want to give up on whatever smacks of effort. A few weeks ago, all of this made sense, meant something. I can’t remember what any of it meant, or why it meant anything, but I know it did.
I have to trust myself. I took this up for a reason. I have to trust that I knew what I was doing when things seemed clearer. I don’t get to quit on myself. I don’t get to flake on my efforts. That’s just slow-motion quitting. I committed. For the life of me, I can’t remember why, but I did and I need to hold on.
What I really want to do it run back to all the familiar comforts. For me, that generally means sex with attractive strangers, eating twice my weight in nearly raw meat, and picking a fight that I may or may not win. Feeling adrift hurts and bad habits beckon. But, I moved away from living that way. I did it for a reason. I can’t remember why that was today, but I know it wasn’t an accident. Perhaps it wasn’t actually satisfying, but today it feels as automatic as slapping a mosquito on my skin. But, again, I stopped living that way. I need to trust myself.
I need to cleave to those reasons, even if they are a mystery today. I gave meaning to my life, even if I can’t see it now, even if despair gets in the way.
I cleave to that meaning because I am a Jedi. I am a Jedi. I am a Jedi.
That means something, even if I can’t see it now. Ah! It means I am on a journey.
Being lost is part of my Path, part of the training. I set out into unfamiliar territory. My path has brought me to this disorientation. I didn’t come to my Path just to retrace old steps. Getting lost was always going to be part of it.
I chose this. I forgot that. I forgot that I wanted to change, to grow and refine.
I said that I wanted to feel different, to see the world anew. I cannot accept a knighthood until I feel I have become something new. I asked for a change in perspective, a change in meaning. It was never going to be painless. There was going to be some kind of struggle.
But I’m not going back.
This doesn’t have to make me quit. I have a choice. I knew there would be a descent, that the belly of a whale was waiting for me. But I can sit with it, bear it. Patience. Fortitude.
There will be an end to this lostness. And there very well may be another down the line. Life is not so tidy as our stories, but I refuse to fear that. There is no need to fear it. When I am ready, I will emerge. Today, I am in the whale’s belly, but it doesn’t matter. At least one truth has not budged:
There remains the Path to carve and much to learn.
The Force is with us.