2.2 Learning To Live And Not Look After Myself

I had no sense of identity, either in relation to who I was, or who I wanted to be. I was out in the world with no idea of who I was beyond how I related to my family, especially […]

I had no sense of identity, either in relation to who I was, or who I wanted to be. I was out in the world with no idea of who I was beyond how I related to my family, especially my parents, but I was out there, away from home.

The question of who we are is one that is often set aside and not dealt with. Of course we know who we are. We can see and feel our bodies and we can follow the thoughts that go through our heads. What else do we need to know? What else is there to know? Beyond this, there follows the question of how to live. How to live, that is, beyond the simple day to day of doing a job, going to sleep, and eating. The question becomes about what life is and why we are here living it.

A Big Blank

I did not know the answers to any of these questions at the time, indeed I did not even think these questions existed. Last week I looked at my involvement in the theatre and how I sank into my creativity. But why did I do this? What was going on inside me? I talked about how I did not want to do what others told me to, that was clearly a reaction to my years at home and my desire to get out from under the domination of my father. But this makes this desire for creativity a reaction, a way of moving on and establishing myself. But who was I to establish?

Looking back at this period I can see nothing but a big blank. I hid away in my work and avoided people, avoided connecting with people. As I sit at my computer writing this, I only feel emptiness and pain. The pain I feel in my gut touches in to the large black void that was there. I threw myself from a secure environment I hated into a dangerous environment I loved. I loved it because it allowed me to forge my own way. I loved it because it put me on the edge.

I realised recently that there is an idea that I have always loved living on the edge. It is not physical danger that I seek but living where I do not know what is going or who I am meant to be. This is how I was back then.

This is becoming confused in my mind and I need to step back and unpick what I am talking about. I need to find some clarity around this situation, otherwise I will remain lost and never clear up what is deep down at the heart of my life.

At the beginning of the book I said,

His soul is hidden inside his body. His body grows at a steady rate while seeming to run and crawl at the same time. Wrapped around the soul is a mind that wanders around trying to find the route to his soul, without realising it is tucked inside. Whenever his mind sees glimpses of this it rushes off to new places. The whole is buffeted by the storms of emotions that blow up out of nowhere like whirlwinds in the desert.

During my childhood, youth and early years at work I had no concept of this, I had no real idea of my soul. I was searching but in vacuum. I knew I needed to find something but I did not know what it was.