It’s an old friend, this sense of discontentment, this sense of being lost, not knowing where I want to go, much less how to get there. But, like all humans, I want. I suppose in Buddhist-speak, we’d call that craving. Some cravings are pretty concrete and attainable – I want chocolate, I seek chocolate, I eat chocolate. Craving satisfied. For now. Others are more amorphous, like I want something different, something new, something to distract me from how mundane my life feels.
For a while I thought it was recognition I wanted. I mean, who doesn’t want to be recognized for the witty, fabulous, talented ________ (fill in the blank with your aspiration du jour) that you know deep down inside that you truly are. For me, my most recent aspiration was to be a Writer. And yet, when I started to get recognized and complimented in the real world, by real flesh and blood people, my output shuts down. The veil of the LazyBuddhist falls and underneath you find the quivering mess that is Mary. So, Mary runs and hides and can barely eek out a word for even private consumption. I could hardly put together a grocery list, so severe my graphnophobia became. God forbid I put anything down in writing and possibly reveal to the world I need cheddar cheese and toilet paper.
So, I’ll blame the holidays and the darkness. It’s a common phenomenon, this winter funk. With the new year mere hours away, I’m taking steps, again, to crawl out of my comfortably-appointed well of self-consciousness and self-pity. I corralled some of my friends to join me in signing up for a 10 month long program called Awakening Joy. I still miss not having a sangha. I know I want that back in my life, and to be able to know I’ll be seeing a handful of my good friends at least once a month while hearing some great teachings makes me happy.
And it appears that writing and I are once again on speaking terms. I wouldn’t say we’re friendly or particularly close at this time, but it’s a start.
Happy New Year, my friends. May you all find the peace and contentment we all crave.