Off the grid

I grew up into a person who believed very strongly in self-sufficiency. In every sense. It was not only what I sought to achieve, but also something I believed was necessary for me to achieve in order to become worthy.

I don’t think it was just an unreasonable ideal I was chasing to validate myself. I think it was also, maybe mostly, a defence mechanism.

In more recent years, I have been more ideologically inclined toward interdependence. Being off the grid started to seem selfish and short sighted. The easy way out and the road to nowhere. True self-sufficiency started to look not only illusory, but also just theoretically suboptimal. Being part of a bigger, better whole now seems, for me, to be the only logical route to a good life.

The problem is I am bad at interdependence. I am constantly, unintentionally, dropping off the grid. If I could keep believing that was where I am supposed to be, things would be easier for me. But I don’t. So they’re not.

If I didn’t need anyone, I wouldn’t need them to forgive me. If nobody needed me, I wouldn’t let them down. I wasn’t just chasing self-sufficiency to become worthy; I was running away from my inherent unworthiness. But it’s not until you face these things that you realise they were never really true to begin with. The only way I’m going to accept my actual worth is to keep doing stuff badly and being forgiven.

Which is not my preference, quite frankly – I prefer to be flawless.

Checkpoints

We all make our choices, and I thought I’d have more to show for mine by now. But that doesn’t mean they were the wrong choices, or that I’d necessarily want the things I thought I’d have to show. Or the things I see other people showing.

I am on the road as we all are, but I don’t need to hit the checkpoints that other people have set. I’ve set my own. And they may take longer to reach, and it may be a more tiring journey, but that’s okay, because that’s the path I’ve chosen. And for that path I am right on track. It may just be that my journey requires more faith, because the checkpoints are further away, or there aren’t so many people up ahead of me to validate the route I’m taking.

We have the right to choose our own checkpoints. And perhaps the responsibility, depending on how you look at it. The world doesn’t make it easy, but it’s important to remember that that doesn’t make it wrong. Our internal compass is a far more accurate method of navigation than following the landmarks that others have decreed.