It’s Sunday evening of the long weekend and I’m riding the Tarago down the Princess Freeway like Kelly Slater rides a ‘Deep Six’ surfboard through an eight foot pumping pipeline.
After a week-long period of ‘dullness’ I’m feeling awesome for no clear reason. I’m listening to 90s Dance Classics while Archie plays my iPhone in the back seat and just to our right is the sun setting in the most spectacular way; it’s light filtering through the clouds, a thousand spears into the rise of the You Yangs.
The ‘dullness’ happens to me regularly, probably several times a year.
The ‘dullness’ happens to me regularly, probably several times a year. I’d describe it as a spontaneous serenity I notice mainly because of the absence of emotional highs and lows. The world turns as always and the days throw their usual challenges and there are the frustrating situations mixed with the surprise opportunities but I encounter most of everything with a shrug.
Think of a cow chewing the cud. Think of a large goldfish floating languidly in the middle of a small pond in a suburban backyard. Think of Ozzie Osbourne encountering his reflection in the bathroom mirror…
I’d guess it has something to do with the natural fluctuation of hormones, and I like it for the time it lasts – it’s a reprieve from the usual frenetic mental activity – but I like coming out the other end way better. It’s like I’m an arrow being pulled back slowly. When the dullness releases me that first zip into the air is euphoric.
During my Buddhist phase, which lasted several years, I was a disciplined meditator and practiced observing my body and thoughts. I learned that the mind was unreliable, that thoughts came from nowhere, had no real connection to each other, and could lead to false beliefs, doubts, delusions.
There was this one moment of detachment that hit me with such force that I came out of my meditation with a start and a real sense of awe at the fact that my ‘self’ wasn’t the fixed and reliable thing I had always assumed it to be. And it was shortly after that I stopped meditating for good. I could have been taking the first baby steps towards enlightenment man! Who knows? But I gave away Buddhism and the quiet life for one reason – I liked the crazy too much. The conflicting thoughts, the highs and lows, the doubts and insecurities, the desperate need to be loved, the need to present to many as an aloof character, the seeking to validate my existence through certain others, the love/hate relationship with my body, the attachment to particular ideas and beliefs that may or may not be real or justified, and the way all of that and everything else swirls around and solidifies who I am.
There are not many people in my life who are aware of the crazy inside my brain case. RM would probably be the one. A few others would have an awareness of it.
That doesn’t make me unique. I know that. There is not one person who presents the interior, real version of themselves to the outside world, unaltered.
What I took mostly from those years of meditation and Buddhist philosophy was to let that crazy shit shine on the inside, don’t question it too much, indulge it often and find a way to let if fly but remember – the world outside has limits; be careful on the reveal.
I reveal mostly through writing.
By reading this blog you’re getting catches and glimpses of who I really am. You might have to play connect the dots and decide what to put aside and what to place your focus on but you’ll find out more about me here than you will meeting me at a conference, or training in my gym, or chatting to me regularly during school drop-offs and pick-ups, or even living with me for a year.
I like it that way too. It feels a little comfortable and a little crazy (I have my secrets and you have yours) and it’s a way of participating in the world that makes everything feel like a bit of a game. It’s fun.
Archie and I have had a great time today but I’m canary-keen to get back down the highway to RM, Lewis, Tyson and Maki because the ‘dullness’ has just released me, man, and I’m travelling so fast through the air that the skin of my face is being shunted around my ears, leaving me open-mouthed and wide-eyed. I’m feeling awesome for no clear reason.
And that’s the kind of awesome I like best.