Another reason I am where I am today is: Around my senior year in college, I began to value intelligence and being “correct” over intuition and experiment. Why did I do this? Well for the most part, it’s what a university is all about. It’s about being “correct”. It’s about being “right”. It’s about putting things in their compartments and labeling them and making sure not to color outside the lines. And I don’t mean just academically. I mean socially as well. Alas, I never got the social part right, which didn’t help. Unfortunately, I never stopped being that way. Well, not until lately, and it’s tremendously difficult. Old habits die hard, and these habits are not going anywhere without a fight, it seems.
All the working to be “correct” or “right” all these years… all the trying to be “smart”… where did it get me? It got me to a realization. It got me to the understanding that for the most part it’s all bullshit. There is no happiness for someone like me in it. It’s a dead end, and the ironic thing is that it’s a certainty. The conclusion is correct. All the work has been for nothing, an intellectual exercise of running around and around in circles and trying to outrun the other mice to get to the finish line first to get a prize that isn’t there. That’s where I am.
Intuition and experiment is where my money should have been all along. My professors and (most of my) friends and (most of) my family pushed for doing things “right” and getting the “right” grades and getting the “right” job. The problem with that? It’s cookie-cutter. That might work for some people, and good on them. More power to them. It was never me. I thought it might be. I knew I was wrong years ago, but I was too embarrassed to say or do anything about it. So much was invested in it. Not doing anything about it was a failure on my part.
Where I stand now is quite simple. Most of the rest of my life fell apart. I still have a life, but the illusion finally fell to the wayside. A lot of baggage fell away with it. Now I’m trying to recalibrate and find my way again. One of the first steps is to try to ditch 15+ years of the old “right” mindset, and it’s damn difficult.