Too many utensils. Not enough chunky soup.
Thinking about the multi-tined fork in my current vocational journey, I have spent my day making phone calls and dealing with many realities I would sooner forget. Sure Canada boasts of having a social safety net. It is, however, one with holes so big it takes perfect aim to catch a frayed rope to dangle from. An uncomfortable solution, at best. The true challenge of discomfort is in accepting it. It is amazing the level of outright pain, physical or otherwise, a human can endure with the right motivation and perspective.
Mostly, I am preoccupied by and struggle with value… on so many levels. First and foremost, I struggle with my own value. And, that is compounded with the fact that western society has seemed to have forgotten what value actually is. Mostly on account of, ironically, the accumulation of wealth (a.k.a. the profit motive) and the fundamentally flawed notion of meritocracy that have devalued everything. From providing inferior goods at high markups to increase net revenues; to allowing human beings who do not fit the “norms” the systems demand, yet do provide great non-monetary value to society in myriad other ways, to fall into poverty and destitution. And, that leads me back to questioning my own value. Feeling the need to rationalize my existence. Doubting my hope to build a life that is actually worth living. I spent the better part of my life, denying who I really am to fit those norms; to contribute to the system; and, have a modestly comfortable existence. Only it wasn’t. Ask my past partners. Ask my son. I became everything I never wanted to be. Everything I knew would destroy me. Because who I am, was never acceptable. It never mattered what my motivation was. I was shameful.
I have to remember the “was”. That “was” cast the shadows that became my reality for the first four decades of my life.
Now, now is now.
Today, I have been focused on survival. And, as much as I believed that the system would give back, I was doubly wrong. However, the struggle to this point has not been completely in vain. Staring into the abyss of financial uncertainty as I fumble my way out of the cave, I have caught sight of some light. A glimmer that may allow me to pick up a fork (and/or, spoon) to find a bowl that will sustain me. Or, perhaps, a buffet.