My Limbo and Flux You

Reading time: 7 – 11 minutes


Everything seems to be in limbo right now. Isn’t it funny that “limbo” is a playful game of bending over backwards and moving forward, and it also implies a kind of imprisoning with lack of movement. Me: I’m bending over backwards and moving forward.

Most of the time I see this kind of flux as a form of adventure. Part of the adventure is that it’s just a part of life that things change and that’s a good thing. The limbo and flux is the price I pay for the kind of life I choose to live. I’d rather spend my energy treading water in life while doing what I love, than to stand on dry land, safe, but alone and ineffective.

One of the main things I have learned in recent years is that life is not about EXTREMES. It’s about balance, harmony, healthiness, and compassion. Sure, I can be extreme and do ONLY what I love, struggling against the raging waters for my very survival along the way; or I could do the other extreme and “get a job” that would bring about a weekly stability, but suck dry all of the time and energy I would otherwise have for my life. Either extreme is not kind, healthy, compassionate, or balanced (for me). They are cruel methods of living and many in this world feel they have to choose one of those extremes against their inner navigation.

In fact, the world is often divided in many ways by that very line: People who live in the acceptable mainstream, stable world of glorified mediocrity, and people who live in the distant, chaotic world of contemptuous naivete. I am from the latter.

Neither extreme is better than the other, but the sheer pressure of our social peers makes the mainstream, relinquishing of dreams, to be an acceptable and even enticing world to join. (I wonder what it’s like in cultures where the reverse is true.) I am tempted into this surrender of dreams all of the time. It is truly easier to surrender your dreams for a piece of stability and mainstream acceptability, than to pursue your dreams and live out the chaos of your creativity. I am often tempted to take the easy way out, especially now that I will be living on my own. The pressure is on from all around me, too. My loved ones take great measures to convince me to conform to the expectations of our society, culture, monetary status, and just give in; join those who stand on safe, little islands of dry land.

But I know I will never join that common world of dry land.

I will create or find my an island of my choosing, thank you very much. I don’t need to join those who lie upon, or wander about, the worn-out shores of social acceptance, mediocrity, and mainstream as a way to live my life. I want to create and/or find new places and share methods for how others can do the same! It may come as a shock to some people, but there IS more to life than what we can see at a glance. It’s beautiful out here in the water.

So, I won’t be joining the walking dead on the dream-littered beaches any time, soon.

Cyprus knows this, too, and this is the motivation behind our separation after all of these years. That’s a good thing, though. We live and work incredibly well together, but after all of these years, the lifting of the weight of catering to such extreme differences in each other’s world will be a great relief.

When people define me, or conclude me, by the fact that I have a sporadic income, distracting dreams, and a willingness to living a bit chaotic and creatively, they sometimes interpret this as being irresponsible, childish, and inconvenient. When people do this, I feel so utterly invisible and sad. It will always be shocking to me when people define others by the superficialities of life. This is like calling someone ugly because his skin is not perfect, or because she is fat. Think of the shallow mentality that easily dismisses the boy with the bad skin through a distant pity for his condition, or that is repelled by the fat girl because “she obviously doesn’t take care of herself.” It is really lazy, and really easy, for some to dismiss or repel others because of what certain symbols mean to them. For instance, it is really lazy and really easy to dismiss me because I don’t fit into the mainstream rules of financial stability and routine.

How we interpret the conditions and symptoms of another person’s life is more about OURSELVES than about the person living that life.

Everything you don’t like about me, or my life, is reflective of what you repel and reject in yourself . Everything you love about me, or my life, is reflective of what you desire and embrace in yourself. People rarely have relationships with other people, but, instead have relationships with THEIR OWN REFLECTIONS extracted from other people. When we really allow room for others TO BE THEMSELVES, we finally know intimacy.

This is why I find I am truly invisible to some people. They see only parts of themselves in me, instead of just ME. That’s part of life, though.

I survived through 18 years of torture, and then another 18 years of creating and pursuing a life to counter the pain and horrors I survived. My life has always been about survival, and I am done with that game. As part of the creation and pursuit of my life, my aim was to do this through helping others create and pursue their own idea of what their lives could be. During that second set of 18 years, I managed to do all I could to help the world around me, while trying to balance helping myself. That’s a tough one to do, but I’ve done it! Yes, I trip and fall a lot, but getting up and continuing is part of the process of creating and owning ones life.

But, see, I am only 38. Yes, I said it: ONLY 38. If I were to die today, people would comment on how young I was to have died. In the two years since I finished that second set of 18 years, I have come to several realizations:

I have my whole life ahead of me. And it’s MINE. And it’s mine to SHARE, not to give away. I will always know that at any point when I die, I will have loved my life, despite its challenges and pain, because I know I have loved and cared for everything I have created from me. Life happens FROM you; not TO you.

I didn’t give up on me, like others may have. I didn’t choose convenience over creativity, like others may have. I didn’t choose complacency over challenge, like others may have. I didn’t choose familiarity and routine over risk, like others may have. I keep trying to play the way everyone wants me to play, but I am playing a different game, I suppose, so the rules through which I have tried to play for so long just don’t work.

I know I am not a convenient person to know or love. In a culture that encourages as much convenience and superficial, immediate stimulation as possible, I can be a troublesome, inconvenient, and boring boy.

Over the past two years I have discovered that the conflict and challenge of finding balance in my life is actually IN the relinquishing of my passion, or in the joining of the world of stable mediocrity, but NOT in the WHOLEHEARTED commitment to what I want to do with my life!

If I do not feel I am worth the effort, who will?

Struggling to live the life you want does not make you tired and bitter, but neither does doing what you have to do along the way. It’s in our assumptions that we are trapped by the extremes of life that we get tired, despairing, frustrated, and depressed. When we finally GET IT that life fluctuates, changes, and is a long-term dance of creation and interpretation, then we can free ourselves from these extremes and live within the SPECTRUM of life.

We are never really in limbo or in flux, happy or sad, trapped or free, in love or rejected, doing what we want, or not doing what we want… we are never really those things. We are just LIVING. It’s all just a PART of us, our lives, and each other. And it changes. All the time.

Enjoy the ride!

So the next time you are disappointed in yourself or in someone else, try to actually LIVE a little. Free yourself and/or the other person from the constraints of an outdated paradigm that encourages you to polarize yourself against yourself or someone else.

We are a spectrum. And so is everyone else.

And so is everything.

12 thoughts on “My Limbo and Flux You”

  1. People die. One day you will die. Do you really want to have spent your life talking about how bad it’s been?

    Or do you want to party?

    Forget your troubles.

    Admit you’ll never be perfect.

    And have fun. Your Ego is your friend!

  2. OMG! YOu beautifully insane poet! I LOVED THIS!! THis was like the commandments to be free and how to live a life! You are so incredibly right. In everything. If people stop and look they will see it too. I want to live my life as close to this as possible – I think I will definitely be much happier when I finally do.

  3. I love you, Troy. However, I must say that I found this entry to be very self-righteous and dismissive of other people. Those who you dismiss as the “walking dead” are the ones who you were quite comfortable to LIVE off of for 18 years, while they sacrificed some comfort to earn money to live in New York. There’s some hypocrisy, then, in the words you wrote in this entry. You wouldn’t have been able to live the life you’ve lived for the past 18 years if the people who love you didn’t share with you the fruits of their “living on dry land.” Where’s the gratitude in your blog entry? I didn’t see it.

    Since I have been one of those generous people in your life, I must correct you by pointing out that the “sheer pressure of our social peers” has NOT made “relinquishing of dreams to be an acceptable and even enticing world to join.” The pressure is simply the desire to be able to live on my own in the city I love. To be able to feed and clothe myself and pay my bills. I have not given up my dreams in life; I struggle to find the balance that you mentioned. I believe that the people you surround yourself with (in person and online) are people who strive to find emotional and spiritual balance, too; they’re not “the walking dead” who have surrendered to peer pressure and have given up any hope of living a dream-filled life. Give us more credit than that. (No, you didn’t specify that you were referring to US, but, if it’s not the people you KNOW, then who the heck is pressuring you?)

    Again, I love you. Always have and always will. I do see you for who you are and think you’re an amazing gift to my life. Speaking for myself, I do NOT judge you and the way you live. I have concern, not judgement. I just want to see you do well and live fully. And I think that the other people in your life who love you and have kept you close for many years would say the same. We haven’t taken “great measures to convince [you] to conform to the expectations of our society, culture, monetary status, and just give in.” All we’ve asked is that you share in the responsibility of stability to make this life that we, as a little family, try to make special and magical. We have the same vision as you. That’s why we’re still here with you after all these years.

    By the way, the motivation behind your and Cyprus’ separation is NOT that you “won’t be joining the walking dead on the dream-littered beaches.” The motivation is that she is trying to find a more stable home – something you have continuously said you’d contribute to but haven’t. Please speak the truth on your blog, Troy. She has been very clear with you and doesn’t deserve to be belittled that way in a public forum. She loves you, too. Is she perfect? No. Who is? It would beautiful to read an entry about how wonderful Cyprus has been to you, since she has, on many occasions online and in-person, spoken amazing words about you.

    -Nick

  4. I think you’re a brave guy, and I wish I had your confidence in your own ability to stay afloat.

    I’m terrified of flux, of the ebb and flow of fortune.

    For me, life has felt like a constant scratching and striving and thrashing to stay above water and ahead of the game, to figure out where I’ll live, how I’ll pay my bills, how I’ll take care of those I love, how I’ll support myself in old age.

    I think sometimes about the classic “man in the gray flannel suit”; the guy who went to work at the same soul-killing job every weekday of his life for forty years, just to make sure his wife & kids had a roof over their heads and food on the table.

    Of course, in today’s economy, that sort of slavish devotion to a company isn’t even an option! Wait a few years, and your company will merge, go out of business, downsize, or export your job to Bangalore.

    I’m almost sure that the people who pressure you to grab a rope and set up shop on a safe island are doing so out of a combination of love and fear, not out of judgment for the choices you’ve made.

    But those safe islands aren’t as safe as they’re rumored to be…

    I’m rambling, but I guess my point is that I admire you.

  5. IN RESPONSE TO NICK:

    I can see why you thought this was about you or Cyprus, etc., but it was only partially about you. I never meant that YOU are the walking dead, blah blah blah, but that if I were to live by someone else’s idea (whether yours or anyone else’s) about life, *I* would join those who ARE the walking dead. I didn’t have you or Cyprus in mind when I wrote that. I was thinking more about the faceless masses of people who DO leave themselves behind in exchange for being a safe cog in someone else’s wheel of life.

    I see the struggles and sacrifices you and Cyprus make for the sake of your idea of Happiness, and the only difference between me and you is that I make different sacrifices and experience different struggles, but for the sake of what I ultimately seek as MY Happiness. Mine and yours do not have to be the same.

    My point was more about where I would end up if I were to go to an extreme in either direction, and that I have lived too long on my end of the extreme (contemptuous naivete). Cyprus will gladly tell you that my extreme and her extreme are polarized, and while they balance each other out, we need to balance those factors within ourselves now. Hence, my description that THAT is the motivating factor behind our separation.

    I think it’s a good thing.

    So in the end, this was not a post about her or you.

    I love you.

  6. I know you have problems. I know there are people you don’t like. I know there are really bad things that have happened to you recently and that you’re life has been hard, emotional and damaging. Everyone says all those things. I’m sure you really have though. If you start telling me about them in the typical fashion of a psychic vampire you are going to find that people really don’t care, even as much as you suspect they don’t…

  7. All this passive-aggressive feelgoodism, hippiedom — isn’t it exhausting to be the *right* person, the *good* person, the *victim* who has always been on the receiving end of crap?

    With all these words — you can wrap a turd in a pretty package, but it’s still a turd. You have basically written off everyone else who isn’t living some slacker fantasy life. NOW who’s being extreme?

    Here’s how people live in the real world: They get jobs, they try to find balance, and they try to support themselves without being too terribly burdensome on others and some of us actually do manage to hold down jobs and do things like write music, sing songs, and play gigs once a week in New York City. I’d call that balance. Not some childish fantasy that having a job and paying a bill means you’ve sold out to The Man.

    You claim to be a grown-up man, now go out, get a job and fucking act like one.

  8. Yes, I’ve published all of the hate mail along with the supportive mail, because I really don’t like the act of censoring, and these are just opinions. I appreciate everyone sharing their feelings about sensitive subject.

    It is a bit shocking to me, though, to realize either:

    A) I didn’t write this very well (because I try to write my streaming thoughts, unedited)

    or

    B) Some people just cannot read and fathom the actual intent and meaning of my words beyond their personal biases and defenses.

    No matter what, I think it is fascinating that the only one who has anything hurtful to say is the one who has to hide behind anonymity.

    As usual.

  9. By the way, thanks to those of you who actually read my words and understood this as my practice in improving my self in my own way, by my own standards. My comments about “the walking dead” and other extremes in life to which I do not relate or want to succumb to, was not meant as an insult, but an effort to commit myself to my life in my own way.

    As you can see, even way out here in cyberland, the pressure is on to just give up, give in, join the masses, and do it the way you are TOLD to do it.

    I’m just sayin’ there are other ways.

    That’s all.

    No offense meant.

  10. To the anonymous freak who stalks my blog: no more of your posts will go through. As of today, you are no longer welcome. I have hosted you for a long, long time and there has to be a time when it is okay for me to stop embracing your venomous manners. Today you have drawn the line by attempting to post your histrionic vitriol using the names of my friends.

    I could have tolerated years of your biased, embittered opinions, but you just crossed the line.

    Bye Bye.

    NEW RULE: no anonymous posts will be published unless I know you, and if I don’t know you, just introduce yourself through an email directly to me. Come on… be brave.

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