I’ve been talking for quite some time about the need for a financial re-set, a significant realignment of the fiat currency system, due to the massive build up of debt and essentially empty promises.
Instead I got a total emotional renaissance.
When 2018 turned into 2019 I was in a stable relationship with my two concubines, an 11 year old German shepherd-doberman mix and my girlfriend since 2.5 years.
I and Anna had been talking about getting married and having kids with increasing intent over the last year. Initially I was hesitant, reluctant even, but by my 47th birthday in January 2019, I was warming significantly to the idea.
Actually, secretely, by then, I was perfectly sure I wanted to build a family for the long term, and I was just as ready to commit to that sentiment. I just didn’t know exactly when to declare my insight and decision, mostly since I wanted to be able to deliver on my promises right out the gate.
My new and positive attitude to settling down marked quite the change from my previous three decades as a “grown up”. One piece of the apparent puzzle was that I finally felt fully self actualized, accomplished, and happy.
To emphasize my emotional and intellectual position, I went as far as to say out loud that “the last five years since I quit work have been so magical, and my days have in general been so blessed, that life could throw exactly anything at me right now and I would still be thankful and grateful, be it cancer, poverty or death“.
Well, I more or less got what I asked for. I had a “challenging” year back in 1980 which in some respects came back to bite me in the ass again in 2019.
But let me lead with the conclusion: I am still grateful for life before 2019, and thankful for what I’ve experienced and learned in 2019. I’m not looking for pity. Rather I’m trying to convey how true growth often demands real pain, and that real pain can almost always be focused and directed to growth if you’ll let it.
Dealing with experiences like mine is difficult of course, and at times it felt as if I would never be able to make it through to the other side. Without the right help it is hard to strike the right balance between dealing with the hurt in a constructive manner, and revelling, dwelling and drowning in self-pity and destructively recursive loops of depressionary thought patterns. But it can and should be done.
Life is a journey
where every step counts;
every experience is an experience,
whereas death is just emptiness.
I detailed some of the curve balls I was thrown 2019 in the previous post, but here is a short re-cap.
In June, on Midsummer’s day, my dog, my beautiful Ronja, passed away. Around the same time my girlfriend met her new boyfriend, and eventually moved out in August. So, just as I became ready for truly building a family and start growing the deep roots I keep advocating as prerequisites for a meaningful life, my prospects for a family with kids were vanquished.
Other people’s love stories are lame, I know, but when it happens to you it’s the most important thing that ever happened to you, so bare with me:
Anna was the one. The one that fit me perfectly. We fit each other perfectly. Everything matched. We had fun. We got crazy. We were serious. We made great work together, laughed so much my sister complained “nobody can be that happy when doing laundry“, travelled the world together, or just held hands over coffee and christmas carols.
We shared the same interests, ranging from quantum mechanics, central banking, meditation, eastern and western philosophy alike, to science fiction, modern classical composers, and exercising or drinking champagne on roof top bars (OK, I admit that last one’s hardly unique).
Anna was the one I finally wanted to commit to for the rest of my life, have kids with, integrate our family trees, making one out of the two, fully experiencing deep-rooted and eternal love with. I was ready and I was convinced she was too. We were in it together for the long haul. Apparently I was mistaken, at least regarding the romantic part.
She was the one.
But as stated above, by the summer and fall of 2019 Anna moved on and left the ruin of a man that was me behind. I was lonely and heart-broken, crashing from an epic life climax, including the hard choice of wanting to commit, down to utter failure. The equally painful and ironic reason she left me was that I hadn’t been emotionally whole and grounded (due to my own scars), and thus often proved unable to accept and comfort her in her most vulnerable moments.
Thus, she often felt alone and misunderstood, living side by side with an empty shell, rather than melded together with a soulmate. I finally came to understand this, and to truly change from the bottom up, but it was too late. She, however, had already moved on. Quite understandably. But none the less tragic.
While dealing with the emotional aftermath of my two immense losses, old emotional scars from the year I turned 8 surfaced. I was feeling such acute emotional pain that I hadn’t felt in 40 years that I realized there must be more behind. Hence, I started looking carefully and deliberately.
Seek and you shall find
In the summer of 1980, my older brother (2 years my senior) drowned before my and my entire family’s eyes. In addition, we moved to a new neighborhood that same summer, where I became bullied due to being poor, my northern accent, introverted personality, sadness and my family situation. To top it off, my parents went through a toxic divorce – and being just 8 I predictably went into emotional lock-down. Also, I never talked to a psychologist. This was 1980, remember.
Starting in September 2019, I dealt with these old scars and other related issues which made me discover a whole new world of emotions. I imagine, it felt akin to a color blind seeing colors for the first time. The entire fall of 2019 I’ve endured an as deep as cleansing depression-like state. Eventually I came out on top, armed with a new integrated self, fully capable of experiencing and dealing with a full range of emotions.
Sure, I was still sad and lonely, but I had all the tools and capacity for experiencing even more of life, ups as well as downs, than I already had during my exceptionally full and lucky life.
I promptly used my new-found empathetic powers to re-connect with my brother and sister, as well as my father and not least my mother Christina. I shed tons of tears between June and December.
Here is a short background on why I needed to re-connect with my own mother, Christina:
I and Christina had a falling out some 15 years ago and we hadn’t been on good terms since then. To be honest we hardly did more than send an annual post card over the entire last decade. However, my waking up emotionally during fall 2019 made me contact her again, starting with a sincere apology for heartlessly ghosting her.
I should have known how much cutting her off must hurt a mother – not least one that had already lost a son. In actuality I didn’t know; I was too closed off emotionally from my own experiences to know. In any case I now finally felt truly bad for the unintentional extra pain I had inflicted, and thus proceeded with clearly communicating my as surprising as heart-felt apology.
Christina answered (to my siblings’ surprise), and suddenly we were on good terms and free to start talking more earnestly and frequently. Things looked up just a few days ago, when I received a New Year’s card, where she said she was moving back into town after cutting her self off from social life by staying in the countryside for 5 years. Cool, I thought. Time to meet. Time to make use of my new emotional and empathetic capabilities. That was early this week.
Today my mother died.
More to deal with, more to grow from. I asked for it, and I got it. Thank you 2019.
But, hey, I’m an adult. Now I can take it, unlike when I was 8.
I’ve learned so much over the course of the last 12 months, and I’m so thankful I got to re-connect with my mother and explain what happened and apologize before she was gone forever. It could have been much worse.
Now I am emotionally re-set and ready and capable to get serious. 2019 seems to have been the best thing that’s ever happened to me after all.