Hello. My name is Brett. I am wrong a lot. And oddly enough, that makes me very happy.
Look back on your life and make a short mental list of those big concepts you outgrew, disproved, or fail to identify with anymore. On the simple end of that spectrum you may recall “Santa Clause” or “The Tooth Fairy”. On the more serious side you may even throw in “Religion” or “God”. Or maybe you’re struggling to think of anything at all. If so, perhaps this post will be more challenging for you, since you have always been right. If this is the case, please leave a comment. I can’t wait to read it.
Being aware of these changes in perspective can be very helpful. If you set out on life’s journey with the goal of finding the answers to everything, you can fall into a few traps along the way.
As is often the case, you can settle into a set of core beliefs early in life, refining them over time to fit most conveniently into your daily routine, circles of influence, purchasing habits, vices, political leanings and all that jazz. New information will naturally be seen as a threat to the “truth”. I really feel sorry for those who travel this road, because there are so many obstacles. If the core beliefs the individual acquired so early on happen to lack a certain depth or richness, it certainly will lose its potency, inspirational elements, and will naturally fall short. In more fundamentalist circles, many will constantly re-emphasize tenants of their worldview over and over, with increasingly combative or defensive rhetoric. Instead of the beliefs bringing peace, joy, etc., now they become divisive. The gaps, holes, and inadequacies are only filled with confusion, frustration, and fear.
On the other hand, many choose to abandon the pursuit of truth or meaningful reflection, instead embracing nihilism since their search for truth was so remarkably futile. Everything can become empty, robbed of its beauty. Your new-found enlightenment starts to carry its own religious tendencies. “Everything is meaningless!” you shout, over and over. You might tell yourself you wish it were different, that things do matter, but you have already built your walls high to protect the “self” from such naiveté. The ego is all that truly exists to you anymore.
Even in the middle there lies problems. You may carry a bitterness that poisons your honest attempts at personal growth. While you might change your beliefs, you feel almost ashamed that you have yet to discover who you truly are. Everyone else has it together, has kids, has a religion, has a hobby, knows who they are. Why are you still thinking about these issues? They have been long settled, right? Just figure it out and go with something, anything! Right? Instead of new revelations giving you new eyes to see, they only hit the replay button on your past. Instead of finding new “rights” you only see the past “wrongs”.
Wow. That stuff up there^… Heavy.
If you hadn’t guessed, I’ve been all three of those people. It sucks. There’s no other way to describe it. But what I can say is that being wrong is all about progress. It’s about awareness. Being aware of your actions, of their consequences, of who you are at any given moment… those are gifts. You cannot be expected by God, (wo)man, demon, angel, or any other being to have life figured out from the start, or by any point in time. Right now, we could all be completely wrong. Every last one of us. But maybe that is a good thing. Maybe something better is on its way. Who wants to cling to something less beautiful, something incomplete? I hope I’m wrong about so many things. My life has proven my wrongness thus far. I assume it will continue to do so.
You may have heard “The journey is the destination” or something else equally hippie. I think there’s a part of us that knows this is the case. But still… how can we know the journey is the destination? We must find out for ourselves. This blog will be a record of me doing exactly that.
And I have a feeling that it’s going to be epic.