Right upon the finish line of this widely unpopular year 2020, a year with very few breakaways, lots of steep climbs and bone breaking descents -yes, I’m using cycling metaphors like I know what I’m talking about. A year where we travelled back and forth in our heads, picked up every stone of the past, analysed our history, our memories, our life paths, … where we did a round-up of our lives and arbitrarily and quite brutally decided to give it a thumbs….
Right in time for that finish line, Pixar gave us a much needed life lesson in…well… living.
The simple, yet underestimated act of living, to be more precise.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of the perfectly narrated wisdom behind the child like animations of Pixar, but this new movie, ‘Soul‘, is everything I ever wanted to see. More than a breath of fresh air, it is…
the kiss of life…
You: “Been hitting the Christmas brandy hard, haven’t you Evvy?”
Me: “No you fool, I’m blood sober! As a matter of fact, I’m thinking crystal clear here.”
You: “More like ‘Cristal’ if you ask me…”
Me: “Just hear me out here for a sec!”
Me: “Potentially more than this pandemic already has been to us, we have been ridiculously hard on ourselves this year. We have been scrutinising and condemning our only mission in life: to live.”
At least I know I have! I’ve been giving myself a hard time on whatever my purpose in life is, however I’m gonna make it to my retirement, what the funk it is I’m doing with this precious and short time on earth, how I will prevent gravity from pulling my face down and how I’m ever gonna achieve a comfortable state of just being at peace without having to actually go flatline.
Now, there were times in my life that I have felt enlightened, true followers were able to read about those moments in this very blog, but I’m only human, and so there have been moments that I have felt defeated and down and downright awful about myself. This year was a trialling year like that. The few moments I found peace and zen were, the next day, disrupted by a general discontent about how I had spent my life until now, the life choices I had made and sometimes I felt like I had gone all wrong about it. At times I developed a deep nostalgia for more innocent times. Times I would be at my parents’ place, filling my free time watching tv, playing video games with my brother or basket ball outside in the court yard with my dad.
It’s safe to say I have always had these moments of intense grief over my childhood and teenage years being over, but this year I guess I have generally felt more unfulfilled than other years. And this for absolutely no good reason.
This entire year I thought this pandemic was raising the demons in my head, that it was bringing me down, while it was merely forcing me to face some kind of other bad here: me!!
I’m the master of puppets. I give air and oxygen to things that are long gone and should have been long buried. I have been obsessed with holding on to the past and past glories and past achievements and past heart aches that I have been way out of focus of where I am going today, tomorrow, even the day after that.
I have been obsessed with things that made me disconnected from life.
I always thought I needed to have a defined purpose in life to be able to be truly alive. To be able to enjoy being alive, even to be worthy of being alive!
Like Buffy is the slayer or Luke is a Jedi.
Their purpose is the reason why they are alive and continue to be alive, right? Without that purpose, you’re just a lost soul. Roaming the memories of the past, where everything was still innocent fun and where adulthood hadn’t yet poisoned this mortal experience.
That’s not the way to go, dank farrik!
Like the movie ‘Soul‘ beautifully explains: purpose is not your spark. It is not what makes this life worth living. It’s being awake. It’s about living life eyes wide open and generally being a good person!
You: “You’re severely catholically damaged, aren’t you? What’s next? You’re gonna tell us how to be good samaritans from now on?”
Me: “Okay, enough with the irony here!”
All I’m saying is, 2020 is not to be blamed for you feeling shit. 2020 was probably just trying to make you see how to live life regardless of dramatic plot twists.
For example: if you’ve somewhat discovered this year that you think you’re a pathetic loser just because you have a fancy diploma but not the -according to society’s standards- ‘right’ job to go with that, then that’s on you, not on 2020. You could choose to be perfectly happy with that ‘run-of-the-mill’ job because maybe the ‘right’ job could be wearing you out, could be extremely stressful, could be not the right match for you, could dominate your entire life, hold you hostage, numb you, just for the sake of being able to call yourself ‘accomplished’.
Don’t let society’s standards rip out your soul!
Why do so many people reach for the stars, but feel so unfulfilled once they’ve got it all?
Because all of that is NOT what makes you spark.
It is the good old act of living that does. It is discovering beauty and wellbeing in every day things, even in a locked down world, there is beauty to be found.
Nature is still out there, take care of it.
Your friends are still out there, reach out to them.
Your spark is not going anywhere, just because the clubs are closed or you can’t make a trip around the world.
If 2020 should have given us anything, it is the basic understanding of that. The gift of finding joy in the tiniest of corners.
Stop looking for what defines you and just start enjoying life regardless of the given context.
Jazz is about improvising and about going with the flow, right?
So just let your hair down. And let your…
Now go outside and count your blessings and the birds!
But no processed foods for the birds, cuz that might kill them.
…And potentially you too.
Only good wholesome (and preferably vegan) food.
Also for thought!
And here’s a banger for you to go wild on today: