“You are responsible for your own experience.”
From what I’ve been told, this statement is posted at the front gate of any Burning Man event. It is supposed to be an admonition to seize your own destiny and craft the kind of life you want to lead.
To me, it feels like an after-the-fact, regret-filled I-told-you-so. If I am not living as I had hoped, then the burden of blame is laid squarely on my own shoulders. I mean, by this logic, who else can possibly be at fault?
If my own nature casts me as happiest when I am alone, but my desire leaves me unhappy at being alone, then how am I to reconcile this inherent disconnect between nature and desire? Which of them should I lose if they can’t be made whole? Who am I if I can’t rise above this struggle and do something about it?
I wish I could post a sign next to this one and all pithy slogans on how to live one’s life that reads: “I wish it were that simple”.
Guess what? It’s never that simple. You feel torn by two equally important needs: your solitude and your need to socialize. I have no answer for you, but I can assure you there’s not always some easy way to craft your destiny or whatever. Trust me. Parenthood has reinforced and enriched this lesson for me. You just have to do the best you can from moment to moment. Live your life as happily as you can without screwing anyone else over (although I have a hard time imagining you screwing anyone over). Life is a process and it is lived, not shot like a cannonball at a target.
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