“…Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools…”
Four years ago I was delivered a blow that broke the world I knew.
I do not say this lightly or glibly.
I do not say it to give Disaster a longer stay than she deserves.
It made me question everything – my role as a husband and father; my role as a man and whether or not I should even continue on. My faith in everything I held dear was shaken to its foundation. Scared. Alone. Desperate to save this world, I stooped and picked up the worn out tools I’d built it with. Harder still, accepting the world that I thought I had built and comparing it to the actual world presented before me.
The Red Pill or the Blue Pill, Neo?
Wake up fully to the reality, or go back to sleep and dream? Try to save an illusion or rebuild in the real world?
I looked at where I’d gone wrong: the actions and decisions I had taken and made, or the lack of action and decision – which in and of itself is an action or decision – and also acknowledged those things outside of my control which also contributed to where I found myself. It was hard, inspecting, so to speak, the foundation and timbers, discarding and replacing the broken in order to rebuild.
Again, four years later, I looked at what I had been rebuilding and despite positive changes, despite improvements, despite owning and taking responsibility for my failings… it wasn’t enough. Painfully, I took the hammer to much of what I rebuilt myself in order to rebuild it anew, and start from scratch once more.
Granted, this is oversimplifying the matter and waxing poetically, but hopefully, doing it this way can touch a nerve with more than my specific situation could at this point. In a future post I would like to uncover and unpack this in more detail, but for now, hopefully how I’ve described it helps.
Your “world” could be your career that you’ve dedicated 10, 20 or 30 years of your life to, now liquidated and gone. It could be your marriage.
It is painful to stoop, sifting through the wreckage to pick up those worn out tools and start again, isn’t it?
Kipling thinks it is worth it.
Though I’ve failed a time or two, I believe it is worth picking up those tools and starting again.
And again, if necessary.