This is too sad. The monster versus the little people. And we are all broken-hearted. Also, now, there is this whole new situation to think about and deal with when we are not even done “mourning”. A bit of a “nightmare” unravelling for most of us. Which is fine… really. We’ll be fine… really. We have had practice at this sort of thing with life being a Sisyphus myth for most folk. We roll our boulders up hills, confident that things are going to be different each time, and stare in disbelief/anger as they roll back down just before we’ve gotten to the top. But, it is in the human spirit to persevere and never give up hope. This might seem rather wasteful and a vain struggle in the quest for stability of some sort: Why attempt to reach the crest when we could just ‘roll with it’? (See what I did there?) For me, the potential to do nothing about it until I absolutely HAVE to do something about it is there. So is the potential to sulk and moan until I have no friends left.
But, motivated by the speakers at the TEDxCoventGardenWomen event I attended recently, I am going to ‘find my momentum’, I am not going to let their inspiring lives and speeches be wasted on me, I am going to allow myself to remain optimistic about this whole “ordeal” (exaggerating much?!) by reminding myself of their words and teachings: The ‘ideas that sustain motion and send waves through the way we think, work and live’.
I am going to embrace the absurdity of our lives, with the powerful liberating awareness that exists in being fully conscious that most of my efforts will, in fact, be rather otiose. I’m just going to go back down the hill and set that boulder in motion again and actually rejoice in it. After all, as Albert Camus puts it in his 1942 essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, ‘The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.’ Or, in the words popularized by an (in)famous figure of our time: ‘Ain’t about how fast I get there / Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side / It’s the climb.’
So, today I choose to celebrate the fact that we are never truly done. Who wants to be done anyways? Being done is becoming stagnant, which goes totally against what I learnt at TEDx: Embrace change; find momentum and ride its waves. Of course, it is easy to say this when the “uphill battle” is not life threatening but, in the whole scheme of things, an annoyance – blown slightly out of proportion by this post. But, hey, it is difficult not to take a reshuffle of your life as momentous, of mythological proportions even. And that is because, another quality of the human spirit is to be embarrassingly self-centered and because I am secretly crossing my fingers that this might, with hindsight, become an Oprah ‘aha moment’ for me.
I do realize I have not even mentioned why it is that I am at the bottom of the hill again… But I have company: This is a sensitive issue that affects many. Also, deep down, this post is just an excuse to talk about the TEDx women. It is almost two months since the event and I am still crushing hard on them all – which you might have already gathered given I spent the whole of May 30, 2015 live tweeting the s*** out of the event. Below are some of the ‘sparks of inspiration that [got me] going’ that day: Nuggets of wisdom I hope will keep me motivated for months to come, as I try to make my way uphill. It is easy to see how they could appear a bit random here, out of context, but I think they are still generic enough to be powerful reminders that there is a lot more going on outside ourselves: Things that are far greater and worthier and that will keep me preoccupied, making the tedious ascent less ordinary.
When you learn something emotionally, it never leaves you – Nikandre Kopcke
As you step through fear you realise your doubts don’t come to fruition – Emily Brothers
Maybe it is not enough to be aware of people suffering – Shaunaugh Connaire
Every crisis offers an opportunity for transformation (…) It’s possible to transform the most oppressive person or system – Dr Rama Mani
The rights that you take for granted are but a generation away – Anne Laure Humbert
Even the fear of violence is a form of violence – Lina Abirafeh
Speak without shame and stand with me and bring about the change we want to see – Ram Devineni
Sexism isn’t dead. It is just that men have learnt to hide it so much better – Emma Barnett
I can’t do everything but I can’t do nothing – Marianna Fox
See me as I choose to be seen – Stacey Clare
Confidence is a muscle, and it can be exercised – Gen Ashley
Challenge the idea of the male default – Caroline Criado-Perez
If we don’t seize the opportunity to tell our stories they will be forgotten – Ella Achola
To live your life not believing in yourself is total madness – Lou Lebentz