Updated: May 30, 2022
"We need to shatter our snail shell shackles and start to really live again."
Life seems linear in a lot of ways, but that’s the macro version of it. When you zoom in tight, the path is seldom straight—it’s more of a zig zag.
Even when the hamster wheel we were used to being on stopped spinning, the single-track snail trail of the past couple of years was still an elaborate matrix of switchbacks on a technically challenging obstacle course. It just went by in slower motion, and we couldn’t see the end of it.
If a parallel universe existed somewhere out there, maybe a different version of us was carrying on the way things were. Maybe parallel universe us were still clipping along at a reasonable pace, while we were stuck here.
I’m betting it wasn’t a parallel universe at all. Perhaps it was a perpendicular universe. I hope perpendicular me was having more fun.
I can’t lie and say I liked much about the past couple of years. I felt like I was in a fortress of solitude most of the time. Sure, there was lots of self-reflection and reinvention, but even Superman found a way to break free from his icy prison.
My re-entry into the life I built, but was temporarily forced to abandon has been intense. It has felt more like being thrust through a worm hole, than walking through an open door.
All the things I used to do, including in person work site meetings, concerts, socializing, and travel happened in the span of a week. It was literally all the things. I felt all the feelings. It didn’t feel normal, but it certainly felt necessary.
I hope the zig zags have placed me far away from the awkward life I was forced into. I never want to go back. I do feel I have arrived in this plane of existence a better version of me, but I only want to go forward.
All is not right with the world, but we need to shatter our snail shell shackles and start to really live again. As we dust ourselves off and pick up the pieces, I hope we remain grateful. I hope we remain empathetic and kind. I hope we continue to look out for others.
I also hope we continue to have an appreciation for mindful freedom. Freedom that is not to be confused with entitlement at the sacrifice of others, but the kind that is rooted in the simple and important things—the kind that unites us beyond our differences.
Here’s to a little less zig zagging and a lot more full steam ahead!