It’s hard to say whether sleepwalking through my days is the result of the antidepressants which pulled me out of a severe and prolonged state of depression (probably); or whether it was taking meditation much more seriously that I previously ever had — or maybe it’s the result of a little of both. Regardless, I am confused by this generally indifferent attitude: am I simply tranquilized by modern meds, or am I following the path of non-attachment? Is it better to be passionless — not pulled too much this way or that — or should I be throwing myself into my career in an attempt to secure better days (read: material comfort) for my family and I?
The one caveat I can see is that I survived the Midlife Crisis Monster. In hindsight it’s easy to see how the perfect storm of international relocation, unemployment, turning 40 and carrying unresolved grief and resentment 10,000 miles (oops) led to an inevitable internal meltdown. But, given the news of how some others are handling their midlife whatever (and it’s not good) I give myself a rare pat on the back.
I suggested in an earlier post that I’ve grown uncomfortable with the plethora of communication tools which have, somewhat ironically, left me feeling more alienated than ever, despite the fact that nearly everyone I know — or have known — regularly uses one or several of them. In my (not-so-unique) situation of living overseas the phenomenal growth of websites for sharing information is relatively proportional to the amount of time I’ve been in Australia: when I left NY no one really knew what Skype was, and there was no Facebook or Twitter.
After moving here I spent more time chatting with complete strangers on a now-defunct online “community.” When that imploded because of poor planning and simple greed the social media landscape as it exists today was just getting warmed up. I suddenly faced a bit of an identity crisis: am I the guy from the “community” or am I the guy who is now connected to my flesh and blood friends from the place I left behind?
It’s been almost five years and I feel like I’m sitting in the nosebleed seats of my own life. I’m not lamenting, just observing. In keeping with Buddhist teaching, I think it’s safe to say I’m the same person I was…and I’m a completely different one, too.