Monday, July 26, 2010

Falling Off a Cliff


[image: http://images.easyart.com/i/prints/rw/lg/3/0/David-Fokos-Shark-Tooth-Cliff-30503.jpg]

Well, I’m glad that’s over.

After nearly 2 years of nearly uninterrupted exhilaration, spiritual awakening and ongoing personal transformation I suddenly fell off a cliff. Big time.

WHY?
I’m not going to lie. The past couple of months have been difficult. But I’m here to tell you that all of that is behind me. And I think for good.

There are probably a dozen reasons why this happened. Here are just some of the big ones:

1. The Road Was Postponed. I had to postpone my South American trip for any number of reasons. This will probably be the subject of a future post but let’s just say that the gradual realization that I would not be getting back on the road was, somehow, too much to bare.

2. I Hit a Wall. I probably hit a wall in terms of personal development. There is only so much change you can make over a period of time. I was probably too demanding with myself. Too focused on getting to the “change” without truly appreciating the value and beauty that lies in the “journey towards change.”

3. Love. After several years doing my best to avoid a serious relationship (and reaping the exciting, yet ephemeral joys of being single) I was suddenly open to love. Real, substantial, meaningful, scary love. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was out of my element. In the end, I was undone by fear of commitment and my own insecurities. More on this later.

4. Habit. When all is uncertain, when frustration reigns, when everything that is good for you feels like hard work you embrace what you’ve known for years. In my case that means embracing my inner asshole.

There is more work to be done on the personal development front. I know that. What has changed is that I am no longer tied to some artificial schedule. My to-do lists still reign supreme but they exist in the context of a much more holistic process of “change.”

THANK YOU
I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have sent emails, texts and/or otherwise reached out over the past couple of months. All that stuff helped. Believe me.

And to those in the press who have been trying to reach me, all I can say is that I am fine and that I still prefer to express myself via the blog. Not looking for publicity. Not interested in fame. I just want to continue doing what I have been doing over the past two years: challenging myself to be a better person with simple, brutal honestly.

Thank you everyone,

Jack

25 comments:

Jennoit said...

Hey Jack - good to see you posting again.

Meg said...

It's good to hear from you! I've wondered a few times what you were up to and I hope things are getting better.

From a reader's perspective, I'm glad that you're sharing all this. So many makeover shows and blogs just focus on that initial rush. Real change is a lot harder and takes time. It's a continual process and can be scary.

My husband and I both have changed a lot over the past few years. We've becoming more minimalist and frugal and we've become vegans (huge change for us). And what I've learned is that what you expect to be hard often isn't and what you expect to be easy often isn't.

With the veganism, finding yummy food and nice products has been much easier than expected. Even dealing with cravings wasn't really a problem, and especially not what we expected it to be. Dealing with other people? Oh, boy! Some people really don't want others to change -- even when the others truly aren't trying to push these things on them. We've gotten hell over the veganism and even over becoming more minimalist and frugal! You'd think people would be happy for us since we're happier! Nope! The downside is that we've had to cut some ties to people who really weren't supportive of us. The upside is that we've cut some times to people who really weren't supportive of us -- and we've even found some new people that are worth our time and energy.

Change can be very isolating. So, I do hope you have supportive people in your life, and not just online. As much as I know online support can help -- and I am very grateful for my online friends -- it's still very helpful to have friends that can just reach out and give you an accepting hug when you need it.

All the best!

Claire said...

Although I was a late-comer to your blog, I have always enjoyed your posts. Your story is very interesting, and even if your journey hasn't taken you where you expected, it sounds like you are in a pretty good place now. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do next.

Nancy said...

Welcome back, Jack. We missed you. I love hearing your journeys no matter what direction you are going in.
You show us that the journey is filled with bumps, mountains and valleys.
Nancy

Cozy Tiny said...

I've been wondering where you've been hiding. Thank you for updating us. I relate to the feeling of hitting a wall. I have been feeling that way too. Sending you my positive energy and looking forward to your future posts.

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

Nice "Simple" post-- I think I will bookmark this for reference when I too have to go back to all of it.
Cheers

Anonymous said...

can't believe it, just another lie

Anonymous said...

Multiple press outlets wanting to reach you? Just to check on you?
That doesn't ring true.
You say you don't want fame, but this blog shows some unbelievable narcissism, need for attention on a large scale, and need for total control. I mean, you won't reveal your identity but you want people to Skype with you once they've passed a screening process of yours? OK.
this blog continues to ring of something a bit off. showed a lot of promise at the beginning, when it felt real. And maybe it was real. But now ... well, i've said my piece.
You'll probably always have followers, just as prisoners always get marriage proposals from delusional groupies.

Jack said...

@Jennoit,

Thanks. Glad to see you are still following. Hope all is well.

@Meg,

Always nice to hear from you.

"Real change is a lot harder and takes time. It's a continual process and can be scary."

That's very true. Actually pretty much everything you typed is right on. Good luck with the ongoing changes and with embracing being a vegan in particular.

@Claire,

Thanks for the supportive words. BTW, have been following you on and off since you first posted on the blog. We should discuss the classics when you get a chance.

Jack said...

@Nancy,

That's about right. It's never a linear process. And maybe that's why it is so transformative. If it wasn't the predictability would defeat the purpose of change itself.

@Cozy Tiny,

Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, all is well. Good in fact. I guess I will update everyone in due time.

@Lauren,

Thanks. Always nice to hear good things.

Three Hundred Sixty Five said...

Oh, Jack! I so identify with some of your comments - only in my case I need to identify more with my "inner asshole"! I'm glad to see you're back and making progress.
Changing yourself is a long arduous process. You've spend x years becoming who you are, and it doesn't change in an instant just because you decided to jump off the carousel.
I admire your tenacity, though. Good luck.

Jay Bee said...

Quick Aside: I find it very sad to see those anonymous comments. At least have the balls to say who you are if you are going to say negative things.

Jack:

I have been a long time reader since you began this blog (as an "retired" attorney who is still involved in the legal industry, I read about your blog many many moons ago in the Legal Press) however rarely commented.

On this I have to comment as I, too, have been going through spiritual and personal growth over the past 3 years. The one thing to remember - the one thing that my spiritual teachers keep telling me - is to stop beating yourself up if you fall down. It's not about falling down - it's about getting back up.

Previously, one of my greatest talents was beating myself up - in fact, apparently it was one of my hobbies.

I no longer beat myself up - as I realized the futility of this. As a result, when things go down, they don't seem as down as they would have in the past and I can still pick myself up.

I hope this makes sense to you.

Good luck and bright blessings to you.

All my best

Anonymous said...

@Jay Bee, in some ways it's more honest to say "anonymous" than it is to make up a name or make a name out of initials. What does J.B. stand for?

Besides, that's the Web for you. And if Jack doesn't want to allow anonymous comments, he doesn't have to. But he always has allowed them, and it's his blog.

Jack, I'm glad to see this post. Not just because it makes things seem more real (no matter what we try in life, there's a wall somewhere in the process, and a lot of plateaus), but because it means that your silence wasn't permanent.

I think one of the things to be careful of at this point is substitution. Being "guy who bikes across continents" is not always all that different from being "guy who spends a lot of money." I wonder if you were starting to define yourself by a new set of rules that were just as limiting as the old ones.

dtb said...

Glad to hear you're coming through the other side of this patch. Glad to see your words again. Be well, my friend.

Anonymous said...

@Jay Bee: And yet Jack has never had the balls to say who he is.

Washington dc said...

I am writing to ask for your permission to include your posts on
DCguide.com and include a link to your blog in our directory. We would
include a link back to your blog fully crediting you for your work
along with a profile about you listed on DCguide.com . Please let us
know as soon as possible.

Mike@dcguide.com

Mike Thomas
Editor-in-Chief
DCguide.com

Anonymous said...

you are exactly like this guy- http://socialistworker.org/2009/10/01/does-he-think-rape-is-funny

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Hi Jack, I just celebrated my 70th birthday, family and friends gathered , it was great.
I enjoyed you phrase "embracing your inner arsehole", I think that I have come to terms finally with my "inner arsehole"; strangely IT turned out neither to be as bad as I feared nor as good as I dreamed. I finally find I quite like myself, I even find bits of me endearing.
It has taken a while, life became infinitely easier for me when I finally decided I really don't believe in God, that life is a huge accident of birth, you DNA gives you a set of "building blocks" your environment shapes somewhat what you make of your inherited bits.
It really doesn't matter what others think of you it is how you feel about yourself.
Anyway keep going, remember ...you don't get out alive, whatever happens!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought of changing your focus from your pain to the pain of someone else? Have you ever thought of volunteering to help someone who does not have the financial advantages you speak of? Mentor a young person with no role models? Tutor a homeless child? Helping someone else is helping yourself. Try it for a month and then return to your pain and see how it looks.

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

JACK < ARE YOU OK? very long time no blog, take care, Chris

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

JACK are you OK, worrying about you? Hope you are having fun....but concerned if you are in abad state.

Anonymous said...

Jack, I hate to ask this question, but given the nature of your last few posts and the fact that you haven't posted since July...are you still out there?

Anonymous said...

You are not alone in this.

Anonymous said...

You're gone. We're glad.

Larae said...

Jack, Good thoughts your way. All the best to you.