I took this image on Saturday afternoon while out with my eldest daughter and her family. My daughter shares my passion for photography and was busy taking photos as well while her husband and two boys occupied their time with more active pursuits such as discovering remnants of old dinosaurs on their private land (yes, real dinosaur bones as verified by the appropriate authorities). This particular image caught my attention today as it matches my “feeling” about being blown around, buffeted by the process of dealing with change.
The process of individuation, a conscious and consensual process, that I am engaged in at the moment, is playing havoc in its own way with all of my preconceived notions of myself and of how I live my life. So much of my life has been lived as more of follower than as a leader. I say this in terms of self-authority. I have to admit that I gave up my self-authority consciously and unconsciously in order to make life easier to live. Responsibility was laid on others. I refused to listen to my own voice, my own opinions, my own dreams. I was reminded of that while talking to my daughter on the weekend.
I was talking about tentative ideas of going back to school and mentioned two scenarios, to become a psychoanalyst or to become a psychologist. She remarked that I had talked of this twenty years ago. I then was left to ask myself why I had not followed up on this dream much sooner, why was I still sitting on the fence, blowing in the wind in terms of making a decision about something that has been a dream for more than forty years. When I was still a teenager, I had told a certain relative that I would eventually have a PhD. He laughed as no one had ventured beyond high school in my family other than as a trade or certificate program. As a teenager, the world of philosophy and psychology were my passions along with music and writing. I never discovered my passion for photography until I was in my twenties.
Why have I denied following my “bliss” or “passion“? I blames it on life. But in truth, I was waiting for permission from someone else as I had (and still have) a sense that my opinion is not enough. Of course this is an outgrowth of parental complexes. In other words, I didn’t grow up to full conscious adulthood when it comes to owning my own vision and taking charge of that vision. Now, learning to be fully responsible for myself, is the central task. I am learning that I must give myself permission, not someone else. I must learn to make decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions. I must learn to trust my central, guiding vision. I must give up trying to control the world and others in it by trying to always anticipate what the “right” decision would be in the eyes of others and then choosing that choice in order to have people love and accept me.
Now I find myself still blowing in the wind like this new growth on the tree. Do I view the situation as “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” or do I enter fully into adulthood at the age of 62 and say this is me, this is what I believe in, this is what I want and need in order to live up to my vision of my self?