I guess it’s true that you don’t know you’ve lost something until you look for it and realize it isn’t there anymore. That’s the definition of losing. When you leave your jacket at a restaurant, to you it might not be missing until you go to put it on the next day. Timing is key when it comes to loss. If you call the restaurant the next day, chances are they’ll have your jacket. You wait a week and it could be gone forever.
Somewhere down the line in the context of my past relationship I lost the most important thing I own: my own personal philosophy. "I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." It’s the basic philosophy of Ayn Rand's objectivism and something I read for the first time about 3 years ago. For my own beliefs it made absolute sense. As selfish as it might sound to some, if you live for yourself and for your own happiness and only ask that everyone do the same for themselves, how can things go wrong?
At some point in the last month or so I stopped living for my own happiness. There’s a part of my personality that enjoys a sense of control. Not in bad way. But I like to make things work. I have ideas on how life should play itself out and a lot of time I waste my energy writing its script. I also like nothing more than to see other people happy. I like to make them happy. I’d rather carry the weight of pain and guilt inside myself than to have it forced onto someone else. If I bear the burden then someone else doesn’t have to.
Whether any of that makes sense or not, it’s a truth I’m just now realizing. It is the antithesis of the philosophy I believe. It makes me a hypocrite and being hypocritical is, in many ways, the worst attribute one can have. For if we aren’t who we say we are, who are we?
So that’s my dose of reality for today. Quite depressing... but alas, there’s hope. I lost my philosophy and in turn lost myself and my potential. But I finally went to put the jacket on and realized it wasn’t there anymore. The good thing about ideals and philosophies is that unlike jackets and cell phones and car keys, it’s never too late to make the phone call and get them back.
Ah ha! The restaurant manager says, “Mr. Gauthier, I have great news. We have you right here and you’re welcome to come pick yourself up any time after noon.”
Well that’s fantastic news! I feel much better. It’s approaching noon now so I’m gonna head out and go pick myself up. My happiness is something I own and control just as much as what I believe. You may not believe in the same things I believe in. Differences are what make life and people so great. Just make sure you know what you believe and stick to it. Every once in awhile it doesn’t hurt to reach in your pocket and make sure those keys are still there.