Today I broke a rule. A rule that was not deliberately created ; it simply came to be as a habit. I don’t remember the deeper significance of the rule (perhaps there is none). The rule is: never write in my books.
Yes, you got it – I wrote in a book today 🙂 It’s a new book I bought recently about how to create my own photo blog. As I thumbed through the pages, ideas started to flow and I started to have a conversation with myself about these ideas. They came so fast and furious that I decided it best to write them down somewhere. Shit, I fogot my notebook cos I switched bags. Holding on to my pen, I twitched and fretted, hanging on to my ideas before they vapourise (I actually held my breath for a while).
Then I saw it – the white spaces around the pages of the book I am reading and I crossed that invisible line. I started to write my thoughts down in these white spaces. It took me no more than a few seconds to pen down the ideas in my head and by the time I was done, I was smiling AND breathing.
In that moment, I experienced relief and a sense of freedom. I just crossed the line. A line I drew for whatever reason when I was a student. I allowed highlighting but not writing. I won’t even start to defend the stupidity of this habit.
In recent years, I broke many rules I set for myself in my life. It’s literally like I keep a mental list of what I can/cannot do, should/should not do, how things should be done in a certain way (my way), etc. I lived my life inside of a self-erected wall, boxed in. I take comfort int this box to a certain extent. Wait, I do break my own rules of course and when I do, I set myself on a guilt trip for breaking them.
When things started to fall apart despite all the rules, I had an epiphany of sorts: By taking the same actions I have, playing by the same rules will reliably give me a certain set of predictable results. There is no escaping from this.
As Einstein said: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I realised I have to dismantle my very own rules in order to live newly.
The alternative to the rules? Where do I end up when I break these rules that have kept me safe (or so I think)? I don’t know most of the time to be honest. But I have found that unless I am willing and be brave enough to try, I will never know what is on the other side of the wall. In which case I killed all possibilities of living my life in a new way. I KNOW what exactly is on this side of the wall; afterall I’ve lived 30 something years on this side. I’m pretty safe trapped in my old ways of being.
Another moment of triumph, writing on my new book. A little skip over the line, a not so little victory in my life. I am getting used to it!