How do you carry on after your world ends?

My world was destroyed on Friday. I found out something that changed me, down to the fiber of who I am as a father, a husband and a human being. I can’t and won’t go into details. I will say that I’m blown away by how humanity can, at the same time, be both wonderful and loathsome.

So as I sit here on Sunday, watching news stories about the latest technology crap, my world has a different perspective. On Friday morning I was taking a shower and shaking my head about someone who was griping about the technology news cycle. Today I’m wondering how I will go back to work within that cycle tomorrow.

I’ve spent this weekend with my wife and my kids and everything looked perfect to anyone viewing from the outside.

But it wasn’t.

For me, I reach the point that emotions become so varied and intense that all I end up feeling is numb. It’s not that I don’t care, but rather that I care too much and that numbness seems to be my body’s way of avoiding (or dealing with) emotional overload.

I used to be able to get lost in my work. But that was a different point in my life, when my work was just my work, instead of being so formative to who I am as a person.

How can you write with passion when all you feel is your brain in varying shades of beige? How do you tell a startup founder that their huge, emerging story is anything but, in the grand scheme of things? How do you carry on with what you’ve been doing, when all you want to do is scream?

The answer is that you don’t. You don’t carry on. You’ve been changed. It’s up to you (and me) to decide how you’re going to let that change affect you. But to simply carry on is to ignore what life has given you. To just carry on as you always have is to ignore the chance you’ve been given to learn.

I believe that human experience is entirely subjective. People are only able to set their 1-to-10 scale based upon what they’ve experienced as being a 10. But their 10 may be your 2, and you have to respect its position to them.

So tomorrow I will wake up, because the sun still rises. The grass is still green and the honeysuckle still smells sweet. I will wake up because the world itself hasn’t changed, only mine has. My 10 has a new definition, but it’s up to me to respect that someone else’s 10 may be my 2…or my 12.

I’ll wake up tomorrow and I’ll do what I do because I love it. There’s still respite for a broken heart in doing the things that you love.

But I won’t carry on. I refuse to simply carry on. I will learn and I will try to understand and with any luck at all I will take my Friday and use its lessons to help form my tomorrow, for as long as tomorrow continues to come.


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