The majority of that which causes us discomfort is whether or not we’ve convinced ourselves that the arbitrary shifts we’ve chosen in any given moment will compound our potential for happiness at the highest rate.
The ability to acknowledge discomfort beyond hunger, or exhaustion, is a privilege. And when people make statements like that, they tend to just mean: appreciate it.
I mean: Use it.
Listen to it. If you have the privilege of being able to choose the life you want, not just survive at the one you have, stop sitting around and dwelling on the discomfort and unhappiness and ways you’re unfulfilled, and god damn it, listen to them.
Your discomfort is trying to tell you that there’s another way, a better way, and you haven’t figured it out yet. Rather than press up against it, try to quell it because dulling the feeling fixes the problem, ask yourself what you haven’t yet figured out. What you’re trying to tell yourself.
You will look back on your life and cry with gratitude over the things that pained you most. The relationships that needed to break so someone else could come in your life. The relationships that needed to break because what you found in putting them together was what you’d need to sustain it in the end.
The jobs and homes that just didn’t feel right because there were better jobs and cozier homes right around the corner. The friends you never felt comfortable around and the friends you found because you left them.
The tiny way you were seeing the world and how it was ultimately giving you a tiny life. The ways you used to quantify and predict and get lost in your interpretation of reality, and how you eventually unlearned the manic-ness of subjective reason, and understood that the truest form of reflection… is just to be.
The point is that your discomfort is not something to be silenced. It is something to be acknowledged. “GIVE ME A SIGN” people beg to the Universe, their god, their friends who they think hold some kind of magical insight. But the guidance is already there.
The need to know which way to go is already knowing and being afraid to do it.
Discomfort is the human condition. Privilege is the ability to change your life because you feel it. Do not assume everybody has this ability, or awareness. Do not assume you have forever to act on yours. It’s just as easy to silence it until it becomes an integrated norm in the numb, unhappy life you remained in because you were afraid to do the things you thought would kill you, and ended up never living in the first place.
Photography: Nathan Congleton