Chapter 2
"The Background"

People have often asked me where I am from. Though this is probably a simple question for most, for me it is not so straightforward. Deep down I know that I am from nowhere and everywhere; from the same source spirit from which we all emerge and to which we will all return. I was born into this life in Mountain View, California, though that place has little meaning for me as I did not grow up there. In fact I have never lived there at all.

My childhood was spent living in many various cities and states in the US. We tended to move fairly often when I was young, and I had a transient youth following my parents’ divorce when I was four years old. I spent time in various foster homes and with one parent or another throughout my childhood. The youngest of five children, some time was spent among my siblings and other times, not so much.

I never laid down roots anywhere. I attended well over a dozen schools while growing up and did not have any life-long friends or any consistent relationships, even with my own family. The only thing that was really consistent in my life was the inevitable change.

By the time I was an adult, I suffered from abandonment issues that affected the way I related to everyone who entered my life. I tended to keep everyone at a distance, knowing that I could not count on anyone to be present in the future. By not delving into deep love or intimacy, my young self hoped to avoid the pain of separation.

By the time I was a teenager, I was troubled in many subtle and overt ways. Heading into adulthood, I also headed further into the darkness that I had become so familiar with. I married, worked hard, and built a family and a sporadically changing career, while facing a continual low-level depression.

The life that society had told me I was supposed to live, the one that would supposedly bring satisfaction did little to quell my sadness and loneliness. I spent over a decade trudging to my various jobs, staying honest and working hard to make ends meet. Despite never having graduated from college, my hard worked paid off with promotions of responsibility (and occasional pay raises), ultimately landing me a job at Microsoft Corporation as an analyst.

I had done well by the measures of the society in which I lived. I had earned my way, through adversity and now had all the indicators of a successful and happy person. I was married to a beautiful woman with whom I had raised a bright son to near adulthood. We had a condo in a top-rated suburb outside of Seattle. We pulled in a six-figure income. I drove a Cadillac and had access to the modern toys and conveniences that many strive to obtain. Surely, from most outside perspectives, I had it all.

Most outside perspectives were precisely incorrect. I was truly miserable. I felt that I had sold my soul to serve a system that I did not agree with. I had conformed to a sick society and had compromised my values, while falling for the lie of the American dream. All the money and possessions in the world could not mask my broken heart and sickened and neglected soul.

I still lived in debt. I worked away all my days and spent my nights serving a materialistic lifestyle or attempting to self-medicate away the depression. My marriage had grown stale and unhappy. My son carried little respect for the sacrifices that I had made and barely spoke to me at all. My workplace was filled with competitive back-stabbers who would betray their own mothers to get just one more rung up the corporate ladder.

I spent my days enforcing company policies that crushed honest small businesses and favored the hefty profits of serving corrupt enterprises that brought little more than suffering onto the humanity that they claimed to serve in their endless advertising.

Every morning I would wake (after slamming the snooze button as many times as possible) to suicidal thoughts. By this time in my life, I felt that I would rather die than go fight rush hour traffic to work a job that I despised and to serve a life that was completely unfulfilling.

My health was failing. My marriage was crumbling. Everything that I had worked so hard for now felt worthless. Worst of all, I looked about the apparent issues in my life and the greater world, and realized that it was all hopelessly broken. There seemed no solutions to the greed and destruction, to the separation and confusion that had taken over the entire planet. Despite having faced years and years of depression, I had finally hit rock bottom and was in total despair.

Music: “A Song That Is Happy”
https://choon.co/tracks/0kflvpydvtk/a-song-that-is-happy/

Image: “Devotions” by Cedar Branches (2011)
Chapter 2 "The Background" People have often asked me where I am from. Though this is probably a simple question for most, for me it is not so straightforward. Deep down I know that I am from nowhere and everywhere; from the same source spirit from which we all emerge and to which we will all return. I was born into this life in Mountain View, California, though that place has little meaning for me as I did not grow up there. In fact I have never lived there at all. My childhood was spent living in many various cities and states in the US. We tended to move fairly often when I was young, and I had a transient youth following my parents’ divorce when I was four years old. I spent time in various foster homes and with one parent or another throughout my childhood. The youngest of five children, some time was spent among my siblings and other times, not so much. I never laid down roots anywhere. I attended well over a dozen schools while growing up and did not have any life-long friends or any consistent relationships, even with my own family. The only thing that was really consistent in my life was the inevitable change. By the time I was an adult, I suffered from abandonment issues that affected the way I related to everyone who entered my life. I tended to keep everyone at a distance, knowing that I could not count on anyone to be present in the future. By not delving into deep love or intimacy, my young self hoped to avoid the pain of separation. By the time I was a teenager, I was troubled in many subtle and overt ways. Heading into adulthood, I also headed further into the darkness that I had become so familiar with. I married, worked hard, and built a family and a sporadically changing career, while facing a continual low-level depression. The life that society had told me I was supposed to live, the one that would supposedly bring satisfaction did little to quell my sadness and loneliness. I spent over a decade trudging to my various jobs, staying honest and working hard to make ends meet. Despite never having graduated from college, my hard worked paid off with promotions of responsibility (and occasional pay raises), ultimately landing me a job at Microsoft Corporation as an analyst. I had done well by the measures of the society in which I lived. I had earned my way, through adversity and now had all the indicators of a successful and happy person. I was married to a beautiful woman with whom I had raised a bright son to near adulthood. We had a condo in a top-rated suburb outside of Seattle. We pulled in a six-figure income. I drove a Cadillac and had access to the modern toys and conveniences that many strive to obtain. Surely, from most outside perspectives, I had it all. Most outside perspectives were precisely incorrect. I was truly miserable. I felt that I had sold my soul to serve a system that I did not agree with. I had conformed to a sick society and had compromised my values, while falling for the lie of the American dream. All the money and possessions in the world could not mask my broken heart and sickened and neglected soul. I still lived in debt. I worked away all my days and spent my nights serving a materialistic lifestyle or attempting to self-medicate away the depression. My marriage had grown stale and unhappy. My son carried little respect for the sacrifices that I had made and barely spoke to me at all. My workplace was filled with competitive back-stabbers who would betray their own mothers to get just one more rung up the corporate ladder. I spent my days enforcing company policies that crushed honest small businesses and favored the hefty profits of serving corrupt enterprises that brought little more than suffering onto the humanity that they claimed to serve in their endless advertising. Every morning I would wake (after slamming the snooze button as many times as possible) to suicidal thoughts. By this time in my life, I felt that I would rather die than go fight rush hour traffic to work a job that I despised and to serve a life that was completely unfulfilling. My health was failing. My marriage was crumbling. Everything that I had worked so hard for now felt worthless. Worst of all, I looked about the apparent issues in my life and the greater world, and realized that it was all hopelessly broken. There seemed no solutions to the greed and destruction, to the separation and confusion that had taken over the entire planet. Despite having faced years and years of depression, I had finally hit rock bottom and was in total despair. Music: “A Song That Is Happy” https://choon.co/tracks/0kflvpydvtk/a-song-that-is-happy/ Image: “Devotions” by Cedar Branches (2011)
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