I don’t live the life I thought I wanted. Or expected.
I expected to still work in public relations. I expected to marry a woman. I expected to be traveling—or maybe living—in some exotic location (at least exotic to a Massachusetts native).
Instead, I live just 45 minutes from where I was born, I’m married to Garrett, my work regularly consists of studying things like linguistic theory, pendulum work, and how to make energetic elixirs. And, if you ever need to find me, there’s at least a 75% chance I’m home (let’s be real—in the winter, it’s even higher).
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my life. There’s not a city in the world I’d rather live in. Actually, more than that, there’s not a section of Boston I’d rather live in. And, more specifically, I’ve never seen a condo more beautiful than mine. It’s my ideal place to live in the entire world.
My work is everything I could have ever imagined spending my time doing. My relationship—there just aren’t words. And that Taurus moon in me has really come out to play; I absolutely love being home.
But it’s not like I wanted any of this as it was coming along. Or, at least, I didn’t think I wanted it. I remember the emotional turmoil and turbulence I went through as the things I thought I wanted faded from my life. And as new things—things I never even asked for—forced their way in.
I never wanted to get sick. I never wanted Garrett to take care of me. I never wanted to lose my passport. Or leave PR. Or go to two schools full-time while working full-time. Or even be doing spiritual work.
Those weren’t these long-awaited intentions. They really weren’t.
But that’s the thing about desires—they can be so easily hijacked. In our 24/7 news cycle and social media addiction world, we see what everyone else wants. The glamorized, filtered version. And it’s hard to tune back into what we actually want in the world.
We see people celebrating their wins online (as they rightfully should) with exciting travel or new cars or a designer bag. And we might think that we want that. That our lives would be so much better if we were a coach or a bestselling author or a multi-millionaire.
And maybe it would be. But also, maybe it wouldn’t be. I don’t know. But you do. Deep down, you do. And that’s the point. Radical subjectivity is the antithesis of hijacked desires. It’s tuning back in and figuring out what we actually want. Not what we’re told to want. Not what we’re conditioned to want. Not what we see gorgeously depicted across Instagram. But what we actually want.
Because if you told me staying home with Garrett and my dog and watching TV, after teaching a class on Repression and duality would be my ideal life, I would have laughed in your face. But, under layers of hijacking, that’s all I want in life. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. Because it’s who I am.
So often, among clients and friends, I see this centering of other people in their lives. I hear it on TV with things like ‘revenge body’ or in sayings like, “The best revenge is success.” I see people tell me that clients won’t come to them unless they look like they’re living a glamorous life on social media. And, most specifically, I see offerings made not from what a person has any interest in creating, but in what they believe their audience actually wants. People will contort themselves just to appease others.
I have friends who will work hard to appease—or rebel against—their parents’ desires for them. I have friends who will hard to appease—or rebel against—the social norms out there.
But so much of it is centering others. Parents, partners, ex-lovers, clients, customers, society as a whole.
It can be exhausting. Believe me, I’ve done it. I’ve bought into the vision that others have had for me. I’ve tried to tone myself down or build myself up or tell myself that I wanted things that I really, really didn’t. Especially when there was social or financial capital attached. When I could be praised, be worthy, be more important for buying into this vision.
But when it all fell away, when I was forced to turn away from that life, I realized that maybe those desires weren’t actually mine. Maybe they were hijacked. And maybe I needed to figure out who I actually was and what I really wanted. Because that’s the only thing that could ever make me happy.
So often, life doesn’t turn out the way we expected. More often than not, because our expectations and judgments weren’t our own. Or because we’ve been fighting so hard to be someone we’re not. Only to end up kind of miserable about it.
Take a moment today to think about one thing you want—that you actually, actually want. Not what you’ve seen out there. Not what people will think. Not if you should or shouldn’t do it. Not if clients will pay for it or not. Not if it’s sending a message to society or not. Just what do you want?
That’s the start of radical subjectivity.