Now the hard part

by Jon Sullivan - 2022-10-12 - Jonism

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Mostly unpacked. Kitchen sorted. Car procured. Now I need to define what my "best life" even means.

I have no idea. My strategy has been to just get the move to Oregon done methodically, asap, then worry about the meaning of life later. So I knew there was a new "best life" waiting for me here. But other than vague notions about photo adventures and crabbing, I had no idea what it was. I just knew being a hermit wasn't going to be a happy way to grow old and die. And I felt my deep dive into Stoicism was opening up a way of thinking about how to be truly happy. As I sit here, staring out at the huge park from my balcony, watching the sunset, I'm thinking things are about to change in major ways for me. From the values I believe in, to the way I treat people, to the possible activities I engage in, to how I live day to day, to....... everything.

It's weird. I don't recognize myself. I asked my sister over a year ago, "I seem to be feeling joy(?) a lot and crying happy tears at weird times. Should I get help? This feels weird." She said it was fine. Guys can cry. Stop being a weirdo just because you have feelings. I don't think she got it....... I felt... not me..... And while I'm feeling more "me" these days, I'm still doing weird shit. Several of you have known me since I was basically a child. Lately I have found myself trying to make everyone I meet happy. Trying actively to present myself as a positive part of their day. Not for me at all. Just for them. Looking for nice things to say to them. We are being happy and excited together just to be alive in this incredible universe. What a wonderful day we are having. And I love what you've done with your hair, that is fun.

I mean WTF??? Anyone from high school recognize that as Jon?

Yesterday I literally made a shop teller squeal with vicarious excitement. People turned and stared.

Lately I find myself feeling one with God. Sometimes I engage in....... I can only call it prayer. Yes. Really. See? Do you see now?

Obviously..... Let's not get crazy..... Jon is still a 100% atheist. My "God" is still science. The math that makes it all work as it does = God. The physics that created life and art and love. My God is testable and falsifiable = Atheism. I may sometimes let myself indulge in iffy science like a universal quantum wavefunction. But any new babbling about God and being one with the universe is still grounded in science and logic. It just makes more sense to me to call it a name, and my name for it is "God". And if I seem lost in prayer, it's me being thankful and mindful when a deterministic universe (God) brings me to a wonderful place. I would never pray that my team beat some other team, or I'd win the lottery, or such nonsense. I don't believe some mystical universal consciousness exists, let alone that it might push piles of atoms off course just for the asking.

Wow. What a journey. All I know is it's just getting started. The last few years have felt like the accelerator is mashed to the floor, and it's not slowing down. The original idea was to just be Stoic - Take control of my happiness. Done. I've been very happy for a long time now. Which turned out to be insanely easy. Troublingly easy. But I feel like it's not done. More changes seem just around the bend.

No idea how to even start. But getting in my new car with some camera gear and driving somewhere beautiful is probably not a bad way to try and find out.

I know I keep droning on and on about it. But now everything else is done, and this is all that's left. What is New Jon? And it could be that this is it. Nothing left to discover. I've arrived at Best Jon. Be nice to people, leave the house a lot, embrace joy. Which honestly.... sounds pretty awesome already.

In our next episode - We list all my many disappointments and grievances with New Jon.

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