There are trade-offs in life. But I don’t think that we have the choice to do the trading. You can do the trading, but it will be exhausting and superficial and ultimately unsatisfying. We don’t get to choose who we are. And you cannot re-create yourself. You can only discover yourself, and accept yourself, and be yourself.
People often talk of life as a balance. And, in its way, this is true. But life is not an ongoing balancing act that you must perform. If someone is caught up in something that makes them feel guilty or ashamed or just plain dirty, a week’s load of yoga and cold-pressed juice is not going to fix it; neither will a week of charity work, or any kind of work. Another person grinds away at a boring job and then parties all weekend to find adventure or a flow. But the excitement is only an illusion. This in not balance. This is a wasted life. The same goes for the often endorsed view about marriage: that marriage is compromise; this is just another word for the lie of “balance.” If you think that is the case, good luck.
The point of life, as I see it, is to come to accept who you truly are and to live your life wholeheartedly from moment to moment, from the promptings of your true spirit. But to know our true spirit we have to see and admit to what is not true about us, and let it go. This requires more not-doing than doing, and a willingness to be humbled. What comes from such humbling is the discovery of a natural balance that balances itself, and the less you get involved the better. But society dissuades it. And the ego resists it. It seems like an empty state and feels slippery. But you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s sometimes healthier to just relax and enjoy that slice of pizza instead of another obligatory kale salad.
We are all here for different reasons. Trust that you have one, get on with learning how to let it be, and enjoy your life. If someone, maybe a potential friend or spouse or business associate, jibes with you, then great. And if working a meaningless job and playing video games every night is truly your thing, then great too. And if you screw up sometimes, and fall to messing things up for yourself or others, and deep down you know you’re wrong, just own up and make your apologies and move on. If you don’t and try to “balance” yourself instead (and there’s a zillion ways do this), then just go easy on yourself and know that you’re an evil son of a bitch, or a daughter of a bitch and, for now at least, that’s just the way is.