When Everything Stops


Sometimes everything in your life just comes to a stop. An abrupt realization. It can be on the street corner waiting for the green light to cross. In a grocery store staring at the price of an avocado versus sliced ham. On a ridge looking out over a beautiful golden sunset. Maybe simply sitting idle at home. In these moments of clarity, everything can come to a halt. During an action you have repeating many times before you find yourself dumbstruck in contemplation on how you got to this point in your life. What decisions led you to the outcome and path you are on. It then opens up an even more complicated set of questions regarding the choices you have been making lately and the ones you are bound to make in the future.

These are rare times that allow us to step outside our own psyche and have a good hard look at ourselves. How in fact did we come to this point? I’m not talking getting into your car and driving to the store. I am talking bigger picture. For instance, how did you end up with that car? Where do you live and why do you live there? Where did you live before that and why? Who are your close friends and why are they? Where do you work? Where did you work before that? Why did you leave that job? Where did you go to college or why didn’t you? Who is your significant other? How did that come about and what has changed? Were all of these decisions based on personal choice or an outside influence?

When you start asking yourself these questions do you feel at all defensive about the answers you are giving? Do you feel embarrassed of your present state, instead of being proud? It is not hard to feel trapped by the choices we think we have to make in life. There is no better feeling than being completely in control of your own path. Life is a maze and navigating our way through it can be difficult. There are dead ends all over the place and all of the exits seem to lead to another room of more complex mazes. A never-ending circus that seems to come back with crazier acts each year.

Here is an exert from Ayn Rand’s powerful work and magnum opus ‘Atlas Shrugged’ that has really stuck with me recently.
“I don’t like the thing that’s happening to people, Miss Taggart.”
“What?”
“I don’t know. But I’ve been watching them for twenty years and I’ve seen the change. They used to rush through here, and it was wonderful to watch, it was the hurry of men who knew where they were going and were eager to get there. Now they’re hurrying because they’re afraid. It’s not a purpose that drives them, it’s fear. They’re not going anywhere, they’re escaping. And I don’t think they know what it is they want to escape. They don’t look at one another. They jerk when brushed against. They smile too much, but it is an ugly kind of smiling: it’s not joy, it’s pleading. I don’t know what it is that’s happening to the world.” He shrugged.

Be proud, be confident and be sure what you want out of life. Don’t let others decide for you. Everyday we are forced to make little choices, which eventually culminate over time in bigger life decisions. If you ride the bus everyday, and hate it, eventually you will want to get a car. This then turns into a whole other set of expenses, from the initial cost, to maintenance, insurance, gas and accident repair. If you love your car then more power to you, but if by buying that car it inhibits you from spending money/time on the things you truly love doing, was it really worth it?

I myself have had these moments of sudden contemplation and realization several times in my life. It has never been accompanied by negative feelings, but sometimes one of puzzlement. When I try to retrace the footprints of my life it can become very convoluted and confusing when I see all the forks in the road. But looking back there are no regrets. I wouldn’t want to live that way. Everything is a culmination. A build up to something more, something bigger than myself, like ‘Cycling Around the World’. If I hadn’t started moving outside my comfort zone and exploring new areas of personal development, I would have never gotten this far.

Take those moments when everything stops and really have a hard look at how you got to that point. We are makers of our own fortunes, so embrace or change the outcome. It is your race, your maze and your circus.

About markquattrocchi

My name is Mark Quattrocchi. This site is dedicated to giving people a look into the wonders of world travel. Through my experiences, thoughts and ambitions about adventure, I strive to give motivation to people to follow their dreams.

Posted on May 28, 2014, in Adventure, Around the World, Inspiration, Motivation, Thoughts, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Mark, your blogs are so uplifting. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts when you get out on the open road…2 weeks!

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