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I Used To Think Life Was Linear

Updated on November 22, 2010

I used to feel like life was linear, maybe linear in a repetitive circle. That we are born and we grow and we achieve our success and then we die - in a constant progression. Or if that isn’t the case - if you were unable to live up to that ideal - then that was the goal. I seemed to be living up to that belief. I was born. I went to school. I found a girlfriend. I graduated from college. I raised a family and took a job. I was promoted. I was well on my way to maybe another promotion or two and then a happy death with a successful progressive life behind me.

Now I’m not so sure. I certainly have taken a detour from that plan. I used to have an office but now I share cube space along with several dozen other people. Mostly people who are younger than I am and on what maybe they feel is the first few steps of their linear journey. I had to wonder if there was a time in my past where I veered left but I should’ve turned right; or maybe I should have gone straight ahead. Maybe somehow I got off my path somewhere along my way?

Now I’m not so sure. Maybe none of it matters. Maybe it all just adds up in the end. Perhaps it isn’t linear at all. It’s just what it is. A thing we all are going through called Life. Each at our own pace and in our own way using our individual styles. If you took a left then you took a left. It wasn't wrong or right, it was a choice you made. You went over to see what left brought for you. If it wasn’t any good then maybe you take a right or backtrack to that fork in the road and try another direction. However, I don’t see things as linear now at all. Where you are at is where you are at. Deal with it.

I’m not ahead or behind schedule, that's how I feel now. I’m taking it day by day and trying to keep my eyes open and to be ready to go in whatever direction I feel like or maybe in the direction that life pulls me towards. I never was much of a “plan person” to begin with and I think perhaps even less now. I think I’m just on a journey; that we are all just on a journey. No one is ahead of anyone else. We are just in different phases of experience. Where it leads to or if it leads anywhere at all… I have no idea. But I know I’m just not going to fret that I’m off the tracks anymore. I’m doing what I can. I’m keeping my head up. I’m trying to live each day the best I can; in a way that maximizes my happiness and the happiness of the ones who are in my life. I'm just trying to be true to myself these days.

Life’s too short to think you are doing it wrong or that you aren’t in the place where you’re supposed to be. We all need to relax a notch. We aren't late for anything. We aren’t losing a game. We are living our lives, each in our own way. It’s a one foot in front of the other world. An each day is the first day of the rest of our lives existence. I’ve given up that I’m on some kind of path. Now I think I’m in a field and just looking about. Maybe I'll go up to that mountain or maybe I go over to that stream. It doesn’t matter. What matters is to get the most out of where you are and enjoy those who are around you, for as long as you can.

That's what I'm going to try to do from this point on.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Life aint linear, just time is..

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Hey JBeadle, I'm right there with you man. I was attracted to the topic here, and you nailed it. For me, similar to you, I have found more out of life if I take it one day at a time, a journey like you say. But alas, something seems to pull me back to that homely linear state once in awhile. Great insight Madisonion.


    • Winsome profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      I like the "School house earth," think she had something there. My refrigerator tells me that it doesn't matter where you are just as long as you're plugged in. That's his current theory anyway. Sometimes I think life is circular 'cause I keep coming around to lessons I should have learned by now. Thanks for a thoughtful read. =:)

    • JBeadle profile imageAUTHOR

      J Beadle 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for the comments. @Rob - I've never really felt like I was in a competition but I did feel like I was supposed to have a path. @Rasta - pretty deep there for a Rastafarian!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The only meaning life has is that which you give to it.

    • Robwrite profile image


      7 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      It took me a long time to realize that I am not in competition or in a race with anyone. It was hard to learn but eventually I realized that I am right where I'm supposed to be now. The concept of "living in the moment" helps with learning to stop obsessing about the future or comparing yourself to others.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Mystics have been trying to tell us about the Spacious Now for eons. We are in the illusion of linear time because we are on a planet with gravity that travels around the sun. Most of us have bought into the illusion you talk about. But perhaps that's the whole point of existence on this planet. Remember how mom used to call it Schoolhouse Earth? What we figure out for ourselves may not be "right" for anyone else on the planet but us.

    • JBeadle profile imageAUTHOR

      J Beadle 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Maybe it's just about the style points? Thanks for the comment, Karen.

    • Karen Wodke profile image

      Karen Wodke 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Interesting thoughts. Life has often mystified me too. I didn't plan mine so well, kind of blown along by the winds of fate and the consequences of my own decisions.


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