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Self-inquiry is a simple but powerful tool that can lead to profound shifts in our understanding. “The Witness” captures a powerful insight, learned through self-inquiry, that granted me the wisdom to leave my old life behind. After completing “King Me” and “The Architect” I felt a strange combination of optimism and fear. I was happy to be free of those identities but at the same time, it felt like my life was falling apart. Typically, I would fight this fear, run from it, or get stuck, but as I observed it without resistance, it began to dissolve. The fear ceased to control me but it still seemed wildly irresponsible to simply walk away from my life.
But one day during a winter thaw, I became captivated by a snowbank melting on the curb while walking to work. It was filled with salt and dirt but it sparkled in the sunlight and the water dripping from it was crystal clear. The way it was eroding was extraordinary. There was an intricate network of twists, turns, pockets, and shelves, effortlessly created through natural processes. It looked like an exotic sea cave carved out on a Brooklyn street corner. I could see my own journey in it, how my old self was melting away. It was a messy, painful process but it was also beautiful, natural, and pure.
It was then that I realized that I had to allow my life to fall apart in order to make room for something better. The person who I took myself to be was just a shell that must break down in order for my authentic self to shine through. My only job was to stay grounded in this understanding and let the path forward unfold. It affirmed my decision to leave architecture behind without delay and pursue a security guard position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As long as I had this authentic connection to myself and trust in life, the chaotic but necessary changes I once feared were a small price to pay in order to become the person I was meant to be.
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