I’m finding myself thinking about the paradigm in Mage: the Ascension that some refer to as the Metaphysical Trinity. It’s a cycle that consists of Dynamism, Stasis, and Entropy. As I prepare to leave the start-up life behind, hopefully forever, and move into a position in life that is more stable and less inducing of constant low-level stress, at least on the employment front, it feels more than anything else that this cycle in my life is moving from Entropy into Dynamism. Things are changing.
With the benefit of hindsight of the recent past, it’s clear to me that for the latter half of last year, I was existing in that state of Entropy. I was struggling to hold myself together, constantly afraid of things falling apart. While those fears have not entirely left me alone — part of ongoing grief is the knowledge that lives can be shattered with no explanation at any moment — I’m trying to grapple with and understand them, rather than just letting them exist without engagement or pretending they either don’t exist or will somehow leave me alone. To cope with them better, I’ve had to grow, to change.
I’ve been taking a hard look at my expectations and goals for myself, as well. What is it that I actually want? Am I my own person, deep down? How much have I relied upon or catered to the perceived expectations, needs, or wants of others, especially those closest to me? Employers, partners, family, friends — my relationships have, by and large, been defined by not my own guidance, but the influence of others. That, too, is something I need to try and change. I want to live a healthier, more personally fulfilling life. Not an easy thing when your previous experience and head weasels have spent years telling you that your self-worth is irrelevant in the face of your utility in the hands of others.
That can and must change. Everything changes.
My hope is that, with the nature of my day-to-day stressors drastically changing, and a more stable structure being introduced in the form of new employment, I can build on top of that foundation. If there is a core of good things upon which to base change, the change is ultimately for the better, no matter what form it takes. And I know that the people who love & care about me want to see me thrive, not shrivel. Entropy causes me to shrivel. And, for now, I am leaving that nadir of the cycle behind and moving towards better things.
Even the cycle will change. Things will settle into a recognizable, even comfortable, pattern for a time, and then they’ll break down through personal perception or life circumstances, only to change again. As much as I know I can’t go through these changes alone, at the end of the day, I do need to find my own way, to kindle and shine my light to guide myself through change.
Everything changes. And so must I.
The Hermit from Mage: the Ascension tarot art by Joshua Gabriel Timbrook