This post could just as well have been called, “The world according to Chuck (Palahniuk)”. I quoted Mr Palahniuk in my reflections on the relationships between generations; and was struck anew by the gems of wisdom that are scattered throughout his controversial oeuvre of transgressive fiction.

He said, “Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.” When I reflect on the last three years of my life this statement really seems to capture it. Living in a strange country, acquainting myself with a new culture – altogether different from what I had known my entire life – has brought me face to face with many things I fear and I can only hope that each encounter has made me stronger.

Life is sometimes messy – we break things and in turn suffering breaks us, but as Palahniuk said, “Maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves,” and “people have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.”

And on the days where I feel like I’ve lost the fight and been whipped by challenges bigger than my capacities I stand back up and choose to remember that, “I don’t want to die without a few scars,” and  that, “the only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.” I’m sure that kind of surgery leaves scars. When that, sometimes overwhelming, awareness of my own mortality and limitations comes a knocking I remind myself that, “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

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