My friend Samuel is on the verge of divorce. The twenty year weight of self-owned business stress and three kids has driven his relationship to the edge. He’s had a nervous breakdown several years ago from working too hard, and now the guillotine is about to fall on his relationship.
It’s funny to me how a man’s life seems to run on autopilot sometimes, and drives him to the goals he really wants for himself, despite his best conscious attempts to cut the arteries of his ambitions. In the case of Sam’s nervous breakdown, he created a life for himself that wore him down. He knew in the cockles of his kidneys that it was unsustainable, and that he was driving towards an impenetrable brick and mortar wall. He couldn’t consciously stop, so his body stopped for him. A schism occurred because of the abyss between what he should do, and what he wanted to do.
All Sam wants is a farm. He wants animals and sweet green grass. He wants to milk his Jersey cow and slaughter his Wyandotte chickens after he’s stolen their eggs. He wants to eat his own home grown pork belly in his farmhouse kitchen and look out onto some acres with the mist rising through the eucalypts in the cool of the morning.
But, as he says, he can’t.
“Cos I can’t.”
But he is. Despite his own best efforts to stop himself, he is driving his own life towards his dream. His wife won’t come to the table to support him, so although he does not want to leave her, he almost certainly will. If a man wants something bad enough, if he literally cannot survive without the things he wants, he will do what it takes to win his own life.