34: Discovering the Somatic Markers
It seems strange to me now to think about how I have to unlearn how I lived in my 20’s to really live now.
Last year, I wrote my 33 Unknowables post for my birthday, reflecting on everything I never wanted to really know about. The year before, I was reflecting on my 20’s and my belief that life doesn’t really begin until you’re 30. I was thinking about the quote above since I started last year’s post with it, when the latest Caesura Letter hit my inbox about Somatic Markers:
A somatic marker, he suggests, is like an emotional trigger that changes your physical state. It is a feeling connected to a predicted outcome.
… somatic markers are theoretical mechanisms that “carry” this emotional prompt forward in time. You might think of somatic markers as something like unconscious emotional bookmarks.
When I suggested that I needed to unlearn everything from my 20’s to live in my 30’s, I was heading down the right path. Clearing the emotional attachment to the previous events in my life allows me to make decisions with my current life a little less stressful. With several things, the memories I had with those objects or activities prevented me from letting go even though it was the right move. A perfect example is what happened to me this week.
My Jeep Cherokee was starting to cause me issues that were becoming more and more expensive to fix. This Jeep has been apart of my life since New Year’s in 2001. It was my first vehicle I was able to pay off with my first full-time position. It’s gone from Regina to Syracuse, NY to Whitehorse, Yukon to Kelowna, BC and other places in between. I’ve slept in it during the Dawson Music Fest, moved my belongings in it several times, and it was the vehicle that I used to bring my daughter home from the hospital when she was born. It’s been there for all the crazy ups and downs of my life the past twelve years.
This past week, I did the unthinkable and put it up for auction.
Didn’t even hold out for a good price in a classified ad. Just put it up for sale and whatever I get for it will be satisfactory for me.
It was the right decision, and allowed me to find a different vehicle at the same auction to start creating new memories with. Hopefully, this 2004 Pontiac Grand Am avoids some of the fates of the Jeep, namely the interior lights being left on and killing the battery three times in a week, being backed into the corner of a building, and numerous pops, coffees, and french fries being dropped in the seats.
This is only one example that crossed my mind while trying to grasp the meaning of these somatic markers. I can think of others in my life that once cleared from my life (the condo I lived in with my ex, changing the bed we shared), made me feel much better right away. As I think more about this, I’m sure I will come to realize there are other blocks happening that I need to correct. All in due time.
The Caesura Letters have opened my eyes on a weekly basis and given me plenty of things to reflect about. This one was especially meaningful and I look forward to thinking about it in the coming year, working on myself to try and find these other somatic markers that I can correct to see where my life goes.
If you wish to do something to support me as a writer and wish me a happy birthday, here are a few things you can do:
- Read my review of Tonx Coffee and sign-up if interested.
- Order the Aeropress, my favourite way to brew coffee: Canada and USA
- Order my favourite book of the year, f**k it, – in Canada
- Or make a Donation
If you’ve made it this far, feel free to share with your friends and invite people to discover my writings. I’d be extremely grateful.
And, finally, a fun track that was just released that I’m enjoying:
Full set by Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike:
- All done by now ex-girlfriends. ↩