OK. I hope you all still respect me when I'm done saying what I'm about to say.
I've been watching Big Brother this year. I actually have a very long and checkered history with this show. For those of you who don't know, Big Brother is a show where a bunch of people are locked in a house all summer and they vote each other out, one by one.
It makes me shudder to say this show has been on for 16 years. I shudder, because I was there for the very first show. Back then, I even watched online. They have cameras all over the house and you can watch 24/7 online. I did that for a few years, I think. And chatted about it on message boards. But online communities were significantly uglier and nastier back in those days, so I gave up...on the show, on online communities, and on reality shows in general.
So for many years, the internet was only about doing research and work for me. That's it. Then, a little over five years ago or so, I reluctantly joined Facebook at the urging of my brother. And the last couple of years I've peeked in on Big Brother from time to time. But this year I've watched all the way through. But all of that is just background, because the truth is, I have a love/hate relationship with this show. And, in some ways, that's part of the experiment.
See, Big Brother started out as a kind of sociological experiment. What would happen if you lock a dozen or more people in a house all summer—with no contact from the outside world—film them 24/7 and put them under constant pressure of being voted out of the game? Well, spoiler alert, a lot of boredom happens...haha. A lot of paranoia. And a lot of people selling their integrity for what it, perhaps, the crappiest prize in all of reality television. The winner only gets $500K. That's half of what contestants earn on Survivor or the Amazing Race and these guys are in the house 97 days (vs the 39 of Survivor).
Another thing that happens is constant talk about "The Big Move". The big move is when you put up a player who dominates or is threatening or is part of your alliance for eviction. Every year there is a lot of talk about the big move. Everyone wants to make it. And, ultimately, it rarely ever happens except when the options are so few that you have no choice.
Think about that for a second. Isn't that how we approach the big moves in our own lives a lot of the time? I know it's true for me. Over the years you guys have heard me talk about making big moves and some of them I've made without thinking. I started teaching tarot and reading professionally. I wrote my first book and got it published. But then other ones—writing another book and making changes in my career—seem to be waiting until they're one of the few options I have left.
What often happens on these reality shows is that people put off the big move for so long that it ends up costing them the game. It's infuriating as a fan, because the "big move" often means the underdog you're rooting for will get another chance. But because the big move is never made, the game ends for your favorite player and, often, for the person who didn't make the big move. While real life isn't always so final, it can also have the same results. Someone comes out with "your" idea before you do. You wait too long to take serious measures to improve your health. You stay too long in an abusive relationship and end up mentally or physically devastated.
The older I get, the more aware I am that there will never be a "right time to make a big move". Sure, some times are better than others, but if we wait for the right time, we could wait forever. There is no way to avoid the pain and difficulty of change, no matter how long you wait.
Which isn't to say I'm on the verge of making a big move. For the first time in years, I can confidently say I'm not. But I do think I now know why I've been waiting and have a clear progression in mind about what has to happen first. My problem has always been that I try to take on too much at once, thereby stressing myself out of any chance of making progress. It's self-defeating. So I'm not even looking at big moves right now. But I admit I wonder each night as I drift off to sleep if I'll ever make them.
Big moves, I think, are important to our lives. They're what keep us moving forward. Imagine what life would be if we ran out of aspirations to follow and leaps to take. There seems to a certain friction point we need to achieve with our big moves. We can't just envision them without pursuing them or we'll end up disappointed in ourselves and feeling defeated by life. But if we just knock them down one after the other, never giving them time to develop and tempt us, then that's like eating chocolate without even tasting it. What's the point?
I think I'm ready to make peace with my big moves, which is a big move in and of itself. While the pressure of big moves bearing down on us can propel us forward, it can also paralyze us. My big, big move, which affects my body, career, home—everything—is really just a series of smaller moves. I feel confident that, one day, the big move will be made, because I feel it's part of my purpose here on earth and I knew from a young age what that was and have been working on it all my life. In some aspects, I'm very ready. But in other ways I don't yet have what I need. Right now I have to be right with myself. I need to feel better physically. I need to reduce stress. And I need to stop dogging myself about the big move! Then when I get the energy back to face what's waiting beyond the edge of the precipice, I'll leap.
So, spoiler alert, tonight I'll watch yet another opportunity for a big move to made in the Big Brother house. And tomorrow I'll get to see what, if any, repercussions come of it. But instead of being angry and frustrated about all this talk of big moves that never get made, I'll see myself. Ultimately that's what we're always seeing when we look outside of us and get angry and frustrated with "them", whoever they happen to be anyway.
And for the ultimate spoiler alert, I'll say this. Sometimes we get so caught up in achieving the next thing, crossing the next item off our lists or caring who's watching us succeed or fail that we don't allow ourselves to simply be and enjoy the experience. I beat myself up way too much over items of ambition. The big spoiler is that everything ends up the way it's supposed to whether we kill ourselves making it happen or not. We simply cannot do this thing wrong. Life is a win-win situation if we allow it to be.