The Morning My Worldview Disintegrated in London City Airport


I remember sitting in London City Airport at 5:00 AM, watching TV through a coffee-fueled haze as the 2016 U.S. presidential election returns scrolled across the chyron.

The impossible was now something I had to accept.

A world that I thought I knew. That I thought I understood, was no more.

A worldview that I had fortified for fifteen years, in an instant, had disintegrated.

A worldview that had been instilled in me by my parents and the church in which I grew up.

A worldview that I didn’t embrace, until at age 22 I did what “grownups” in the southeastern U.S. do: built my life around the church.

My time as a conservative, evangelical Christian was over.

I did not know then that the journey I was beginning had a name: Deconstruction.

Deconstruction is a philosophical method born from the work of Jaques Derrida. More recently, it has been embraced by a global community trying to make sense of life before and after a worldview disintegrating moment. Thomas Kuhn described a similar phenomenon in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as a paradigm shift: a sometimes violent transition from one scientific system to another, occurring when the previous system is no longer fit to model reality.

For me, the election of Donald Trump was the catalyst that caused my paradigm - my mental model of reality - to violently implode.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to write about many different facets of deconstruction, ultimately because I’m trying to transition to reconstruction. I want to build a new mental model of reality, using my writing to clarify my thinking. And I hope that you too will gain value from shadowing my journey.