If you ask the average person, what is important in life, how many of them would immediately tell you, ‘earning a livelihood’ or ‘making good money’? – Yes, but, whatever happened to the finer things in life, things you actually enjoy? Oh wait, that’s right, we’re told to hold off on life’s pleasures because we have more important things to do like trading our time in for ‘money’ and then waiting for however long (usually a lifetime) to actually enjoy ourselves (like when?). And how do we know what we really want anyways?
There’s nothing wrong in playing it safe (playing it the way authority figures such as your parents tells you to, because if all fails – you could blame someone else). But of course, there’s also a major flaw in this method of ‘living’ – because while you are busy trading in your time for money – those increments of seconds, minutes, hours and days that passes are something you are not going to get back. How much is truly worth a year of your time and all of your hardships and complaints? $50,000? $100,000? $150,000? Can that even be quantified? Would you be happy knowing you have 1 less year of your time for X currency amount? How many zeroes following that first integer would make you ‘happy’?
Still, we’re told this is a ‘proper’ way to conduct ourselves because let’s say 90% of people live this way, so it is only ‘natural’ for you to conduct yourself in this manner also. It’s the way the world works and we’re told to grow up.
But wait a second, when did ‘common’ become ‘natural’ or the new ‘normal’? Just because 90% of the population practices this method doesn’t mean it IS the way for you to live your life, or is it? If you accept the norm without questioning it, how would you know what was really right for you? And yet, we’re a society obsessed with labels – despite that we condemn discrimination on gender, skin color, sexual orientation – it still very much plays into societal hierarchy – and of course who could forget another label that defines us all – what we do for a living.
I admit, I feel restless because three months ago I wrote about quitting the job. I didn’t quit because I didn’t have enough saved up to cover my expenses that includes tuition and my trip later this year. And now three months later I’m having trouble convincing myself I should just go along with everything until December. At this point, I’d rather downsize on a few things just for the freedom of being me.
I’m hitting the big 25 in three months time and honestly I feel as though I have nothing remarkable to show for it. I’m tired of listening to conventional wisdom, of letting others guilt trip me into doing the ‘right’ thing ( right for who? ). I’m not living (at least it doesn’t feel like I’m living for me). I’m just existing and expiring at the rate of one day at a time – well, even worse, I could be causing more damage to my health by being unhappy all the time and smoking on my breaks, even though I have a strict policy of not smoking in North America (in Europe and Asia this is a different story due to how much I enjoy the nightlife there). Other than going through the motions and doing a series of things appointed to me by other people to play it safe, have I ever achieved anything that made me happy? Actually, yes, I did once, last year when I took that trip on a whim to Amsterdam.
Those two weeks were the happiest time of my life because I was doing something different, something new, something no-one else understood as to why, but deep down I just wanted to prove that I can do it and explain to no-one as to why I am doing something silly just because ‘I want to!’. It made me open my eyes and it made me grow. But ever since I’ve been back, I’ve fallen back into this web of mediocrity, of not trying because everything went back to being the same and it stayed that way. I’m frustrated for letting myself get this way, for not believing in myself enough and not realizing that this life is my own sooner.
To be continued…