When you struggle with the life you choose
I need some help here; I grew up in the era of fast food, and instant mail. I watched shows where all it took was an hour and 30 minutes to defeat the bad guy, where to complete your quest, you had to go in a straight line and defeat every obstacle just once. I grew up on “happily ever afters” and one time solutions.
Then I tried to model my life after those patterns and it obviously failed, because movie reality and life reality operate on very different laws. A 10 year period can be crammed into a 2 hour movie, probability always favors the hero and the patterns follow a general predictable trend.
Life reality, is sort of the opposite, you feel every second of the 10 year period go by (with the exception of altered states of consciousness), probability is as objective and impersonal as death, there is no general pattern and most times you have to figure shit out from scratch, even if other people have done it before as no two circumstances are the same.
So here I am; a young man in his early 20’s at the shoreline of his adult life, wondering what kind of boat he should build, and which course he should set sail for. Different options are presented to him, he knows people his age, who are tearing shit up and having the time of their lives and he decides that’s the path he wants go on, the path of the young, rich nigga.
But then, how does one suddenly become rich? There are the illicit methods, like wire, there are the get lucky methods like the lottery and then there are the entrepreneurial methods, like getting good at something and creating a market for it by using it to add value to people.
The third option sounds like the most sensible way to go, but then its rules and logic are strange to someone like me who grew up on Disney, anime and instant gratification. There are themes like playing the long game, acting even when unsure, embracing and getting comfortable with failure and rejection, going for long periods of time without any sign of a reward in sight, falling in love with the process and the craft rather than the gains, being alone in your convictions, and possibly the most horrible, giving up current comforts for a path that has no promise of a future reward, talk less of a greater reward.
Crazy talk, really crazy talk, but then normal talk gives you normalcy and I’m always bitching about how much I despise normalcy (by normalcy, I’m referring to the aspects of everyday life we all claim to hate but do nothing about),
I want to be free to smoke weed with my friends with the comfort of knowing that I don’t have to worry about whether smoking will allow me get a job or some other benefit of being a responsible member of society,
I want to be free to read articles and books on all the subjects I find fascinating without the nagging thought of working on a project that makes me want to numb myself through the process,
I want to be able to laze around sometimes and not worry that if I don’t move, I’ll lose something central to my existence,
I want to be able to travel leisurely, and take pictures of breathtaking scenery,
I want to actually like the life I live and not always compare it to a future ideal, even if it happens in brief periods, I want those periods to occur as often as possible
Normalcy won’t give me any of that, normalcy comes with responsibilities you really don’t care for, normalcy comes with striving to be among the status quo, normalcy comes with wishing away the life you live, normalcy leaves you powerless to create your own reality, normalcy leaves you bored
I don’t want that, which is why I’m asking for help.
How do I learn to be someone I’m not? How do I the instant gratification junkie become the patient artist? How do I the early quitter become the persistent entrepreneur? And how do I the scared boy, become the brave man?
If you read this and you have answers, I’d love to hear your answers.
NOTE: Normalcy here doesn’t exactly refer to having a normal life i.e. a 9 to 5 job, a family and all the other stuff that everyone does. It refers to things like working at a job you despise and have no hope of ever enjoying because everyone knows “work is boring”, or being in a relationship that does not promote your growth because you should be “grateful to have somebody who loves you”.
I feel everyone should to an extent be able to enjoy their real lives and not have to resort to creating fantasy worlds or seeking altered states of consciousness before they can like themselves and their lives because there’s nothing worse than the pain of emerging from a fantasy or a high and facing a life you hate, honestly, nothing worse.