Photo by Ryan McGuire

The Quicksand of Routine

It’s scary how quickly we can feel a genuine connection with another stranger. It scares me because it leaves me wondering how many amazing people are out there that I haven’t met yet.

It’s hard to be convinced how wonderful people truly are when so many of us have gotten used to the blinders our routines have placed over our eyes. We wake up, dreading the day that is to come knowing that we’ll end up doing the same routine we have been doing for months — even years.

It’s also too easy to fall into the trap of convincing ourselves that we have a connection with someone that we don’t. It could be someone our friends have teased us with for months on end, someone we’re just used to having around, or someone we prematurely made a commitment with. It’s scary how “doing the right thing” means potentially severing a bond with someone in exchange for the possibility of meeting someone better.

When do we know that it’s time to settle? Where are we supposed to draw the line between selfishness and courage?

As I have gotten more absorbed with my routine, I have noticed that days have been going by faster. I have a feeling that before I know it, it will be the end of the year and will still be doing the same shit I’ve been doing now.

“Cuz tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and i’ll be fifty — and I’ll still be doing this shit. And that’s alright, that’s fine. You’re sitting on a winning lottery ticket and you’re too much of a pussy to cash it in. And that’s bullshit.”

Life is too short to allow our dull routines to consume all of our time. The worst days I have are usually the ones when I let my routine get the better of me. These are the days when I get so lazy that I procrastinate on doing the most basic of responsibilities. I allow the darkness of my isolation to creep up into my emotions and entangle me — forcing me to do nothing.

It’s difficult to be adventurous when society constantly imposes upon us goals to pursue, rules on how to act and treat other people, and perspectives to follow. Tinder is for sluts and fuckboys. OkCupid is for lonely old people. God hates homosexuals. Miss out on Sunday mass and get a one-way ticket to hell. Travel is the key to finding your purpose and happiness. You need to be on your dream job by age 25. The best way to become successful is to become an entrepreneur. Every moment you spend as an employee is a moment you spend building someone else’s dream.

We become so consumed with following these rules that we have based our lives around that we gradually become more fearful of simply doing something different. The pressure of moulding our lives to fit these “tried and tested” paths to success and fulfilment makes experimentation and spontaneity seem like such a ridiculous notion.

The best days I’ve had are usually the days when small unexpected things happen: a friend I haven’t spoken to for a while suddenly saying hello, a stranger from a dating site expressing her thanks after reading something I wrote, an acquaintance that became a friend all because of a casual conversation.

I’ve been craving for a routine ever since I felt that I had too much free time. But now, I’m scared that I’ve allowed my routine to entrap me.

I don’t want to be stuck with something good when I know something better is out there.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.