So my friend told me the other day, “What if you don’t make it? What if you end up like all these people, working minimum wage because they’ve spent their lives working for nothing? You’ll end up old, broke, and nobody will hire you back.”
At this point I can write, “well that got me thinking,” but in fact it didn’t. In fact my response was so immediate because to me the question was so stupid.
“What makes you think I want to go back?” I said. “Besides, even if I don’t make it—”
Now let’s stop there for a moment. First of, I really hate it when people say that line: “Even if I don’t make it…” It is a statement of weakness disguised in moral eminence, as though money and fame didn’t really matter to you. It is a passive-aggressive claim of higher standards—a preemptive dulling of a theoretical pain—hiding the fact that you’ve accepted loss without actually losing.
Nevertheless, I was using it. So please bear with me as I try and dig myself out of this ideological hole.
“Besides, even if I don’t ‘make it,’ I’ll still be able to do things my way—escape nine-to-five, make money doing what I love every day, and engineer a lifestyle I’ve always wanted to live. How many people do you think get to do that?”
Needless to say, I think I got my point across. But as I was explaining myself, I felt anger and depression coming up my chest again like backed up bile. Years of working for someone and years of pissing my life away into another man’s cup, 40 hours a week, 365 days a year, from one miserable paycheck to the next, had gotten me into the bleeding edge of going postal. Why the hell would I even think of going back? So I can pay for my boss’s vacation trips again? So I can pay for his vineyard, his miniature horses, his goddamn yacht? Hell no! Fuck that shit!
I wanted to tell my friend that every time I wake up to go to work for someone I am reminded of the life I am not living; that every time I look at the clock, counting down the hours for the next break or the end of the day, I get a little more nauseous of my existence as a rat among other rats in a cover-your-ass cubicle maze; and that every time I clock in and out of the office I get a little bit of hope that there is still a little bit of a chance out there. And then I wake up to the same exact day like a mighty bitch slap to the face.
I wanted to rant about these things but I knew that the message was not for my friend. Even though we have known each other for a long time, we are different animals. He does not suffer the hunger as I do. He is content coasting and spectating in life. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just not for me.
To me life is all about taking ownership of yourself—your thoughts, work, pleasure, and your time. It is about developing an antibacterial personality to repel unwanted, toxic relationships whether by blood or by circumstance. It is about freeing yourself from the bondage of a life of never-ending consequences and obligations that most people live and pass on to their children. It is about taking the things you’ve never had and being the person you’ve always wanted to be.
So if you are anything like me, this message is for you. Know that you are different and you want something different; therefore you cannot live like everyone else. Know that your hunger, your frustration, that feeling of deficiency that eats at you every day, is what will get you through once “motivation” and “empowerment” runs out. Remember that to have an appetite you have to be hungry. To be hungry you have to be starving, seeking for something better.
You’ve played their game and you know the rules, and now that you are conscious of your chosen destiny you can break them. Forget the solace of the break room, happy hour, and the usual Vegas sabbatical. Do it for real this time. Plot in the dark and wake up with a purpose. Pack your coffee like gun powder in the morning and keep your thoughts to yourself. It’s for your own good. And when the questions come again in a moment of weakness, “Should I do it? Is it worth it?”, know that the answer is always YES!
“I’m dedicated to my grind, cuz when you workin for yourself it’s a hustle full-time.”
—Stic.man, So Focused.
I needed this.
Glad I can help put kerosene in the fire 🙂
Very well said.
Reblogged this on Jin Okubo.
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