Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When in Rome

This is the most ridiculous statement ever. I've been thinking about a lot of things lately and realized that I have allowed myself to become a horribly sorry sod. I think that if you, my reader took a moment to think about it you are in a similar situation. You don't feel right, something is off. You can't peg it down but you know it's wrong, and you have no way to fix it... because you don't know what's wrong.

Sorry, I'm well aware that what I just wrote was incredibly repetitive, but necessarily so.

Let me explain the problem that I've been going through, and most likely, the exact same problem that you've been going through.

"When in Rome"

Aah... it's insidious... isn't it? So simple, so easy. Just play along, keep it cool, and try not to piss people off. In other words do as others do. Come on, there are people on this planet this is expected from and we call them children. Their whole purpose in life is to learn how to function like a human being is supposed to. Now some of the things they have to learn have real world perks; going to the bathroom, what is and isn't safe to eat, that we need to where clothes. All very true and important lessons for a two year old to learn. You know what's not useful, trying to teach a toddler how to please someone, they really don't care. Do they? And why? Because.. that's why. They have no reason to make you happy, they have no reason to worry about what you think of them... normally.

Pictured here: My daughter not giving a rat's ass...
 Of course we go ahead and teach them that there are ways to act and ways to not act. Places to go nuts and places to be reserved. People that get special treatment and people that we can be pricks to. All of this leads them to learn that the do need to behave, but somewhere along the line we also teach them that it is better to blend in than to stand out. To be part of the crowd is safer than forging out on their own.

Now we're not uniquely guilty of this, hell it's how we were taught and it's the way we know, but we really do hamper them. A very smart radio personality that I listen to named Dennis Prager puts it quite cleanly; "If we only pass on to our children half of the neurosis that our parents gave us, we've done a good job"

So the free spirit that we try to instill in those small minds is the exact thing that we ourselves try to suppress in our daily lives. We try so hard to not get noticed, all the while bemoaning the fact that we all seem to want to have the lime light thrust upon us, and in the same breath fear that it might actually land on us, well, because standing out is scary.

Right? Damn right it is!

It's terrifying.

So, we do as everyone else, just to keep our little bit of safety. And that's fair... to a point.

There also has to be that moment that we allow what makes us as obvious as possible. It is that suppression of "I" that causes so many to be truly messed up, and scared. "What if I make a fool of myself?"... "What if I'm wrong?"

Don't get me wrong, these are things I think all the time, but not what I'm really trying to get at. No I'm talking about the wholesale delusion that we sell ourselves that we have to be a part of the Zeitgeist. Again... guilty.

Five years ago I lost the best job I had had to that point in my life. I was outgoing, gregarious, and above all fearless. I knew how to do what I was doing and I was damn good at it. DAMN GOOD! But then I got fired... it killed me, the one thing that I knew I was good at and I got fired. After moving my wife and I a thousand miles across the country, leaving everything I new and loved, and bam... done. 


I stressed over the why for a long time. And then it came to me, I did what I did, I didn't fit a mold. Because that's how I always was. I wasn't going to let anybody tell me how or why to do a thing without them making damn sure that it was better than my idea. didn't matter if it was a report or a superior. Then I was on my ass.

I got scared, my way had lost me the best job I'd had. I retreated, became safe, I did not want to go through that again. period, ever, end of story.

I sold myself on being a worker be for the sake of stability. I didn't take anymore chances. I listened to how I was "supposed" to do it. In short, I became lame. Not in the dorky sense of the word, I've always been alright with that, no I mean injured. I couldn't run the race anymore. Worse, I wouldn't run the race anymore.

I've chosen to live that way for five years...

Don't make the same mistake, it's way harder to get back to it than to be in it.