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Get Back in Line!

Jul 08, 2019

I don't know if there is something very wrong about me or perhaps very right, but I cannot sit like a normal person. The outside table where I write this drives me nuts every morning as it attempts to coerce me into a standard seated position. I CAN'T DO IT, Table, so just BACK OFF! Why won't this table just let me be who I am?! I've come to terms with it, why can't the furniture?

 

Of course life would be easier if I could just fall in line. If I could contort my body to fit into the tiny box. The problem is, I'm more inclined to dance than walk a straight line, and I've never been all that physically flexible.

It's not really that I have a desire to rebel against the life society set up for me, it's just that it causes me pain to live that way. I'm not trying to be hip or difficult or contrary. In fact, I sometimes feel envy for those who can abide by the formula we've been given for a "successful life". The paved road can look very tempting as I crawl and trudge through the overgrown forest where I've chosen to make my own path. To be honest, I feel rather silly at times when I look over and my peers are cruising along with seemingly little effort, accepting their prescribed value through work and family. And really that's basically all there is to being successful on that path (perhaps not to each individual but the system itself) - go to a decent job 40 hours a week (or more) and have a spouse (who also has a job unless you make enough money for two) and some kids. If you're doing that, then you're pretty much left alone.

You can spend every waking minute binge watching violent shows or running up credit card debt or emotionally scarring your kids and no one will say a thing to you so long as you fit the main criteria of having a job (extra points for having a family).

 

If we have a job, we are considered to be contributing to society, and in many ways that's true. However, that completely leaves out every other way we contribute to society. Say for example there is a woman who is an executive at a big company. She works hard Monday-Saturday and always looks nice. She drives an expensive car, has a big house and sends her kids to the best private school. Most of us would look at this woman as a success and a good contributor to society. This woman is also incredibly negative. She lives under constant anxiety, has a short fuse, talks down to cashiers at the grocery store and rarely makes it to her kids' activities. These are all ways she contributes to society as well. A toxic pollution of negativity hangs over every place this woman goes and infects every person she comes in contact with. She is a big time contributor to society in some really nasty ways. And yet, mosxt people will ignore/excuse all of this because she checks the boxes of what we deem to be successful. The rest is "her business."

 

Society thinks this woman is just a jerk or had a bad upbringing. We have not yet grasped the concept that her rudeness is a side effect of a much bigger problem that we are all responsible for. We are especially broken in this country because we have come to believe and accept that one cannot be peaceful and joyful all of the time. In fact, we look down on those people or judge them as fake/self-righteous. The truth is though that any time we are not in peace and joy we are separate from reality and not in acceptance of something within us or our situation. It does not have to be this way.

 

Most people think it is normal to experience stress and anxiety every day. It is seen as a given. There are few things I can think of that are as unhealthy as this. I think we are starting to see the "American Dream" backfire - or really turn into a dumpster fire that is threatening to burn the whole block down. Yet we keep adding fodder.


You know what though, I don't even feel all that judged or looked down on. The people in my life support me and those outside of it don't actually give a damn. I don't know where the idea comes from that I'm being judged for going against the grain. You know what I think it is that I feel from others?

Fear.


Just as I was typing that initial sentence it came to me. It's not judgement, it's fear. Fear for me that it won't work out for me and fear for themselves that it will work out for me. Anytime someone goes out of line successfully it offers a proof point that it's possible, which takes away a big internal argument many people have on why they stay in line. Many see it as the only option, so when there's evidence that that's not true, it creates discomfort within one's own self, and I think people get grumpy when they're uncomfortable, and then that angers gets pointed outward.

And if I'm honest, I have fear for them as well. Fear that they will get to the end of their lives and look back with regret. But you know what? That won't be true for everyone. Many people will look back and perhaps see goals accomplished, a lovely family raised, a risk taken here and there, maybe home built or a business left to the next generation. And even more true is that it isn't any of my business either way. I do believe we are all here to help uplift one another, to challenge each other, to work together to create harmony, and I have to remember (and be reminded) that we are all doing that in our own unique way. It's funny, when I stop to think of it; you know what it would look like if everyone did it my same way?


A line hahaha!

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