Sunday, 19 February 2012

“To change one’s life: Start Immediately. Do it Flamboyantly. No Exceptions.” – William James

Recently, I've been thinking. And you know what? More than anything, I think I am sick of fitting in. I'm quite fed up of living my life one way, a certain way, because that's how you're supposed to do it. It might well be the best way, but I'd rather find that out for myself.
This is how life for a person like me goes: you go to school. You learn to work. You do sixth form, go to university, get in incredible amounts of unneccesary debt, go into a low paid, unfulfilling job straight away to start paying them off, holiday in Majorca, get married, have babies, holiday in Menorca. Die.
I'm sorry, but fuck that. This is what everyone expects me to do, and what everyone wants me to do. Insane amounts of hard work and effort seem to go into producing a standard of living which is frankly morbidly average, and it depresses the hell out of me.
Maybe there are other ways. Maybe you can take a massive jump outside your comfort zone and - and this is hugely corny - carve your own path out. I don't want to have the same experiences, same values, same life as my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother before me. I see no fulfilment in that. Its just that kicking out on my own seems like such a frightening and lonely prospect - but I don't want fear to keep me stuck to this shitty path to disenchantment.
I don't know if you've ever heard of Yes Man. It was an experiment by Danny Wallace, who said yes to every opportunity that came his way, everything, and it enriched his life. Lately, I've been saying yes. Yes to a tattoo, yes to crazy hair, yes to a free 60's makeover. I was asked to a ball the other night, and I said no. Everyone else went, and seemed to have a fantastic night. What would have happened if I'd have said yes? What would happen if I said yes to every opportunity, however remote and far-flung? What if I said yes to the Australian work placement scheme laying at the bottom of my bed, or the lone trip to Ireland that's been forming in my mind all year?
Urgh, I feel horribly neurotic and teen, moaning about how humdrum my life is, and I do apologise. It's been almost a year since I lost someone who taught me everything I know about "carving my own path," doing whatever I want to do and having the self-belief to think, "you know what? Fuck you and your entire existence." And to be perfectly honest, I'm still as lost as my first day without him.

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