I’ve never been one to follow the traditional norms of societal infrastructure. I don’t believe in the all too familiar path of graduating high school, going to college, obtaining a bachelor’s degree, then pursuing a 9 to 5 based in whatever field is willing to hire at that point simply to use that income to accrue more debt. It just doesn’t sound like a plausible lifestyle that’s conducive for how I live my life or see the world for that matter. And to be quite honest, from what I can gather from my peers it sounds boring as fuck. Sorry to be so up front and straight forward in this opening paragraph but its the honest truth.
Ever since I was a child I’ve been misunderstood. Some call me a dreamer, but I simply believe in following my heart and pursuing meaning that stretches far beyond just doing what is expected and achieving what can be considered admirable in the eyes of the common layman. Although I understand the simple life works for millions if not billions of people all around the world, some of us just want more out of life. Not to say there is a right or a wrong way to live but I do firmly believe you never know what you can gain from this life unless you try. So here I am, still a promising and youthful early thirty-something with the world to prove for myself. And here I sit, still adamantly grinding away at chasing my dreams. Some may still call me naive and foolish, some may even think my time to see those dreams come true is coming to a close. Personally, I stand by my statement as i always have, in saying to hell with what they all think and/or have to say. This is my life, and the day you stop worrying about everyone else’s and focus primarily on your own maybe you’ll see it the same way.
When we’re young we have so much we want to do with our lives. We dream of these grandiose lifestyles that may or may not be obtainable through outrageous career goals and its not until we get hit with reality check after reality check from parents, teachers, peers, and the outside world that we come to realize those dreams are out of reach and considered outlandishly ridiculous. So we listen to our friends, our family, our parents and our teachers after they convince us that its not realistic to be a rockstar, athlete, writer, dancer, actor, artist, painter, or movie star. No matter how driven and talented some of us may be, eventually we let the outside world convince us that we’re not good enough and we give in before even beginning on the road less traveled to reach the promised land, in order see what failure is like first hand before we even had the chance to try. Honestly, I find it not only sad and tragic, but borderline criminal in my eyes.
While we put our dreams aside we settle for a more comfortable and safer lifestyle, enjoying leisure time with friends, taking short-lived vacations and try to find a suitable partner to begin a family with and start the familiar life that we were raised in knowing, believing that is all that was really meant to be. Until we turn on our television, open a magazine, or click on a few online links in our web browser and see millions of people who strayed away from the norm and chased down their dreams, tackling every obstacle that got in their way, simply brushing the dust off themselves every time they fell and hit the pavement flat on their face. We see them and hold them up as these bright, shiny icons, living vicariously through them and take satisfaction in knowing, at least somebody was able to do it. And as familiar as this perspective is, it doesn’t have to be all there is to it. And though people tend to give up as soon as the road gets a little rigid, it is never too late.
I’ve always considered myself a keen observer. I’m a writer and a recording artist. My observations of the outside world serve as material for me to write and make music about. And regardless of what those who think they know me tend to believe, while they talked about their dreams in late night conversations with their spouses or drunken discussions at the bar, I’ve had first hand experience in living mine. And let me tell you, though I’ve sacrificed a normal job in a secure environment and owning my own home, my experiences have filled me with more gratification than I can ever ask for, and even in all the time spent I’m still just barely getting started. Not to say that my life is more or less fulfilling than anyone else’s but I can promise you, if you take the time to stop listening to what every other voice other than your own is telling you, you’ll come to find how liberating following your heart can truly be.
I just don’t understand where this all came from. When did it become okay to belittle a child’s dreams and hold up mediocrity like its something to be proud of? Why have we pandered down to this below average education system and allowed it to be okay to simply abide by the status quo instead of teaching children to reach their truest potential using every resource and any means necessary to do so? When did we become a society of ‘bitches’ and not ‘bad-asses?’ Because I promise you, if and when I do decide to have children, I will have no problem telling them its okay to tell their teacher to fuck-off when trying to convince them, their dreams aren’t worth chasing. Sorry but my child will not allow principals and teachers to dictate how they view the world. I despised 95% of my teachers as a child, and as a grown man, I can tell you that feeling has not changed. Living in a box is no way to live at all, and when you realize there is no box, it sounds even more ridiculous to believe so.
Truth is, we can truly do and be anything we want when we actually do believe in ourselves. But it takes actually believing in yourself to even begin that journey, because that truly is the first step. Unfortunately, rather than believing in ourselves we choose to believe our parents, or our friends, or whoever is even willing to give us five minutes of their time to listen and it just shouldn’t be that way. If they aren’t encouraging us to go out there and reach for the stars no matter how hard it seems or how many times we fall, then to hell with all of them. Again, sorry to say it that way, but I’m not really sorry at all. Reality is this is a cold world and you may as well get used to people telling you no, so if that’s the case then why bother believing them in the first place? What harm can it really do to try? Because regardless of the outcome, I promise you will learn a valuable lesson that will lead you directly to the next chapter of your life. And that’s what actually living is all about. So stop listening to what your parents or friends have to tell you, and start listening to yourself. Trust me, you’ll be forever grateful that you did.