After reading Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, I got slapped across the face by reality. Over the last year or so I have been fucking up, or at least in the eyes of today’s society. I got a Wet and Wreck-less (basically a DUI a few months shy of my 21st birthday), let my GPA go to shit, and have lost the trust of my parents. I have messed up in the eyes of society by breaking the law, in the eyes of my parents by under achieving in academics, and in a sense, I have disappointed myself, or at least in what I thought was right and wrong.
“It’s only after you’ve lost everything,” Tyler says, “that you’re free to do anything.” In a weird sense now, I actually feel free to do anything, more so now than I did a year ago. It seems my Dad has given up on me, so in a weird sense, I am free from those expectations I think he held for me. Those expectations, as I have found, placed a lot of pressure on myself, not just from my father, but from society….with the norm being for a middle class teenager; get your diploma, go to college and get a degree, get a job, work 40 years and retire. This is something I find myself becoming freaked out about more and more every year I get closer to real adulthood.
My point is this; I currently feel I have hit the lowest part in my life. Yet, when I can’t sleep at night and living on canned tuna and top ramen, I am injected with the most supreme motivation and weird, high, thrill to go out there and make something out of life. I feel mentally free and that I can start writing what I have to do on a blank piece of paper, started by myself personally, not sketched or outlined by somebody else.
This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.
I turned 21 earlier this year and it freaked me out. “Damn, so in a couple years I should be graduating with a degree and starting a career and maybe marrying a girl and…..” I kept flooding my mind with this bullshit. I was being sculpted into “just another guy”, an average man created by a system.
Why am I investing 4+ years of my youth on a degree that may not even help me do what I essentially want to do (like getting the same degree as thousands of others my age, fighting for same job market that decreases in size each year due to numerous factors, like globalizition). I’m not saying a degree will not help me for the future, but I may be able to better utilize those years on something more relevant to what I essentially want to do.
Every minute my life is ending. I should be spending each minute I have on activites that help me lead the life I want to live. Sure I maybe be advocating “living in the present”, which is encouraged, but of course you have to supplement that with “planning for the future” and even “reflecting on the past”. The important thing is though is to do balance all of these with one goal: do so towards the life you want for yourself, not limited to or discouraged by the norms of society.
Don’t live the life deffered plan (working 40 years, then “enjoying life in retirement), as Tim Ferriss puts it in The Four Hour Work Week. Live the life and you want, and take the neccessary steps towards doing so.
Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer…. Maybe self-destruction is the answer.
I originally thought this quote was crazy, but after thinking about it, it made sense yet still slightly crazy. People today seem to focus on self improvement, moving forward, starting new habits, etc. But it seems totally ineffective when you don’t fix the original problem. Why try to improve a negative habit instead of destroying it, and starting off with a clean plate?
We all have emotional baggage that we accumulate through our lives. Its up to you to confront that baggage, and begin to throw it out. Not by self improvement, or like building a bigger closet to hide more emotional baggage. Go straight to the core, your inner self, and find that emotional baggage and do your best to dump it. (most of this is fear that ultimately rules people’s lives, their decisions, and ultimately the lifestyle they choose to live, even if it isn’t necessary what they ultimately want or dream of)..
These three quotes have definitely hit me with an unexplainable force. I view life as more of a contrarian now. While in the eyes of most (society, my parents, etc) I have been fucking my life over the last year. Instead, I view it as a opportunity to free myself and be able to do the things I want to experience in this life, free of expectations, pressure, and comparision.
This is what I intend to focus on starting today with this blog.