I have a confession: I am not real. I forgot how to be.
There was a time in my life that if you asked me what I thought about something I would tell you my honest opinion. No sugar coating. No reserving words to protect your feelings. The honest, raw truth.
Now, I catch myself holding back my true opinions due to a fear of hurting other people’s feelings, changing how they perceive me, or simply being judged by them. Sometimes, I avoid conversations all together because I am afraid of having to tell the truth. In fact, I prefer this approach because I hate the dishonesty of holding back. But in the end is avoidance any less dishonest?
I know the does what he wants, says what he means, takes no shit guy still exists within me. He just got buried underneath all the adult/corporate/judgmental/society bullshit. The fly by the seat of his pants call everyone on their bullshit kid didn’t have to worry about what people thought of him. He had the world by the balls and was going to graduate with a high GPA and go to college no matter what a guidance counselor or math teacher might have thought about him. He knew that no matter what the society around him thought he was going to succeed because he controlled his future and was damn good at whatever he put his mind to.
He graduated with a high GPA, he got into college, and killed it. Then, he got his first job and was a beast at that too. Then somewhere after that he started to change. He started to get comfortable. He started to run out of challenges he controlled and run into challenges controlled by others. Then, he became the subordinate to bosses, expectations, money, and society. Now, he often feels intimidated and backs down because he has become a subordinate not the ace he once was. He lacks the killer instincts and confidence he once had.
Why the change?
My intuition tells me: he became a part of the machine. The work his ass off and accomplish goals despite the help of other people became work a little hard and accomplish goals because of other people. Gradually, the path started to get chosen for him and the game became impressing the boss and not rocking the boat. Then, the game evolved into a need for permission and hiding his true thoughts and feelings to keep everyone happy. Now, you have the man described above. The man that lacks the killer instincts and confidence of the kid he once was.
To be honest, I miss the kid who just did whatever he wanted and let the chips fall where they may with no thought of the consequences. My life was much more fun and a hell of a lot less stressful. I, also, felt more in control of my world. I didn’t care about impressing people or their opinions. I just lived.
Life is different now. I have bills. I have responsibilities. I have a place in the wheel of society.
Deep down I know those are just excuses. I know the problem isn’t my bills. I know the problem isn’t my responsibilities. Sure some of my responsibilities and bills I would never give up like helping my grandmother or health insurance, but let’s be real money isn’t that hard to come by in America. For god sake, people get paid millions of dollars for playing video games on YouTube or become famous for making a sex tape. Certainly, I can find a way to make enough money to pay for the necessities and be able to live on my own terms.
If my bills and my responsibilities aren’t the problem, what is the problem? Is it society? Maybe. Think about the look you would get from your coworkers, some of your friends, and even your family if you told your boss to fuck off because he finally pushed the wrong button. Think about their expression when you tell them you are going to travel, become a teacher, make widgets, or whatever else you have always dreamed of. They would, literally, ask you if you are sick. You would be the person people talk about. Is that really their fault? No. Sure that makes them douche bags in my book, but doesn’t the blame really fall on you? Wouldn’t it be your fault for caring?
The real problem: I am paralyzed by the thought of breaking society’s mold and disappointing those around me.
In reality, what does it matter? If the people around me don’t support my decisions, they weren’t truly there for me anyway, so fuck em’. Why do I care if they think badly about me? They aren’t living my life. As far as society’s mold goes, who says I have to follow anybody’s rules? Who says there is only one path? Certainly not me, but then again here I am just another cog in the machine following the rules.