March 15, 2015
Sometimes I wish that I could live someone else's life. If I were given a choice and I could magically flip into that other life, yet retain my memories of this current life....wouldn't that be great? Or even if I couldn't retain my memories....
There's a little voice inside me that says, "Uh oh, that way lies trouble. The very concept of wanting to escape your life says so much about your pain."
I can safely say that today I do not want anyone else's life.
There have been parts of this year that I would have jumped into the life of people I see on television. Oh my god! I would live the life of a fictional character! Or even the life of a commercial!
Essentially, the desire to live someone else's life is a form of suicide. That's how bad it got! I would have traded places just to live in a nice house. I would have traded places just to have a group of friends. I would even have traded places to drive a nice car.
Pathetic. Sad. I've been plagued by a sense that I wrecked my life by making a couple of epic bad decisions whose consequences have rebounded down the years until they combined to put me in a prison of my own making.
Fortunately that depression lifted. I'm functioning better and I'm mobilizing a bit of drive to put me back on track towards achieving some of my dreams.
There's a lot of talk about dreams these days. There's a lot of guilt attached to failure. If you haven't achieved your dreams, why....you're a loser! You didn't work hard enough. You didn't focus, you didn't "seize the day" and now you're just another wannabe standing in the food stamp line.
I'm suspicious of The Dream Machine. I wrote an essay about Oprah and her sales juggernaut of "Dream Fulfillment Technology". You can read it here: Dream Fulfillment Tech
Dream fulfillment is so quintessentially American. Do you think that a hundred years ago people invested so much thought and energy into the concept of personal dreams? I think The Dream Machine is a marketing construct, a broad distracting drama to remove our attention from the impact on each of our lives by our current historical context. We live in disturbing times. We live at a moment in history when theft is being committed on an institutional scale, when our oceans are being filled with toxic sludge, when our forests are being expunged. How do we respond to that as individuals? Let's indulge in a metaphor: the Earth is a body and the oceans contain the planet's reservoir of blood. The Earth's circulatory system is fed by the ocean to the rivers and lakes and those veins and arteries feed back into the ocean in a vast system of pumps and valves. Our planet is metaphorically like a human body. Its condition is felt by each of us and we know, however subliminally, that things are not right. Ask any fisherman. The big fish are almost gone. The great schools and the worldwide migrations have been disrupted by the sludge in the Gulf Of Mexico, the toxins in The China Sea.
If we're not sometimes depressed then we are numb. That's worse. Much worse. So..I may be depressed by my individual circumstances but I am also a citizen of this planet and I am directly impacted by the world-wide crimes against nature that are being committed by faceless men in suits or young greedy people who drink too much Red Bull and are obsessed with being the "winners" in...in what...is life a contest? Is it a game show? That's not how I view life. I view life as a sacred activity. I view life as a mystery that we are not yet equipped to penetrate.
Living in my own life is important because I have responsibilities of which I am not fully aware. I just know I have them. No matter the suffering I endure, I'd be an idiot to switch lives with anyone! This is the life I got. This is the life whose problems I must solve. I feel a vast untapped potential in myself. I don't give a shit about winners and losers. I just want to feel as if I belong with myself, in my place and time and that I'm doing something, however small, about fighting the evil people who wear expensive clothes and think about how much money they have and how much more they can make if they replace Worker X with Worker Y because Worker Y will accept lower pay out of desperation to feed his or her family.
I rambled a bit but I think I stayed somewhere near the point: don't live anyone else's life. You got yours for a reason. You don't even need to know the reason. Just be loyal to your own life and do your everyday work as if it really counts.
It does. It really counts.
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