ife sucks. Yes, come on…. admit it. Yours, too. I know it´s hard, in a society dominated by social media news streams, full of photos and stories flashing glamour, adventure and carefreeness.
On paper it looks great, too. Not starving, a comfy bed and even money to spend on travels, latest fashion trends and electronic consumer goods. On top of that, if you play your cards right – so you are told – you´ll climb up the ladder, you´ll indulge in even fancier food, sleep in a comfier bed, have a bigger house, go to more exotic locations and drive a bigger car.
What´s not to like? Isn´t all that exactly what we are longing for, in our pursuit of happiness?
Well, at least that´s what we´ve been told, what we´ve observed, watching our parents, watching our favorite TV shows. It seems that is just how life is.
Only that – deep inside – it doesn´t quite feel right. The happiness, the sense of satisfaction we are longing for, it never comes. At least not lasting. Yes, there are moments in our dull existence, short moments in between, often facilitated by distractions like drugs, sports or spiritual activities, where we forget the misery and void we feel inside. Moments like unwrapping our newest acquisition. Or when we step out of the plane and smell the sea breeze, ecstatic about our 2-week holiday.
Overall though, we can´t escape the unrelentingly lingering, unbearably overwhelming feeling that we are going nowhere with our lives; that all this does not make any sense at all.
Emptiness defines our existence.
Quickly the new toy becomes just another item in our vast collection of things. The holiday another memory, swiftly fading once we are back in our “normal” lives, struggling with the work backlog.
We keep trying, keep chasing, keep pushing further and further, often neglecting relationships and even our own health (no, Burnout Syndrome wasn´t a thing up until a few years ago).
Confused and lost we are desperately looking for guidance. This can´t be it! To make sense, to find the light, we are comparing ourselves to others, again, on TV, on Facebook, on Instagram. What we see is happiness indeed. We try to copy what they are doing, buying what they have, just, in essence, trying to be what they are. Soon we realise that there is one common denominator to their happy faces:
Whether it is money spent on a beautiful outfit, fancy gadget or an exotic holiday, or whether it is money saved, allowing for free time for spiritual journeys and self-development. One way or the other, the happiness we see seems to come with a cost.
Happy to pay that price though, we keep hustling and bustling, all while hoping for this inner voice of doubt and fear to shut. the. fuck. up. One day! Hopefully soon.
As a normal person, however, you trade your time for money. It´s a simple logic: Having more money means having less time. Time for others; ourselves; our loved ones.
And, hell no, that doesn´t feel right. Getting up every day in the morning. commuting to work. Sad faces everywhere. Sitting in an office or whatever it is you are doing. Sullen, dead faces everywhere. Finally commuting back home. By the time we arrive, we are exhausted. Drained. We turn on the TV and watch moving images; images assuring and endorsing the narrative that is our life. Finally, we nod away. Rinse, repeat the next day.
The next month.
The next year.
Breathe for a moment. Let that sink in. Truth is, it doesn´t feel right because it is not right. It is not how life is supposed to be. No wonder you are depressed and don´t see the sense in your meager existence, why you numb your feelings with distractions and possessions.
Just think about it. You spend most part of your life doing something you at best tolerate, and at worst (and not fucking rarely) something that kills you from the inside.
It gets worse: You are supposed to not only accept but in fact embrace this as normal, the “career” as they´d like to call it.
There used to be a time where excessive hard work to meet basic human needs was called exploitation.
So, yes, I mean, no, don´t! Don´t embrace it, don´t accept it. Listen to your inner voice. Stop paying attention to all this blaring around you, making you feel inadequate, making you feel as if you need to fit in, as if you are the weird one, for WANTING TO LIVE LIFE ON YOUR OWN TERMS.
You are not. You are sane. Listen to your inner voice, your inner child.
Can you still hear it? Can you still feel it? Can you still see it, the fairytale castle of your fantasy? How big it was, how bold and how beautiful?
Don´t settle for less, don´t just settle for that.