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Thursday, February 17, 2011

restlessness

It’s maybe 4 months till I finish university. When it started I didn’t have any illusions that 4 years was a lifetime like we do in high school, I knew it was at best an interlude. A time left in the middle between obligations to your parents and obligations to… am not sure what yet but I know that a time comes when your childhood is dead and buried under mounds of responsibility, constraints and social expectations and at that time my most pressing obligations will not be to me.

And in the middle of all this is this brief interlude, the period of your life with more freedom promised and given than ever before or again. I loved this period, I really did and I indulged in all that’s promised. Except I never grew a beard, but I have time to rectify that. I never understood how people couldn’t wait to be out and making money of their own. I never got that people thought they would be happier when they were out on their own with everything they own. I saw the allure of complete independence. To have your own house to shelter all your escapades, your own car to fuel them, your own money to sponsor them.

But this came with the spectre of work, of a job, of having someone to answer to in a way that I have not been used to since high school. Even if you start your own business you’re never really your own boss. The business takes over your life making more demands than a nagging wife with the libido of an eager mistress. You have to attend to it when you wake, when you eat, when you sleep, when you do anything and there’s no time. At least in the beginning it swallows everything, a black hole of deadlines, clients, worries and maybe even bankruptcy. The life of employment doesn’t even bother with the illusion of freedom. The modern form of slavery, the rat race where either you’re trying for all your life to get to the top of the corporate ladder. Climbing one frustrating, humiliating rung at a time yet never getting to the top because that’s reserved for the winners of the genetic lottery. It does matter where you’re born or at least who you’re born to. The other option is a dead end job. Life put on hold for the weekdays, going to a job you hate working for someone you hate and watching your life fade away into nothing, a series of memories that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy


But this is a heavy dose of pessimism. Perharps too heavy. The world is filled with lots of people who are truly happy. They love their jobs and describe it as their passion, they love their spouses and think of them as their destiny, they love their life and live it with no apologies to anyone. They built what they had brick by brick in spite of what they were told. Because no one who is truly happy was wholly supported in their endeavours. They were told they would fail and they felt they would. They were told that this was stupid and they believed, but they just believed in themselves a little more and despite the world holding them back they got to a point where it was holding them up. And this third option is probably worth all the sleepless nights, worth all the coming rejections and insecurities. It’s probably worth all the shit that life has in store.

But I never understood how people didn’t just enjoy their interlude for it would be over soon. Nothing more than a distant memory like the perfume of an old lover, or the name of your first best friend. A memory that’s taken out of the store every once in a while and polished up because it brings a smile to your face but it soon overcomes you with its power and takes you back to a place when things were good and the future was ahead of you, littered with happiness yet to be made. But this is the point where the memory betrays you by letting you know how you betrayed it. Life wasn’t supposed to be this sad and happiness wasn’t supposed to bring so much misery but it does and it did and so you shove the memory away.

Maybe this is why I was so scared of finishing, of being done with this. I can already see an unsettling tendency in myself to enjoy things more in the rearview. Too many of my conversations already start with “remember when…” and I have no idea how to fight it. If you’re best days are forever behind you….

But lately I have been overcome with restlessness . I feel this is not my real life. beyond the veil of the curtain there is something, something to do, a different way to live. I feel like this interlude was a dream. A lovely dream that I wouldn’t trade for the world. A dream that ‘twas necessary for me to dream and to tire of. I feel like I have been asleep for 3 years. Not a wasted sleep because I learned and lived, I grew and changed. I am sure of a lot of things while at the same time completely unsure of so many more. A lot of my convictions have disappeared and maybe that made me more open to life. It was a beautiful time and in the beginning and in the middle I had no idea how anyone could tire of this life in the clouds.

But not anymore, now I am impatient to be done with this. The dream is over, well not quite but now I know that I am asleep and that one day I have to wake up and I look forward to that day. I have no idea how this happened but it did and now I can’t wait. I want to see what the next dream is.


I can’t think of a better way to end this than that Shakespeare quote about all the world being a stage, although the heavily paraphrased version.

Seven ages: first puking and mewling;
Then very pissed off with one's schooling;
Then fucks; and then fights;
Then judging chaps' rights;
Then sitting in slippers; then drooling.