Interesting that I decided to refresh my Instagram, log into Facebook, do twenty crunches and look in the mirror for five minutes instead of going to see my Grandmother this morning. Maybe I’m selfish, self-centred… controlled by vanity. Maybe I just set myself low personal goals, if I’m looking for comparisons, I guess I’m not the worst person out there. So what should I be? What could I be?
Motivation hasn’t been a friend of mine for a while now. Ironically, I am supposed to start a new job on Monday, don’t think I’ll make it in though. The manager just called me, emailed too; wants to talk everything through. There’s probably a lot to discuss, what with me being in London and the office in Melbourne. Doesn’t seem a feasible commute.
It wasn’t long after I walked out of the interview (back in April) and into the coffee shop next door, that I began to consider everything that I now know, I’m probably not going to take this job. The role is good, so is the pay, the manager is a good guy, staff are fantastic, so what does that make me? Why did I wait until the eve of my start date to deliver the fatal blow?
I console myself by saying that ‘plenty of people would have just not turned up’ or ‘at least I told them’ and that’s good enough isn’t it. Isn’t it? “I’ll call them and do it like a man” I say, not knowing whether I’m lying or telling the truth. Either it’s moral poverty or I don’t want to burn bridges. It’s not easy all this self consoling.
He’s not the first person to invest time and energy into me, it’s not the first time I’ve felt complete and utter apathy toward professional adulation. My surroundings have screamed the same thing at me for years now. Capitalism isn’t the right word but it’s the first that comes to mind. There’s a saying that I’ve heard my whole life from parents, relatives, teachers at school, the bar staff in my local: Everything in moderation. I hate this expression like I hate Mrs. T, (my old Geography teacher). This so-called wisdom, this apparently crucial advice.
I’m not sure who I look up to, I go through fads, phases; it changes. What’s hot one moment is dropped the next and maybe that’s half my problem, longevity. Longevity for the want of a better term is something I’ve always lacked, I’ve just got no emotional durability, whether it’s continuous dedication or my attention span. Everything has suffered and possibly always will; relationships, friendships, jobs, companies… nothing lasts, not for me, maybe because of me.
When I was humble, as humble as my beginnings were, I was happy. When I reached what I was out to achieve, whatever that was, I personally devolved, losing myself within some inexplicable arrogance. It grew, developing with each achieved milestone or goal, or both. Money was a catalyst, it ignited everything. It was what I set out for, to better my parents life, my families environment. It couldn’t be the fuel that maintained the journey though, and so eventually I reached empty, the maintenance stopped and I began shutting down, I begun self-destructing.
I developed a deep routed depression. The goal I was chasing, it was a mirage, I could never reach it, and ultimately I wasn’t in control, dictated to by my surroundings, surroundings that screamed at me to go and take, earn, achieve. At any cost. Capitalism isn’t the right word; popular culture might be. Typical that I would look for someone or something to blame but it is right? I didn’t need new cars, big houses, holidays… not that often, not to that extent. What was I chasing? I’m not sure if I’ll ever know.
Listening to Drake speak of ‘taking fifty friends to NOBU’ or Rick Ross sing about being ‘rich forever’ wasn’t an excuse for everyone I stepped on to take everything I wanted, needed. Watching shows like Billions and House of Cards doesn’t have to mean an endless craving for power and money, manipulation and coercion, life needn’t imitate art.
I alienated myself and the more I had to show, the fewer I had to share with. Success became a friend and an enemy. That all stopped a year ago now. What I’ve done since hasn’t been important, what I’ve become has, or at least it can be. I can become someone better. I’m not sure what or who that is yet, but I will.
There’s no Hollywood ending, my story is ambiguous but at least I’m not a dick anymore. I’m also not a motivational speaker, I haven’t joined a cult, nor Herbalife. I haven’t drifted off to a Yoga retreat… just yet, I’ve not turned my back on the western world, I tried that for a minute, wasn’t ready; might never be. I don’t have goals to get a million followers for each of my muscles on show on Instagram. I’ve met some cool people, a lot more interesting me and that’s been good for me, taking turns; sharing.
Sometimes I’m worried that time will run out before I figure out what to do next. I worry that life will pass me by, I’ll look back at the end, (if I make it that far) and say:
Did I waste that life?
At least now I’m asking that question. The path I was heading down, that one of money, superficial relationships, business; apparent success… well I wouldn’t have needed to ask that question at all. The answers were right in front of me the whole time.