Losing one's individuality. This is one of the saddest things that can happen to a person. It breaks my heart to see a lot of people in the process of losing their individuality in favor of adhering to the norms and living up to other people's expectations. If you can't live your life the way you want to, what then is the purpose of living?
Why are some of us forced to live like puppets? Why were we trained to feel like crap when we deviate from the plans other people have mapped out for us? When exactly have we ingrained in the marrows of our bones the complexity of standing up for one's self and the fear of going one's own way?
A while ago, Myk and I conversed about a sensitive topic that grasped the very idea of responsibility, expectations and the quality of life. We being free-thinkers (and huge fans of Steve Pavlina), we found ourselves repulsed with the thought of falling in the path of sameness and expectations--of being creatures of the norms.
There is nothing worse that squelching your creativity and downplaying your ability to decide for your own self. A few months ago, I came across an article in Steve Pavlina's blog entitled The Power Of Now. The article shook me to the core not only because it makes sense but also because it underscored my belief of not sacrificing the "now" in favor of the "tomorrow". Because the thing is, there is no such thing as tomorrow. There is just now.
If you asked me 5 years ago if I would willingly take on a difficult task or saddle myself to a stressful job if it means fattening my bank account, I would have said yes in a heartbeat. But life has a way of bludgeoning you on the head and giving you a hard time. From what I've learned, the more that you try to fight the current, the more that it's going to tire you out, making you fall into the clutches of social, emotional, spiritual and mental death. So yes, I have had quite a few brushes with overbearing bosses and arrogant co-workers. And when it comes to finding what I really love doing, I have had my fair share of roadblocks and then some.
But at the end of the day, I always listened to that part of me that says, "you can't take this BS forever". So I got tired of complaining and moping and crying. I finally put the proverbial shears into good use and cut my ties to expectations. And from where I am right now, I can say that it's the best thing that I have ever done in my life.
Don't get me wrong. I haven't bought a trailer truck, packed my bags and traveled to roads not taken and got lost somewhere along the way (although the idea sounds quite appealing). It's just that I have stopped taking life too seriously. I do have a lot of responsibilities. I have a lot of dreams that pretty much involve me giving a better life to my family. But I have since qualified my idea of a "better life". Because honestly, what is "better" in dreading every moment your alarm clock rings in the morning, in going to sleep at night thinking that you are going to wake up in about 4-8 hours to go in the hellhole you call workplace, in facing a firing squad that is your boss, in rendering 8-12 hours of your life with absolutely no personal satisfaction (except maybe for that consolation price we call the paycheck)? Life is way more than that.
So forgive me if I am injecting more than a bit of levity in my life. This is the way I want to live it. I don't want to shy away from happiness simply because we have been taught that every happiness comes with a price. I want to embrace happiness with open arms. I want to be that big happy fish in a small pond. I want to be that fish who has learned that climbing a tree is so far out of my league and I'm better off in the ocean and any attempt in imitating the cunning monkey is pretty much suicide.
This is me. Underachiever but happy. And I can vouch for the fact that there is nothing more pleasurable than not having to answer to anyone else but yourself.
PS: If you tell me that I resemble Charice, I'd bludgeon you to death figuratively speaking. Yes, Charice has been pretty much belting Pyramid in her trademark Sunshine Corazon look with the nerdy glasses and the assortment of hats but puh-leese! She doesn't own the look. She has never owned the look.