Tuesday, October 18, 2005
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
Instant Karma's gonna get me...
I rarely do train of thought posts here, but this is one of those nights, so you might have to bear with me. I've slipped a very battered copy of Stevie Wonder's Talking Book LP onto my record player (for some reason it just sounds better than my pristine CD copy) and slipped into one of those comfortably melacholic moods I like so much. That's one of the things about living alone. As much as it affords you complete privacy and peace and quiet, once you get home in a certain mood, you're more or less trapped there, without someone to shake you out of it.
What's playing on my mind... I don't know. Hmmm. I feel like my understanding of my place in the world is sharper than it's ever been before, but I'm not sure if that's such a good thing. It's all about growing up I suppose. Lots of people talk about the mid-twenties crisis, and I quietly mocked from afar. You've got to be kidding, right? Mid-twenties? But now... Here I am, sat here, 25 years and 10 months on the clock, and I'm starting to feel it... And more than that, I see it reflected in the faces of my friends and echoed in their words. There's something about your mid twenties. You come flying out of training or university or whatever with a lust for life. You dive into your first job, and even the odd set back like getting sacked can't stop your momentum. But eventually the momentum runs out, inertia kicks in, and you find yourself sat where i am now, looking around, wondering quite what happened.
What's wrong? Well, nothing really. Work is cool. Hard work, but that's not a problem. Ok, so I'm single, which is more of a drag than a genuine crisis. I love my flat. I have loads of cool friends who keep me sane. I'm earning enough to be able to live beyond my means and not panic too much about it. But... That's it. There it is, right back there. "But". Why is there a "But"? Why is there anxiety and doubt? Is it because we're all looking around wondering if this is quite where we expected to end up? Is this it? Did we want more? Or is this just supposed to feel different? It could be the whole "Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?" What exactly are we doing this all for? The pursuit of wealth, the ideal family unit, kids smiling in back seat?
Those like me who are single are just starting to feel the gentle ticking of time... whereas those attached who are unmarried can hear wedding bells floating somewhere distantly on the wind. Society's expectations start to weigh more heavily on the shoulders. What little beauty we possess is being eroded by the lines of time. Our childhood dreams are starting to look less and less feasible, as we wonder why we ever wanted such things so much anyway? With a culture that feeds us nothing but visions of a celebrity life in paradise, and promises us we can all make it, that we're all special, that if you want enough it can be yours, is this the stage we realise it's all bullshit? Are we the same as the bitter and deluded tone deaf kids dismissed by Simon Cowell, who turn back and spout words promising that you'll be back, you'll make it in the end? We can't all be successful. We can't all make it. It's a lie.
Is the best we can expect a life as slaves to the wage, living as little people in little houses, breeding kids even more obsessed with success and celebrity vacuity than we are, slowly watching our friends die around us until the reaper comes to free us from this mortal coil?
No. No. No. I demand a reassessment of success. A rejection of what we're told. A life centred on love and expression and fun and art and beauty and freedom. Of being nice to each other, of making the best of it, rather than declaring the world's going to hell and sitting back and letting it. Money for living rather than living for money. Yes. I think I talked myself into a better mood. Thanks for listening.
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