So what are you going to do after high school? Ummm, ummm, ahhhh, I’m going to post secondary. I don’t know? Seemed like the right thing to say. What were my other choices? I’m going to look for a minimum wage job? Nothing? Even “I don’t know” didn’t seem allowed.
Well, I did nothing first and then got a minimum wage job. Best of both worlds? I only said I was going to post secondary so I didn’t have to deal with people and their horrified responses. “You’re going to be a loser.” Wow, I guess everyone gets a crystal ball for a graduation present.
A couple months after leaving high school I bumped into an old classmate and our interaction went a little like this,
Her: Are you going to school?
Her: Oh my god, what are you going to do then?
Me: Ummm, ummmm, I don’t know.
Crap, she made it seem like I should just kill myself and do the world a favour. How dare I not go to school! See, when people say those kinds of things it’s just to make themselves feel better about their own insecurity. She ended up being a waitress a few years later.
I guess I bought into the whole loser talk though and enrolled in college taking any course they would let me. This happened to be Psychology and Business Law. I just wanted to be able to say I was going to school. It’s not how it is, it’s how it looks and it looked like I was going to school and on my way to a better life.
After about 3 weeks I started sleeping in and missing class. Class didn’t start until 4pm. Hahahaha. I find that amusing. I couldn’t make it for a 4pm class. Shows you how motivated I was. So I dropped out! I felt awesome. Liberated. I promised myself I wasn’t going to go to school unless I really wanted to do it.
For the next few years I just worked my crap job until I had an awakening one night and realized I was 23 and I was still working my crappy job with no promise of success. I freaked out. I decided I had to get an education!
I wanted to do something that would earn me good money and respect. Ya, respect! I wanted to be a somebody. I wanted to be a contender! What could I study that would almost guarantee me a good paying job? Think, think. Accounting! I’m going to be an accountant. I already had friends doing it and they made it so why not? So I enrolled in one accounting class and a couple electives. By the end of the course I realized I was being foolish again. What was I thinking? I’m so not the accounting type. I let my fears and insecurity get the best of me again. Damn you society, damn you and damn me also.
However, I didn’t dropout again, I just chose something else. I knew I had to choose something a bit cooler and not so stiff like. Hey, I like writing, how about a career in Journalism? Ya, that sounds like a possibility. So, I took an English class and by the end of it I realized I did not like academic writing as you may have noticed from my writing technique here on my blog. It’s kind of boring with all its rules and stuff. That was it. I decided again no more school.
Another few years went by and I worked a better paying, boring, dead end job that I quit and spent a year after that just chilling. I went on an extended vacation to Australia and while I was there realized I was going to come back with no money, no job and an uncertain future. Hmmm, I guess I went full circle back to high school. This bothered me. Again, I figured getting an education was the best way for me to make more money and to be a respected person of society and most of all be happy. Otherwise I would be a loser. One who is looked down upon by the majority of his peers and associates and is undesirable to the opposite sex therefore will spend his life in shame, unhappiness and loneliness eating peanut butter and jam sandwiches 3 times a day. I believed this. It screwed with my mind. Except secretly I was hoping I could eat pb and j 3 times a week.
So round 3. I’m going to be a web developer! Ya! A compromise between money and creativity. Sorta. It’s still pretty nerdy. All that programming and stuff. I actually lasted 4 courses in this one. Mostly because 3 of those courses were kind of fun. Less programming. Round 3 comes to another brutal ending with a knockout. I go 0-3. The worlds greatest multiple dropout. The crowd goes wild.
Where am I now about a decade later? Working an average job like an average schmuck but for once in my life no longer miserable and insecure about myself and the future. The lesson I learned here was that it was all an illusion. I created all the misery and anxiety. Although, I had a lot of help from media, institutions and people, I gave the illusion power. After witnessing a whole bunch of my friends going through the paces of what I thought was “the way” and being successful at it, I saw how they were not any happier than they were when they first started this journey. Actually, many of them are less happy. Actually, probably all of them are. The only thing they’re happy about is the feeling of fitting in and that they’re doing the right thing. They would kill me if they read this. Or would they thank me? No, they would kill me.
The happiness they thought they would get from the money and accomplishments wasn’t what they thought it would be. Or it didn’t last. Or there’s a lot of maintenance. It’s a life of achieving but never enjoying. It’s amazing how we believe so deeply that we will be happy with a life we never experienced in a time so far from the present. Trying to attain happiness externally will never work. It starts and ends with the mind. I am going to eat my papaya now. Have a lovely evening.