To accept a life that you dislike could mean that you’ve decided that there isn’t anything better for you. There’s peace when there is no one to fight. It may be true that this is as good as it gets but a lack of an imagination can take you to the end of the line prematurely. If you can imagine the reality of an idea then it’s likely to be realistic especially if it’s been done before. To not be at peace with the life you have may indicate that you believe there is something better for you. You don’t ever hate yourself for what you do not think is possible or expected of you.
A life of torment is referred to as an unimaginable hell not because it wasn’t a possibility but because it was a life one hoped would never happen to them. One who dreams for better possibilities than status quo is considered to have a good imagination but it’s not meant to be a compliment.
There’s a life we imagine for ourselves but we often set limits based on our environment and cultural conditioning. It’s like writing science fiction fantasy novels but not allowing the stories to ever leave Earth…you can only go so far.
Daily Prompt: Imaginary
“I learned how to win a little at a time. But finally I’ve learned this: if you’re too careful, your whole life can become a fuckin’ grind.”
One of the laws of life is “no risk no reward.” Sometimes we hold out hoping for an option that carries no risk and only reward. That doesn’t usually exist except for the ones who run the show and make the rules. The more you feel you have to lose the more risk that is involved. When a situation seems so dire though risk might not even seem like an issue.
I don’t believe risk is the same as sacrifice. With the latter you’re giving up something for something else. With risk you’re giving up something and you might get nothing or worse. In a long enough time line though the difference between risk and sacrifice can become blurred.
Since nothing is 100%, risk is involved all the time. You might think that supposed safe job is risk free but what happens when you’re at the age of 45 and it gets taken away from you all of a sudden or you’re stuck in a cycle of 9-5 misery. Some choices don’t seem risky only because they’re more widely accepted as standard practice. Half the time risk is just the possibility of feeling left out from society. What if you’re at the end of your life and wished you took that potentially life changing risk when you were 25? Can not taking a risk be considered risking your life?
Life rewards those who take risks because most people aren’t willing to take them. The fear of losing overpowers the desire to win. We’re a very risk adverse species when comfortable options are available.
The ones that took a risk and failed will tell you, “just work a job.” The ones that succeeded or who didn’t take a risk will say, “you don’t want to work for somebody for all of your life.” Most people will have a bias.
“I took a risk, I took a risk, you see all the angles, and never have the fucking stones to play one”
A downward trajectory in your current situation is always met with resistance but there’s sometimes a silver lining on the way down. One can only guess what might happen in the future but the past has been written and drawn for your viewing displeasure. At a rock bottom the view into one’s life so far can allow for a new perspective. While you’re laying there with nowhere to go you get to visit and revisit the past. Like a movie you’ve watched several times there’s always little parts you’ve missed.
Being forcibly released from what you have been accustomed to or believed is like a detox. All the things in your life that weren’t really important dissolve as time goes by while the gems that became covered on the way up show themselves to you again. There’s an appreciation for blue skies and smiles when you’ve withdrawn from the complexities that you thought were standard.
Sometimes rock bottom is an opportunity for a new and better life. Other times, when you don’t think it can get worse it might just mean that you’ve never had worse. Whether up, down or sideways it’s always temporary.
Daily Prompt: Temporary
Like Blockbuster Video when the obvious end was near the game plan was to preserve life and hope for a turnaround. It’s always easier to hope and pray than to begin the transition onto seemingly nothing. I’ve often opted for the bitter end as it gave me the permission to do nothing. If someone or something chose to end it for me then in my head it released me from any possible regret of making the wrong choice. If I was the one to cut the cord then it was likely I was 99% sure it was over…almost nothing is 100%.
When the bitter end arrives the time to jump ship was long time ago. Inaction is often as detrimental as bad action but at least with the latter you tried. Doing nothing can be the same as rolling over and giving your attacker your neck. Hoping something will happen by staying the course can be just an excuse you tell yourself so that you don’t have to admit you’re a coward.
Paralyzed by the possibilities of feeling dumb the convenience of time is another reason to not make a move. Every moment you’re thinking of justifications to do nothing though is a moment you’re taking away from thinking about doing something. It’s a common practice to do nothing hoping that you’ll wake up one day on the shore of a paradise island. Taking action involves effort and discomfort.
It’s advantageous to know what you want in life because then it’s easy to decide what’s going to take you there or not. Not knowing leaves you floating in an ocean only to make a move when a storm appears. You only get so many chances before the last storm sucks you in while you look back at where you could have navigated to.
Daily Prompt: Bitter
Many people assume that if they try heroin once they will end up a junkie in 10 days. Most of that has to do with the horror stories you hear from various media. You’ll never see some guy on the news telling you about the single time he tried heroin and lived normally ever after because it’s not very exciting. People want to hear about the person with 1000 needle marks on their forearm, lost everything, sold his dog for $2, stole his grandmother’s prized porcelain doll collection and now lives on the street getting laughed at by the same dog he sold.
We often picture life turning out in the way we’re used to fearing or hearing about. Quitting your job without having another one lined up conjures up images of homelessness and sadness rather than the possibility of a better job or just a better life in general. Again, you always hear about the people who lost their job and ended up living in their car wondering if they’ll have to give oral sex in exchange for a cheeseburger. Those stories are meant to entertain and make you feel better about yourself more than they are to properly inform you. Did you guys hear about what that guy did for a cheeseburger? Don’t quit your job, man.
Occasionally you do know the person who lost their job and landed somewhere better but it’s more common to amount this to a fluke. Many would call it, “lucky,” meaning you were more likely to end up in a worse position but the gods decided to side with you because it was a slow day in the Middle East. Who makes these odds? Outside of historical data and science, people often calculate odds using what they’re used to seeing and hearing. A bias is also often included to accommodate people’s feelings.
At my last job, over the years there were consistently people who were fired or basically forced to quit on the spot. Most of my colleagues appeared sympathetic but for the most part took advantage of someone’s perceived moment of shame and downturn to rejoice in their own perceived superiority. The only time I was rejoicing someone’s departure was when I disliked them but even then I was jealous. Now he has a chance, I thought. My other thought was that at least they didn’t have to come here anymore.
As far as I know none of those people ended up homeless or needed to do desperate actions for that cheeseburger. Some went on to better jobs even. When imagination or faith in the unknown is a requirement to move on, the majority play will be to do nothing. If the best laid plans often go awry then why wouldn’t the same occur just as often to the worst unplanned ones?
Looking back, the jobs that I had were a disservice to my self-esteem. Perhaps the way that I think is a disservice to my self-esteem. The only part of my life I held in lower regard than what I was doing was what I was going to do which was…I don’t know. It wasn’t something I held in secret either. “What do you do?” is often the first and last question people need to make their conclusions about you.
There were probably many others in the same position as myself but many of them opted for the “fake it til you make it” route or chose to dive into anything just so that they could avoid being that person who was thought to be going nowhere.
My most recent legit paid employment wasn’t even that bad on paper or in other ways but I still felt some shame. For the longest time I thought it was a feeling of inferiority but I’m more certain now that it had more to do with me feeling like a fraud. I felt shame because I was knowingly not living a life I wanted at all. It’s not quite Impostor Syndrome since I was missing the success part of it but I felt like an impostor.
I felt more proud of myself during my periods of unemployment than when I was employed. To me it just seemed so much more logical to be free than to be trapped in an existence of cyclical torture. Hardly anyone saw it this way though because just like women’s high heels, life is all about appearance. To top off my fraudulence I engaged with people, beliefs and activities that I somewhat knew wasn’t aligned with what I wanted. Along with the high heels I guess I wore the mini-skirt in freezing weather hoping it would cure my pneumonia.
The pieces of the puzzle are often there throughout our life but we tend to not put them together until more than enough time has elapsed. A short window of time plus inexperience allows us to indulge in complete ignorance. Sometimes we even put all the pieces together but refuse to see the catastrophic masterpiece. Everyone sees a train wreck while you only see the small part of the train that went unscathed.
Maybe I’m just more complex or missed some of the programming on the production line. Maybe more time and experience may need to elapse for a better picture. But for now, if I can’t do what I want I’ll at least avoid doing what I don’t want.
Escaping your past is the mother of all detoxes. To erase 30 years of your life when it is the foundation of your being is like cutting the legs off of the beast. Your life is a culmination of your memories and you cannot wipe out the hard drive no matter how much you want to rid yourself of the virus. You can avoid opening the files but they are there.
The idle moments of life open up those files showing you what you saved and reminding you that at one time this was your life. Most choose to keep them and others try to permanently delete them. You’ll always be a prisoner of your past to some degree. Deleting is a painful chore, so painful that most choose to live with the virus.
If I ever come across a happy life I’ll ruin it by resenting the road that brought me there. I’ll view happiness as too little too late. I’ll resent that many people lived a life from birth mostly unscathed from the tragedies that only bad luck could have cast upon them. Jealous of their obliviousness of what a struggle life can be. Happiness in the last half of your life is like the crumbs one throws you once they have had their fill. It seems silly to struggle through life just to die and be forgotten.