Average, pssssh. Who has time for that? (You? Obviously, no. You don’t.)
It’s up to us, my fellow frenzied creative badgers, to show the sock puppets that there’s more to life than doing what somebody else tells you to do.
You can have your own voice.
You can think your own thoughts.
You can dream your own dreams.
And you can also pay your own bills while doing the above.
That’s the catch-22 that you’ll hear when you start waxing poetic melodic and rhapsodic about marching to the beat of a different drummer, being the change, yada yada yada.
Great, they’ll say. You must also be living at home with your parents and not paying any bills. Here in the real world, with real responsibilities, we have to do things the smart way.
As in, the way that makes money and enables you to live as an independent being.
But what does that mean, to be an independent being?
Is it independent to take on a mortgage, a car payment, and the bills that accompany an “average lifestyle” just because that’s what everyone around you is doing? Just because it’s the well-trod path, the smart way, and you are walking it because you have no better ideas?
How is that independent?
My Dad introduced me to the term “wage-slave.”
As in, you’re trapped into a whole set of bills and expenses to support your lifestyle, and in order to stay alive in the trap (keep the jaws from shutting on you and killing you) you have to earn those wages. You’re stuck. You’re held. You’re bound to it all: the car, the house, the phone bill, the Internet bill, the restaurants, the movies, the clothes, the jewelry, the furniture, the events, the schools, the loans. Whatever.
You have a set of it, it owns you. You earn wages but don’t keep them. You work but send your earnings away. You stick to a job you don’t enjoy and work that holds no meaning for you just so you can keep on doing the same things, paying the same bills, and calling it all a good, grown-up, independent life. Just like everybody else.
If that’s independent, I’m not really so interested.
Independent is making your own decisions. It’s climbing up the side of the box, looking over, and seeing a whole world of options out there. It’s choosing an option that fits, that matters, that belongs to you. It’s doing the tough work, taking the daily action, choosing to be creative and productive over lemming-like and lazy. It’s not sitting in a meadow making daisy chains.
It’s sweat, blood, and tears for the things that matter to you.
And it earns you a way out of the box. And then you have the whole world there, waiting, and you can do with it what you will.