Thoughts On… ch.24
November 9, 2010 § Leave a comment
Life in a nutshell (sitting next to my holiday nutcrackers).
Mariah Carey ushers in the holiday for me a bit earlier than usual. And as she reaches unprecedented notes, like only she can do, I question my reasons for allowing such Christmas classics to be played before I even have my Thanksgiving menu planned. It’s not only the music making an early appearance; the reindeer has snuck his way onto the television stand and the pine tree of feathers is planted in its designated counter top spot.
I am not meaning to force the holiday nor am I merely giving in to the department stores’ pressure to start even earlier than last year. But I question my motives. Have I found so much ease in life that I allow the ebb and flow of the seasons to settle in without interruption of my daily life? Or am I using the holidays as a way to mask the deeper questions; as a way to avoid the day-to-day non-holiday pressures that this society has inadvertently snuck into my 27th year.
Maybe it was my recent birthday; the realization that adulthood is not going to wait for me as I try to prolong the carefree ability to jump in puddles and distract myself with the little enjoyments as a way to duck out of sticky situations. At 27 I am no longer able to avoid answering the questions I gave up facing nearly a decade ago.
I can remember sitting in art class with my walkman on, staring at my escape. In the basement of my high school, with pencil in hand, I drew out all of the pressures. I stepped out from underneath the pressure to be popular, to wear the right clothes, to get a college degree in something I was less then interested in just so I could live the life that I was told I was supposed to live. And instead I colored my hair with a red marker, I bought my clothes from a thrift store, and I moved to Chicago without thinking about what would come next.
I suppose everyone eventually finds themselves in this place sooner or later. The allure of the American dream, parents lovingly but ever-so-harshly telling you to go for a man who looks less like Jesus (aka has short hair and shaves), and peers who are sitting comfortably in front of their flat screen televisions unexpectedly hacks away at my security. Material possessions and social status has had no affect on the way I’ve lived my life…thus far. I live in a society that tells me it is time to give in, to put aside the childish ideas and big dreams, to settle for a spouse who doesn’t inspire me but can buy me a house and provide me with health insurance.
And I sit here and silently scream. What would my life look like were I not concerned with “how fat” I look? What if I knew that I only needed X amount of dollars to pay a few bills and the rest of my enjoyment was not in the purchases of unnecessary items but rather in how much I could make and provide with my own two hands? What if a college education and job title meant nothing and instead my time was more consumed with outdoor activities and shared meals with friends? What would the next 50 years look like if I married someone because they made me laugh, shared my love for off-roading, and made me feel secure for other reasons then having a certain amount of money in the bank?
I play Christmas music on this the second Tuesday of November not because of some go-getter’s clever holiday marketing but simply because I like the songs. And somehow that kind of freedom makes me believe the rest of my life – the non-holiday parts – could find a similar courage. Because a life without the pressures of social statuses, job titles, superficial credentials, and other people’s ideals is…well…exactly what life should be.
But that’s just my opinion.