Tuesday, 28 August 2007


Trying to shoehorn myself into a life that was never made for me is what's done this; the nine to five, the full-time relationships, the expectations of parents weighing heavy on my shoulders that pushed me into this twisted, half-baked version of normality.

I am the proverbial square peg in the round hole, as I suspect many of us who do this sort of thing are, although to look at me physically you'd probably see it the other way around.

In my mind's eye, I am not this; some invisible number, churning the wheels of an industry I have no interest in or respect for. In that same mind's eye I am a writer, or a musician, an actor, a hermit, or a traveller with dreadlocks and a mangy dog - it would have to be a dog, as cats, I suspect, wouldn't take too kindly to a life of caravanning - and alone. Always alone, although I crave nothing more than the undying devotion of another human being and to undyingly devote myself to them in return. It's a perverse logic, isn't it?

But here's the thing. I am tired of trying to fit in where I simply don't; the crowbar is leaving marks that refuse to heal.

This is not where I belong, and never has been.

The time we have here is too short for the lie not to have to stop; by continuing to believe in it, I have achieved nothing except a succession of discarded jobs, discarded homes, discarded people, discarded dreams, peppered with vague, fleeting snatches of something approaching happiness from totally inappropriate sources.

What is that to look back on from the next life?

It's a damn short step from here to the Hatchery, and lining up for our daily dose of government-issue Soma.

It makes me angry - who the fuck is this omnipresent, invisible entity that tells us it is necessary to conform? Who is it that tells us it's wrong to stay in bed until our eyes flutter open of their own accord, or to eat chocolate digestives for lunch and a sandwich for tea, or to work all night and sleep all day? Who decides that it's frivolous to spend your life making love on the beach with someone who has eyes for nothing and nobody else, or that you must exclusively prefer one gender over the other, or that the only way to experience the riches that life has to offer is from behind a desk belonging to the person who makes money off the back of your misery while your life ticks away?

And why is it that we listen to them at the expense of our happiness and fulfillment?

Does it make you angry too?

It should, because we all deserve better.


An Unreliable Witness said...

Yes, it makes me angry. But this post also stopped me in my tracks, because it's what so many of us thinking daily - even hourly - but don't have the sheer nerve to put this simply, yet eloquently. Thank you.

bohémienne said...

Yes, actually, it does make me angry. There are those who decide to go against those expectations... and I can't see any reason why they should try to conform.

Some of us just break out of the pattern in our secret little ways. I think that, as long as you are only responsible to yourself, why shouldn't you find a way that makes you happier?? You are brave (despite what you might think) and smart. Seriously. Do it your way. Why the hell not?

Ani said...

I am usually angry at that but now that you've voiced it I'm sort of... elated.

I can't even begin to pretend that I know what you go through but this post could have very easily been written about me, by me.

Except that I'm half as eloquent and could never find the words that fit so perfectly and ring so true.

But at least something fits, huh?

Truly touching writing.

Anxious said...

Are you me?

Well, when I say "me", I mean a more eloquent version of me...

These are the thoughts I've been having since the age of about 30. Thank you for expressing them so clearly.

Ms Robinson said...

I decided against conformity. In my forties I do not own a house, gave up the big corporate job for a less lucrative writing life but am doing what I am best at. I am lucky for it was family and friends who sat me down and told me that I was a free spirit who was trying to fit in. So now I don't. It's still hard in all sorts of other ways but I am doing it totally my way.

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