Nowadays I don’t like writing on Pousta about personal stuff, like, real deep personal stuff. Those things we used to publish when no one but our friends read this website. I changed my mind for today because to answer something that many of us can feel related to so profoundly is a chance you don’t get every day.
All of this comes up as a “response” to Nacho Vigoroux’s post. Although, more than a response, it’s a bunch of ideas that I bothered organizing in a written format thanks to what he wrote.
I think that “open letter to…” and “response to the open letter” trend is quite ridiculous, but I really feel the need to answer to such post, because at a certain point in my life I also felt tired. Very tired. And it was actually worse, because it happened 4 years before Nacho’s tiredness. I was 26 years old.
We’ve all felt tired at some point, yeah, but you know what was different for me this time? The fact that now, I’m living in such a good state of mind. I feel so incredibly great, to the point of almost making me sick. It sickens me how happy I am, because I’ve always been this emo/dark/you name it kind of guy. Turns out that nothing can bring my happiness levels now, even in not-so-cool situations. The old me feels sick about the new one, but the new me feels sad for my old me. They’re constantly bullying each other.
I don’t mean here to trick you: there are certain moments that irritate me – just like anyone else -, but the difference is that, no matter how pissed off i feel, nothing bothers me in the end.
Yup. We can say I’m a happy person now, but not “i-laugh-all-the-time” kind of happy: Nowadays I’m an actual, authentic and deeply happy person.
So how did I end up feeling like this? Well, after feeling like what Nacho described, there were many things I handled at once, being work the one that’s more suitable for this matter.
F*ck the system
When I was at the university, I majored in Multimedia Comunication. The dictionary defines such career as “a toy career, studied at Whatsername Institute”. Worst thing about it? I’m still in debt with it, but it’s such a far away story that I don’t really care about it now.
Regardless of how crappy my university background was, I have always been a curious person, which has allowed me to work at things that I liked, especially stuff linked to digital design. As you can assume, it’s not such a profitable job as being an engineer or a lawyer, but I didn’t go wrong with me: I had a very constant work flow, which resulted in being able to make ends meet.
I had three jobs at the time. One during the day (Cranberry Chic); one during afternoons and nights (Pousta), and on AM hours I worked freelance for startup owners. I was 25 years old, just finished college and my bank account always had green digits, so money wasn’t something I worried about.
Unfortunately, at such brutal work rythm, of course I couldn’t handle living like that – unless I had become obsessed with making money.
One day – when I was 26 -, I had to turn down the volume to the music, so that I could listen to my own ideas: “Why do I work so hard?” “Well…I need more money”. “Ooook, but why the hell do I need more and more money for?!!” That’s where I realized a bunch of stupid reasons…really stupid ones. Let’s see:
- I wanted to live in a cooler apartment
- I wanted a car
- I wanted better vacations than the previous year
- I wanted more clothes
- There was a new version of the XBOX really soon
I was really working like there was no tomorrow FOR THAT? REALLY? Shit, I’m not okay.
I felt like an asshole. A dumbass who bought everything people told him, and was invited to a consumerism party. Basically, a victim of what capitalism invented. The system sold me the “succesful and cool startup (what a disgusting concept) owner” idea, and I believed and bought the whole thing; I actually paid for it o a monthly basis with my Visa.
Two years have passed ever since, but there’s more to come.
Why do I talk about this character I made myself, but to put it in simple, it’s because the media (both the massive ones and the “niche” ones) make characters like this with the only aim to sell us stuff (and here I quote my favorite article of all time)
“Millennials are a group of 80 million people (in the US), born between 1980 and 1996. Among their values are the lack of the sense of authority, high tolerance, being close to their families, commitment and a great level of optimism. They question how the system operates”.
BULLSHIT. COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT.
Such definition is nothing but an invention, created with the only purpose of “selling us a success and dreams archetype, both of which capitalism needs to reinvent so that the machine keeps on working”. Such character and the world they sell us are not real, but we’re convinced we’re already a part of it.
Here’s where we quote Ignasi Giró, because “generally, our dreams tend to be pictures painted by overfed egos, destined to disguise lacks instead of activating virtues”.
Frtom such perspective, everything I was constantly searching for was irrelevant. It’s not that such article had “changed my mind as a sort of self-help book”. It was more of even before reading it, I was able to get a few things:
- More than a huge apartment, it’s important to find a place to call a refuge (the world out there can be really cruel).
- More important than having a cool car, is to not need one.
- More important than a vacation spot, is that you have a vacation because you want to, not because you need it.
- More important than being trendy and fashionable, is to dress with whatever suits you. There’s the value of that.
- More important than having the latest game console, is to have time to share it with friends.
Even the punkiest person you know is a fundamental part of capitalism, which creates characters, roles and archetypes every day. After that, they sell us every consumer item to “fulfill” that archetype.
What Barbie are you today? Oh yes: you’re the spiritual and traveler Barbie. Here’s where we show you the job you should have; the airlines through which you should travel and how you should dress. Whenever you feel like the “I-don’t-give-a-fuck Barbie”, we’ve got this Android waiting for you, an “anti phone plan” just for you, and second-hand clothes preselected just for you.
Having reached this point, what you so desperately need in order to solve half of your problems, is to have an anti-job (1. A job becomes an anti-job when you do something that makes you anxious during the weekends; you’re looking forward for Monday to arrive. You consider your tasks thrilling, and you could actually do this all your life without ever getting sick of it. It’s usually about your hobbies: they might not get you any money, or be kind of hard to make it so you make money from it) that makes you feel passionate and that gives you enough to make ends meet, save up some money, and go out for drinks every once in a while. What happens when your job doesn’t suck all of your time or, on the contrary, it energizes you? Well, for starters, YOU STOP FEELING TIRED. YOU START ENJOYING YOUR SHORT, STUPID LIFE.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me how the hell I was able to “waste” two and a half hours to get to my Crossfit classes by foot. I was speechless.
When I thought about a response, many memories came up to my head: it’s me, walking 6 miles every day. Surrounding me are a bunch of people feeling miserable in their cars, blowing their horns in the middle of the street. I can also see a group of cramped people on buses, and it looks like the most terrible pro-vegan video in a slaughterhouse I’ve ever watched. At the same time, I keep walking at my own pace, thinking about what to cook later tonight or whether to go out with my friends on a Tuesday night. All those people living miserably were the answer that I gave to my friend.
“Dude: I walk all that fucking walk each day because I can…just because I can”.