I spent some time last night across the stroke of midnight and wrote nine and 1/4 pages by hand of some thoughts about my childhood. It taught me that, expressing myself was something I haven’t done much of. Without writing the full pages here, this is a summary:
Holding my emotions, thoughts, and actions in, to avoid ridicule and criticism. I never had the kind of environment that was healthy for expressing myself. Teachers, my eldest brother, kids and adults in the neighborhood, and almost anywhere else. Anxiety has been a long part of my life.
And so I’ve realized, in the past nine years I’ve worked in offices, and other jobs before that, is you can’t express your true self there. For the most part in nearly any job, even the creative ones — that I’ve tried, such as Graphic Design — you’re not projecting an extension of yourself. You’re told what to do, what to create, and even how to create it; it’s sad, and inhuman.
I think it’s important to live a healthy happy life to express yourself, especially in places and ways you won’t be attacked with harsh criticism and vitriol. As we go through adolescence we gain some self-consciousness, and if we don’t fight this and get rid of it, we can, like I have for pretty much all my 27 years, can’t truly he happy.
I’ve always been afraid of living a life wherein I was never known for anything but being a cog in the wheel. Lost in the race. What happened though is I ran myself into this race without taking time away from everything. Bombarded with constant work and constantly trying to improve my work, I never learned I have to blow it all off. And yet, this is what I’ve done time and time again; with the six jobs I’ve quit.
Each time, though, I was immediately jumping back in based on the fear that I wouldn’t have anything; a place to sleep, something to eat, and so on. Some of you may know, or not, but my mother spends much time with the youthful homeless. She takes them to the hospital, doctors, grocery shopping, and other places, to help them out.
Their spirit is strong; they have nothing, but they’re happy. They’re free from the bondage of being employed in a place wherein they can’t express themselves. Some may say this type of life is horrible; but let’s not forget how many people were free during the summer of love. True freedom, I believe, and happiness, only comes from ridding ourselves of the binds that make us an extension of someone else.
It’s making it difficult to want to return to work, and contemplating just giving up all these material goods. I have a library of more than 100 books; movies and video games. This pressure to jump back in, just doesn’t seem like something I want to do anymore so easily. I need to be able to express myself, and be listened to. I think we all do.