the stirring

Only The Elect Are Free

One of my many loathings is societal conditioning. Yet at the same time, I can’t help but admire the genius that devised the conspiracy. From day one we are programmed to contribute to the machine. When we are infants we are sent to school and the training begins. We’re taught maths and spelling and the position of America on the map, but most importantly we learn to do what we are told. Wear your uniform. Arrive on time. Follow the rules. Funnily, it takes only the most minimal and pathetic of recognitions to maintain these behaviours; a worthless commendation, a passing word of praise. In no time at all, we’re hooked.

We are indoctrinated so thoroughly that before long we begin to see those who do not entirely conform as pathetic failures. Those who take a day off here and there because they can’t be arsed doing something which seems to them utterly superfluous are frowned upon en mass. The guy who wears what in the hell he wants because he reckons the school administered blazer looks ridiculous is chastised and outcast. Why is he refusing to follow the rules?

Eventually we either drop out of school or graduate. Some are lucky enough to have fallen for the scam and actually celebrate the fact that they are finally free whilst arranging their ties and passively preparing to head off for another colourless day in the office. The less fortunate of us are more than aware that we are trapped. We are the ones that hate ourselves, because despite the most conscious of realisations, we do it anyway.

I hate the thought of dragging myself off to work every day, just because that’s what I’m expected to do. Last month I told my dad I’d been thinking of chucking in my job and trying something different. He almost had a stroke. The thought of four years training down the drain…

I just figure it would be better than the reality of a decade of life wasted when in ten years time, I’m still miserable. We only get to live once, right? Should our single aspiration really be to have a great big house, a dependable job and financial security..? I, for one would prefer to have a bloody good time.

And yet I haven’t quit yet. Go figure.

March, 2011


Last week I was quite ill. High on the dopey fuzz of cold and flu medication, I used the down time to restore some semblance of order to the many document files I’ve confused with obscure thoughts, unrealised ideas and the incomplete ponderings of my scattered mind over the past few years.

During the reading and deleting process, I stumbled upon the above rambling. I suspect that younger me would be both pleased and surprised to learn of the changes that have transpired since the moment when, in her hopelessness, she penned this piece. If the feelings of my present self are indicative, it’s a fair certainty.


4 thoughts on “the stirring

  1. It is one thing to condemn the compliant of society, but the compliant believe they have a place or a sense of security. Is that not happiness for them? Fulfilment comes in different shapes and flavours. For now, they are happy.

    It is the artists responsibility to explore the quiet desperation of our lives.
    To reflect it, and question it – yes. Not to mock it or undervalue those who cling to it.

    You wont find answers criticising the situation.

    Go and live the alternatives yourself….try new things yourself……catch a bus across the dessert…….sleep under the stairs…..get a job on a farm……ad meaning to somebody else’s life….be silly…….report back once you have discovered something.

    Is true contentment even possible in this life? let’s see if we can’t find out.

    Discovering the void in ourselves is just the start of this journey.

    Bon Voyage

    • I’m not sure… No, I don’t think so. I’m pleased to be the kind of person who cares about these matters. Though if I wasn’t like this, I’d be happy that I didn’t care. Like is certainly complicated when you’re on a perpetual hunt for something. Though it’s also really colourful. Which is a good thing. What do you think?

      • What are you hunting? Your happiness or contentment? If you’re hunting for it, I think your looking for something specific; I think you’re creating expectations to meet. I think it’s more about discovery of your interests, acceptance of who you are, and forgiveness that it took so many mistakes to realize it.

Leave a Reply to michelle Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s