In the winter of 2011, I was in a black depression.
The world I inhabited was making less and less sense the more I found out about it. The waste of corporate and political greed seemed strewn all about me: endless wars and oppression, the emphasis of the philosophies of quantity and quality contradicting and supporting each other depending on who has the public mic, and the encouragement of total isolation and mind-body separation through consumer culture.
And I was all alone in the middle of it.
The problem? I had no idea who I was.
Throughout the years, I tried different methods of altering my personality (taking “anti-depressants” and “anti-psychotics,” imitating my favourite characters from books or television, dressing like friends) – which, combined with the fact that I was willing to be utterly submissive in order to be liked, did help me survive a few catastrophes through sheer adaptive principles. However, I neglected to comprehend the fact that every time I gave up a part of myself in order to be accepted, I had to literally give up that part of myself.
This especially applied to my finances. I’ve been poor my whole life, and through careful social programming I became convinced that in order to be truly happy and secure in not only my livelihood, but myself, I would need to be able to “afford” that happiness and security. In order to afford it, I had to streamline myself to enter the workforce – and in order to enter the workforce, I had to write up an easy-to-read summary of my experience in order to essentially convince someone that I was worth keeping alive.
Let me repeat that, because I think it’s important:
I had to convince a total stranger that my life had meaning so that I could afford to maintain it.
For someone with confidence, doing just that might be a part of everyday life. But when you’ve never been able to “live up to the standards of society” and have never been able to give yourself a good answer for the meaning of life outside of a sarcastic “forty-two”…the idea of putting the answer down on paper for a stranger to judge seems laughable at best.
So I didn’t do it. And I stayed poor. And I broke down. On a busy street and in front of my twelve-year-old brother, I screamed at my mother: “Why don’t I disappear and do everyone a favour?”
She wouldn’t tolerate what my rapturous confusion had turned me into and told me so. Again, I was alone.
This time, though, I was totally and completely unemployed, and I had time to think. What decisions had I made in my life that led me up to this horrible spot? It then occurred to me that I had barely made any of my own decisions at all, and that the stagnation in my life that I abhorred was the direct result of expecting others to make my life choices for me.
If I wanted to do something, I was going to need to put as much effort in as I expected to get out.
I found a beautiful used bicycle for $25 on Craigslist the very same day I really started looking for one within my price range, despite being unable to afford anything at the time. When I mentioned it to a friend, he eagerly bought me the bike and refused to consider it a loan. “You need it,” he said. I was floored, but appreciative.
I found a basic bicycle course offered at Revolution Cycles for $10 the very same day I really decided to invest time in figuring out how the hell to take care of my bike. My mum oversaw that expenditure, taking it out of her laundry money. “You need it,” she said. We could do a few loads by hand.
This blog is proof that if you really need something, and if you have the will to look for it, you will find it. It may not come in the package you were expecting, but if you want something bad enough you will look for it everywhere, and when you look everywhere something must be, then it ought to be somewhere. Oughtn’t it? 😉
You can go anywhere with anything.