There’s a simple philosophy to living a kickass life that I’d like to share today. It’s an idea that stuck in my brain from some crappy movie I sat through one day while arguing vociferously with the flies who repeatedly kept landing on my body. Apparently I’m deliciously sweet, or a massive piece of shit. The jury is still out…
Although Hollywood is probably the greatest scourge on humanity when it comes to evolving the unlimited potential contained within the human-animal, every once in a while a snippet of brilliance can be gleaned from the mindlessly formulaic drivel the entertainment industry pumps out on a continuous basis.
The clip went down something like this…
Some old dude turned to a hottie at the bar, and unabashedly uttered the lamest greeting a male could proffer a potential suitor. Knowing he was way out of her prissy league, he walked over anyway, and engaged conversation. When she asked him to extrapolate the odds of him being successful in his endeavour to get into her pants, he confidently replied a bold 50/50, with an explanation…
It either happens, or it doesn’t — the odds on absolutely everything in life boil down to a 50/50 chance.
I like that.
When it comes to accomplishing anything on this wacky planet, ya pretty much just gotta go for it, no matter how wild, weird, or unrealistic your goals my be. All the fancy technologies and structural marvels that exits around us today were all probably deemed “impossible” at some point by a closed-minded douchebag lacking the ability to see anything outside his pathetic little ego-box. But the wonders exist around us nonetheless, along with a steady supply of fuckers dining on crow.
There’s one thing I know for certain when it comes to playing the odds — you have a ZERO percent chance for success when you sit on your ass and do nothing. When you dive into the game, the 50/50 thing is kinda cool — it’ll either happen for you, or it won’t, so there’s no sense in overthinking or worrying about whatever hurdles you need to surmount. A solution exists for every problem — they are facets of the same coin, forever entangled.
New adventure is always a single decision away. But talking about grandiose plans won’t do fuck all for you until you take action. When you’re scared about the boneheaded idea rattlin’ around in your noggin’, you’re probably on the right track. But if you don’t keep moving, no matter how ideal those rails may seem, there’s always the possibility of getting run over by a faster-moving train.
So I say jump onto the beaten up handcar, and start pumping away. Small progress is a lot more fun than no progress. And you never know what awaits around the next bend. Don’t let Google maps sway you — there’s a fifty-fifty chance their stupid charts are completely fucking wrong.
Go find out for yourself.
I used to work a job where it seemed my boss hardly ever showed up. There was always a “legitimate” reason of course. Illness, family emergencies, testicles caught in the leafblower, whatever. No matter how tired or overworked I was, whenever he asked me to cover a shift, I always said yes, despite my heart crying out, “Fuck no! Stop putting this on me. I never really wanted to work a day in my life to begin with, asshole, so leave me the fuck alone!”
I’ve never been very good at saying no to people, but I never really clued in how damaging it’s been to my psyche over the years.
I started a new job recently based on a simple agreement — I only work 3 days a week. Those days are on the weekend, the busiest times, and I put in 10-12 hours a shift while there. I’m still basically a full-time slave, from an hourly perspective, but I have the freedom of 4 days off a week to pursue my truer passions.
4 days off also allows me to adequately decompress from slavery. Each Friday I go back to work, I almost feel like it’s a new job, so I do my work eagerly and enthusiastically. Ultimately it’s a win-win situation for all — if there is such a way to describe engaging in menial work for stupid fucking paper dollars.
When I was asked last week to cover a Monday shift, supposedly for only 5 hours, I agreed. My bosses are hard-working people, and they wanted a day to spend at the beach with visiting family. I was happy to help.
The only problem was I didn’t bother taking a look at the schedule. Once I realized the incompetent jackasses coming in at 5 o’clock couldn’t adequately handle the dinner rush, I had no choice but to stay. A few hours of “being a nice guy,” turned into a 10-hour shift of “get me the fuck out of this building forever.”
So now it’s Thursday, and instead of feeling like I made any headway accomplishing other goals, I’m dreading the weekend. My mindset is anxious and stressed, as I feel the need to rush every single thing I want to get done today.
3 days a week off doesn’t fucking cut it for me anymore.
Before you call me I’m a whiner, and go on a rant about how you haven’t had a day off in two weeks, let me share this with you first…
I know what it’s like to put in 80-hour work weeks. I know what it’s like to sleep 5 hours a night for years on end because “shit needs to get done.” I know how to do all of it with a big smile on my face, and not a single complaint about fatigue or exhaustion. I’ve never suggested anyone “feel sorry for me” because I’ve been on my feet for 16-hours without a break.
The point of this post has nothing to do with shitty jobs or stupid responsibility.
It has to do with the power of saying “NO,” perhaps one of the most important words that gets underutilized on this planet.
We all want to be helpful. We all want to make others happy. And we all know what it’s like to be let down by someone we thought we could rely on.
But the truth of the matter is, if your heart isn’t in agreement with your mouth, the only creature who’s going to feel tormented is you.
If you wanna agree to stupid shit, then go all in. Put whatever resentments you have aside, and fucking do it. If you’re body and mind are pissed at you for being a spineless twat who gets walked all over time and time again, all you’ll end up doing is slowly destroying yourself from the inside out.
It’s easy to feel like you’ve let someone down by saying no. It’s easy to feel guilty or ashamed when putting your personal agenda first. But when you agree to something at the cost of your own sanity, on some level everyone ends up a loser, whether it’s you feeling like a victim, or the bitter, angry work you do to fulfill your verbal contract.
If I had been told a 10-hour shift was in order that day, this writing would probably not exist. I would have done it with a big smile on my face, and be done with it. It’s the feeling of being duped into something unwanted that has ultimately cheesed me off over the course of the week.
My personality has been conditioned over the years to say yes to everyone — anytime, anywhere, whatever they need. It took a lifetime to realize that always trying to be a “dependable” guy has filled my soul with a lot of ragey bitterness.
I truly do want to be of service to others in need, but I also realize that I don’t respect people who can’t follow through with the commitments they’ve made, always pawning shit on suckers like me. I guess I’m still a judgmental asshole, quel surpise.
We all need a hand from time to time, and there’s no shame in asking for help. But only do it when no other option seems possible. Helping is much more fun when you can do it for someone truly in need — when you can go all in to make their situation better, with nary a thought of being deprived of personal time.
For the rest of us doormats, try practicing this word from time to time, and maybe you’ll find a little more contentment within your soul, bullshit guilt be damned…
P.S. There are a few other variations to consider:
Suck my balls!
Not bloody likely, asshole!
Munch my ass.
No thanks, dickwad.
Sorry, I’m busy bangin’ your mom that day.
I don’t know about you, but I feel more liberated already…
What do you do when you’re a stranger in a strange land?
Pretty simple, I guess…
You roll with the natives. Blend in. Adapt. Learn the basic customs and protocols. You make note of every major rule “normal” people conform to, and try to play their game the best you can, without rippling too much water during your learning curve.
But what if you come to the realization the new land sucks — I mean really fucking sucks? What if you’ve done your best to live amicably among the denizens, but you ultimately find their lifestyle unbearable and intolerable? What if you find yourself amongst a collective so hopelessly indoctrinated to idiotic rules, rituals, and modalities of thinking, that each day you spend with them seems like a living fucking hell?
The most obvious answer is you get the fuck out. As quickly as you can.
A simple solution, indeed, unless you’re no longer able to locate the exit door — either because you can’t remember where it is, or because it’s been intentionally hidden from you.
So you’re stuck. The only thing you can do is “make the most of it.” You tell yourself all kinds of fluffy, happy bullshit to turn your days of torment into something tolerable. You do the best you can to mitigate the pervasive insanity that no one seems to question, and try to keep your mind occupied on the little things that still put a smile on your face, why robotically trudging through your duties and responsibilities necessary for survival.
But how long can you keep it up? How long before you end up losing your fucking mind, pretending to give a shit about things that don’t excite you in the least? How many more conversations about politics and weather can you endure before considering swallowing a bullet, or taking a fifty-foot swan dive off a tall bridge?
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m nearing my quota…
Earth is a fascinating planet. No question about that. The physical experiences we can collect here are innumerable. There’s always something incredible waiting around the corner. The only fucking problem is that we’ve been forced into a situation that is completely unnatural to our species. We’ve built up this ridiculous construct around ourselves called society, and if we’re unwilling to play its game, we quickly become labelled outsiders, freaks, losers, whiners, manic-depressives, or a hundred other names to denote creatures dispassionate about following the herd.
Our addiction to the hoarding of paper dollars plays a big role in our collective illness. Our passions are hindered because of it, and our desires are warped by it. When someone tells me a story about working 3 jobs to save enough money for a month long vacation overseas, something in my heart screams out, “that ain’t fuckin’ right!”
How much time do we spend doing things we don’t want to do for a small window of opportunity to experience “freedom?” If you take this job, Bill, we’ll give you 2 weeks paid vacation time per year. 14 whole days, eh? Wow, sign me up! 50 weeks of annual drudgery in your piece-of-shit criminal corporation sounds like an ideal way for me to wile away my life.
If you choose to own your own business, you’re probably not even gonna get that much. Unless you’re exploiting other people for slave-wages, I guarantee an independent business won’t be providing you any greater degree of freedom from the system.
Over my formative years, I really gravitated toward art — drawing, painting, building shit, you name it. When I discovered my first airbrush, the possibilities before me seemed limitless. After 15 years of 16-hour days to build up a successful mural business, I woke one morning to learn something disconcerting — I fucking hate painting. Not because of the practice itself, but because of its attachment to money. Something I loved ended up becoming a loathsome routine for paying bills and putting food on the table.
Whenever I try to sit down to paint something these days, my entire system screams out I’m wasting my time. I’m not fast enough, not efficient enough, not good enough, and no one will give a shit about the piece at the end of the day, so why bother? None of those factors are indeed legitimate, but they’ve become entangled emotionally in my body because of all the years I’ve spent selling art for survival.
Cooking is another example. Truthfully, I fucking love it. When I lived for 6 months with my Hare Krishna buddies in Hawaii, I took over the job of cooking a giant meal for 30 or more guests every Saturday. No one asked me to do it, and no one paid me to do it — it was something I volunteered for. Though people helped out with some of the items on my ever-changing menus, I was much happier working by my lonesome. Friday night was my most exciting time of the week — planning out newer and weirder ideas to feast upon. It never felt like a chore, and I never dreaded a Saturday cooking frenzy.
Working in a kitchen here in Canada ain’t quite the same. It feels a lot like the mural thing again — rush, rush, rush, from one order to the next. It doesn’t take long for the excitement of a new menu in a new restaurant to wear off, transforming the process into a numbing routine of pumping out a product quickly and efficiently, all in the name of making a buck or two.
Opening my own restaurant isn’t even a thought I’d consider anymore. I don’t want cooking to fall into the same abyss my love for art did.
With all that whining aside, I guess it’s about time to find some new solutions to living a happy life. If everyone else is content to play this stupid fucking game, more power to them. Me, I’m at my wit’s end. If escape ain’t possible, the only viable alternative is to make up a new strategy.
What that might be, I have no clue at the moment. I’m close to considering not publishing my new book, just so I don’t attach a perverse monetary association to it. Maybe I’m better off giving it away for free. Maybe I’m better off doing everything for free, as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing. Maybe the solution is to ditch every material possession I own, and go wander the streets like a fucking hobo. I’m pretty close to that state as it is, so why not go the whole nine yards?
I don’t fucking know.
But it’s late, and my eyes are growing weary. With any luck, a lucid dream awaits tonight. Perhaps I’ll find some solutions there. Though, truthfully, the last thing I want to do is contaminate my alternate dimensional travels with shitty Earth life. I fucking love exploring the astral realm. It’s one of the last things that keeps my hope of freedom alive. Perhaps the mysterious exit door off this stupid planet is entangled there somewhere.
I’m not done lookin’ just yet…
Either way, this is my last ride on the JunkieSphere. The carnival doesn’t excite me anymore. I’m sick of the candy floss, and I don’t relate well to the pinheads wandering the midway. It was a fun 10,000 incarnations on this blue rock, but I’m getting off the carousel for good this time. Cooler worlds await.
Maybe we’ll meet again one day somewhere else in the Universe — in a place less fucked up and closed-minded than this insane asylum.
Till then, sweet dreams.