When we get caught in the doldrums of everyday life, it’s easy to forget what we’re doing here. And until we figure it out, it really is killing you and me both.
Life is too often a series of typical and expected events. Alarms clocks. Deadlines. 40 hours (and more) of accomplishing menial tasks for somebody else, all to pay bills that you wish you didn’t have. And then you add kids, which adds diapers, peanut butter sandwiches, and far more vomit than you ever thought possible. And shoes. So many shoes!
Do you fell like you’re drowning? Sometimes, I do. And the more water I take on, the more I think reckless behavior might be the only way to break the monotony of it all.
Let’s be clear. No one is suggesting that you drive your car through the guardrail and off the cliff, but it would be one way to wake you up, wouldn’t it?
So goes the song:
I need a tragedy to wake me
From perpetual dreaming,
The proverbial “pinch me.”
I’m so sick of sleeping…
Have you ever been that desperate to wake up? Maybe you’re that desperate now.
It’s not a good place to be. When the sleep of life has settled heavy on your open eyelids, when nothing seems to have any meaning beyond this moment, when nothing you do amounts to anything for anyone, it might take something horrible to break that pattern.
We’ve all heard the stories. People “wake up” when tragedy strikes. A loved one dies. Maybe they survive a car accident. Kids get terminally ill. Whatever it takes, people often go back to that one thing, the proverbial pinch me, the a-ha moment, when something clicked and they realized they were on the wrong path.
It doesn’t always come with a religious epiphany, but it often does. There could have been one of those negotiating prayers with God: “If you get me through this… I’ll do whatever you say.”
But until that time comes, we will keep on keeping on, not quite asleep, but certainly not awake.
And you wonder why my eyes don’t leave my phone.
It’s no wonder that you feel like you’re alone.
It seems that for many of us, life has lost it’s luster. All that surrounds us has grown dull. That which makes up our day-to-day routine has become merely routine. Too often, we go seeking for that holy grail, for the ideal life, through our cell phones. We click through all the beautiful people on Instagram, afraid to admit that their life looks better than ours. So we craft our own Instagram life, with lots of great pictures that somehow skew our own miserable lives through filters and witty captions are snappy hashtags. #EverythingIsAwesome #EverythingIsCoolWhenYouArePartOfATeam #DidYouCatchMyLegoMovieJoke #MyJokesMakeMeLaughAndIDontCareWhatYouThinkBecauseMyHumorIsSuperiorToYours #SeeWhatImSaying #SuperfluousHashtags #Okay #ImDone
But no matter how great we make it look, many of us are still miserable. And if they’d be honest, your Instagram idols are probably miserable, too.
They’ll never admit it, of course. Why would they? It would spoil the illusion that everything is sanitized, filtered, and enviable. #CovetMyLife
Don’t believe me? That’s fine. Believe David Lopez. He knows what’s up.
If I’ve not been clear enough, let me lay it out for you:
Instagram Ain’t Real!
I know this, and I don’t even use Instagram. I have an Instagram account, and you should follow me, but you’ll be sorely disappointed. At this time, I’ve posted nothing. I really only have it to “maintain my brand.” You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram behind the name “@safferryan“. That being said…
If it’s online, it’s suspect. Facebook is a collection of made-up news articles, shared without thought of their validity. Twitter is a snappy place where we can say little pieces of nothing to whoever is listening, and it’s probably no one. YouTube… well… it’s something. But most people posting their own videos are carefully crafting their own brand to portray themselves a certain way.
There’s that word again: BRAND. We’re not people. We make ourselves subhuman, and become our own brand. We’ve got to make sure that we maintain a consistent appearance across all channels, lest we come across as something less than excellent. I suspect we’re all guilty. If you’re truly miserable, you simple don’t update your status. Keep it upbeat and positive. You gotta get those likes, after all!
So What’s It Going To Take?
It’s time we wake up. Don’t wait for the tragedy to jar you awake, but wake up!
Your living death isn’t just killing you. It’s killing everybody else, too. Your spouse is dying beside you. The children are drowning in the same shallow pool as you are. Your friends, provided they are awake, sure wish that you’d join them.
So what’s it going to take? Honestly? I have no idea.
But I’m looking. I’m trying. And I will emerge, come hell or high water. There’s a great big world out there, and plenty of life for the living. I’m going to get my share before it goes to waste. Meanwhile, you can watch me flounder on this blog, and also on those social media channels. (That was a shameless plug.)
That was a single post in a series, celebrating individual songs from one of my favorite bands, The Classic Crime, and their album “Phoenix” (available here). It is my hope that whether you like the band or not, there will be something in the posts that will resonate with you.
I don’t intend to go through all 13 tracks, but I’ll be doing several of them. Among other things, these posts express my anticipation for their next album, scheduled for release in early 2017. I’m probably more excited than a grown man should be for something like this, but I’m okay with that.