Monday, February 13, 2012

Manifest Destiny

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
 -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I've been increasingly complaining to friends on how I am currently dissatisfied with my life. Sure I appear to have plenty of fun debating the issues of the day, as well as the ones of years past. But with the pleasures of drinking and partying diminishing, and with discontent with my job and overall lifestyle growing, I have recently had a lot to reflect on. One downtrodden friend of mine, proclaims how lucky I am to even have a job in such hard times. He sounds as if he'd instantly switch places with me, and take my job in cubicle hell.

I, in a way, don't blame him, but rebut his ideas that having a job is anything good. I then wonder, why do feel the need to keep my job? Well the money first and foremost. I have to pay down my debts; I have to pay my rent and my other bills. It are these liabilities that I feel keep me in the mental bondage that is work. If only I were debt-free, if only I didn't have to pay rent or worry about money at all. If I could only somehow, live like a free-loading hippie, traveling where I want, being a political activist, or a champion for the atheist cause, with no rent to pay, or bills for that matter, maybe then I would be, are I say it, happy.

Is working in a cubicle for the next 40 years my idea of considered life? I don't hold on tightly to ideas that are against any form of structured work. There's nothing wrong with sitting in a cubicle if that's what one fancies. Perhaps if behind my desk I was writing for secular causes, or collaborating with link-minded individuals on such matters, I wouldn't be so discontent.

It deeply scares me that I might have to sit in a cubicle for even just another 5 years laboring towards something I don't really care about, and around people I don't really care to be around. The problem I have is that the things I am most passionate about, are not really things that make one particularly wealthy, apart from a select few. Sometimes I think, that if only I was one of those Wall Street types, preoccupied with money and financial markets, I would be able to maximize my passion and get ridiculously wealthy off of it. But such is not my character; I detest those greedy Wall Street, money market schemers.

If I could somehow gain capital and live off of it, so that I didn't have to worry about making money, I could devote my life to my passions. If I could write a book that sold, or collect rent from a house or apartment that I owned, or receive royalties from a single clever idea. I don't believe in being lazy, I believe in being active and passionate, and living one’s life as if it had purpose. A considered life is surely more worth living. But am I really living a considered life?

I love living in New York, I love going out and drinking and living that cosmopolitan life that is so alluring and intoxicating. I cannot be broke again like how I was years ago. My lifestyle requires money. I crave stability too. I like safety and the illusion of permanence. "How do I best make money?", that is the key question. How do I best fund this dream? What will become of me? Can I procure what I believe to be my destiny, with the courage and will power of the American pioneers seeking westward objectives? What destiny will ultimately manifest? Not being a determinist, I know the future is not yet written.

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