Originally published on Medium.
Sh*tty Boyfriends: The Ultimate Life Lesson
It’s Tuesday noon, around 1.30 p.m, and I’m idling between tabs, giggling at a video of a monkey laughing at a party trick. Then, I stumbled upon this clip; The Ultimate Life Lesson. What an incredibly promising title, I immediately ignored the monkey, and rush into clicking the link.
Somehow the blue loading line under the tiny white box of link on my Safari moves so slow as if it teases my patience. Tap, tap, tap. I rest my chin on the palm of my left hand, while my fingers tapping the side of my cheek. What is it, I ask, as if the answer of my current lost-self hides in the link and it will save up years of my life trying to figure things out.
The clip is from a short web-series called Sh*tty Boyfriends. Sandra Oh played the smart-looking boss, sets in an all-white decorated, creative agency-like office. She begins the pep-talk like a wise old woman.
“I’m going to tell you the most liberating thing you’re ever going to hear in your life,” she held a momentarily pause, clasping both of her hands in front of her chest before dropping what seem to be the golden advice of life.
“No one is thinking of you,” the shot now shifts towards this twenty-something girl with pouting mouth, “which should be a relief, because it’s your life. Do whatever the fuck you want. Stop thinking and enjoy the moment, have real reactions to things!”
This isn’t the first time I have heard such an advice but strangely, it still does have the pinch to it.
Of course doing whatever the fuck we want at this age doesn’t mean vandalising school property, skipping class, be a bum, or drink till our throat burns, well maybe that occasionally, but things that have bigger meaning for the long run. Things that we have been wanting to do but haven’t done, things we often dismiss over something else that seems more immediate because it seems like it.
It’s almost like, it’s never been just our lives, it’s the life of others, too. The society or those ‘external factors’ often holds greater power in controlling our lives, stops us from unleashing this inner power to be whoever we want to be — or according to Pressfield, finding out who we already are and become it. So, we follow the stream and let whatever that is burning inside our chests to die in the chaos of conformity, what is socially accepted conventions, until one day we all stop questioning.
To me, that’s one of the scariest, most dangerous places to be. I don’t care, be elsewhere. Swim through against the current, be like salmon.
Often, those external factors affect the single most important variable in the equation, that is ourselves. The weight of “no one is thinking of you” is rather contradictory because at the end of the day, we live in the society where the currency of success, of worth, is through others; when we are noticed, which means someone is thinking about us. And then, we look at ourselves less than we are.
But other than that, perhaps along the line of wanting to prove ourselves, maybe others, too, we hurry ourselves into life, to be the hero of our generation, of our society. There has been an article shared all around social media recently, Stop Rushing Life. And I am surprised seeing how viral it went. Mostly shared, retweet-ed by most of my friends who are around the age of 20s.
Perhaps at this prime age, we’re all trying so hard to get everything right all at once. At life, at career, at relationship. We’re too eager on achieving something big as soon as possible, and forget maybe it’s not about getting it right at the first try. It’s not about pleasing everyone else but you. Because nothing good will come out of it. That way, we’ll never be enough to others, to ourselves. Maybe we can do whatever the fuck we want, and be great in time.
It goes without saying that this ultimate life lesson acts as a force, that tiny little push for us to do what we have always been wanting to do and stop slouching. Stop being the puppet of consumerism, capitalism, the external factor, whatever that is that holds you back from being all the pretty things you could ever be.
So, promise me that you will always stay curious. Be bigger than your fears.
This is the time to be like the salmon.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz