Saturday, 22 October 2011

Be Your Own Man, Choose Your Own Goals

Many people will think this bunny to be rather sad for typing what follows while listening to Radio 2. I can say this with utter certainty since I know some of them personally and work with others. The fact that I don't sufficiently intimidate to stop them from saying as much to my face is something that on balance I should probably be quite pleased about, although history is choca with instances where those possessed of 'different' tastes became targets for control freaks, bullies, manipulators and suchlike. When you start to believe that someone's life and what motivates them is somehow 'wrong', then this can of course become the premise on which the many dish out considerable pain in the direction of the few.

A few years ago, I saw a counsellor who discovered that, to use her own words "Daz, a large part of the reason for your struggles in being accepted as part of a group is the fact that you aren't motivated by 'normal' things". Touche hun, and this bunny spent many years fighting a war on two fronts, against the nastiness, intolerance and lifestyle bigotry of folk unable to recognise that they owned their life and I had an equally monopolistic claim on mine, and a lack of self-confidence on this bunny's part in the fact that there is nothing wrong with being 'different', and that were we all 'normal' then the world would be a very, very fucking dull place. Sometimes, to my great shame, I've made concessions to (usually well-meaning, it should be said) individuals who piled on the pressure, and this bunny's moves towards appeasing them invariably failed, often ending in misery and a sense of regret.

Given that my heart was never fully committed to what I was doing, this is not exactly a surprise.

I don't want to 'settle down' into a relationship, marry someone, anyone and have a couple of kids, and nor do I believe that feeling this way represents some kind of hanging offence. It took me nearly three decades to say as much out loud, although with the benefit of hindsight it's probably balls-on accurate to suggest that such fears about a 'loss of sovereignty' were inherent in this bunny's DNA. I can remember three instances where I was possessed of 'feelings' towards members of the opposite sex and 'meant it' (ie, it went some way beyond 'I'd rattle the fuck out of that'). However, the sense of paralysis that automatically followed was something I've come over time to regard as a blanket, the coscious digesting the fact that these people represented a serious threat to this bunny's independence and sending out appropriate panic alarms.

Now I understand what was going on, my money is on 'feelings' of this nature never entering this bunny's heart or head at any point in the future. Good - they were never welcome in the first instance and I sincerely hope they fuck off, never to darken my door again. I sometimes wonder how many people, deep down, feel exactly the same way that I do, but fall into starting relationships and families that they never really wanted, pressured by well-meaning friends or relatives, intent on having their big day, living their own lives through their kids or simply seeking an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes? They had their whole lives to look forward to and all that - these people are victims of societal/peer pressure and those who regard one way of life as 'normal' and others, by definition, as 'wrong' or 'invalid'.

Another aspect of this is the way in which some choices define and drive others. I appreciate that for most people, the life of wife/husband, dog, lawnmower and 2.4 children represents at least part of what they want from life, and the best of luck to them since seeing people get what they want from their time here is always a rather uplifting experience for all who wish them well and are there to witness it. With this comes a different attitude towards aspects of career, earning money and suchlike, at least amongst those parents who give a flying fuck about their offspring - the role of provider often necessitates the taking of shit that one might not otherwise put up with.

In short, this choice (and I appreciate some are just unlucky in this regard) is a simple trade-off, between a potentially fulfilling relationship and the joys of raising a family, and the ability to travel at one's own pace, act in strict accordance with personal goals and say 'fuck you' from time to time. Of course, we don't all dream the same dream, or want the same thing, and while there may be an answer to this riddle that is most 'normal' by virtue of majority decision, the notion of right or wrong does not enter the equation. By such thinking, trailer trash raising seven kids on a hefty welfare cheque would be 'doing the right thing', while this bunny and others who pay tax positive and subsidise these choices are the black sheep or dregs of society. Statism and authoritarianism produce inevitable, perverse and unintended consequences, and this is equally applicable to the area of lifestyle choices as it is anywhere else.

This bunny very much doubts that some change of heart will take place anytime soon, and as a result his 'normal' or 'real world' will vary wildly from those of many, probably most people. Then again, someone raised in leafy splendour having been born into privilege will experience an altogether different 'real world' of their own, and probably encounter various forms of prejudice and inverted snobbery as they come into contact with people whose 'normal' cannot relate to theirs (the same could be said of travellers, gay people, whatever). Perhaps the only two questions that really matter are - does their way of life involve criminality or causing harm to others, and are they asking you or me to pay for it? If the response to both is negative, then it's really none of anyone else's business which choices of lifestyle suit them.

The only person we're any good at being is ourselves, and it's usually a smart move in the long run to follow our own path. This bunny is by no means a massive Beatles fan but the video attached somehow seems relevant to this post. Take care and I'll catch you tomorrow.

3 comments:

  1. Great post Daz; who can we be, if we can't just be ourself?

    http://tchildschristianityblog.blogspot.com/

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  2. Eric Poupart Lefarge22 October 2011 at 23:44

    Daz,

    I think I hold the key to your problem. You are different but you are not different enough for it to be an identity.

    What you need to do is become more eccentric. I strange mode of dress would help. I find that a range of outlandish hats can really help in this respect. I often wear a fedora in the summer months and a full face balaclava in the winter.

    Next try to develop a catchphrase, that can really cement your character.

    An unusual hobby is a very useful way to develop your character. Or, better still, getting very excited about mundane things like the benefits of pilchards being served in brine rather than olive oil, that sort of thing.

    Off-the-wall taste in music and entertainment is always good you could try pretending to be a devoted follower of Bobby Davro or make a big point of comparing the musical merits of Kylie Minogues "I should be so lucky" with Green Day's "Basket Case" (which of course share the same chord progression).

    I you just follow my simple steps you will no longer feel the need to "fit in" and positively want to "stand out"

    This strategy has certainly worked for me and mt therapist agrees.

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  3. TC - couldn't agree more mate - god bless

    Eric - I love you man, thanks so much for making me split my sides!!

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