I am not of this world, nor do I belong in it. I am a stranger in paradise, an outcast marginalized by the rules and norms that I seem to have trouble accepting. The standardized modes of operation make me feel standardized so I always find myself running away. Humans do things in particular ways. I suppose the desired result is order and control. Through my many meetings with Heidegger, Kant, Nietzsche, Hegel and Schopenhauer I know that order and control are mere fictions of the mind which deny the individual the full experience of life. So I run. I detest. I quit. I lament and for thirty six years of my human life on earth I have stood alone in doubt of all systems which seem to deny me my soul. I am not of this world, nor do I belong in it.
For the past few weeks I have been teaching at an inner city high school. They recently asked me if I would not mind sending them my profile (degrees, experience, interests) and then they would link this to a personal web page for Teachers that they are in the process of creating. I told them that I was uncomfortable with this idea. I told them that I was not interested in the arrogant art of listing my credential after my name (which seems to me to be a modern phenomena. Example Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. or Betsy Small, M.A). I prefer to remain one with the people, incognito, not displaying my credentials or experience upon my sleeve. Now my job is in jeopardy, I have offended several Educators who take pride in their graduate degrees and I have separated myself further from the crowd. All the things that one most do to fit into this modern world make me feel as if their is not some sort of ploy at hand to kill our dreams and marginalize each human into a submission in which we can never climb out from. So I run. I lament. I quit and I am always saying in the back of my mind “beam me up.”
If there was life on other planets do you think they would be sensitive to my situation? I consider myself to be a rather unique humanoid who would be a prime subject for some kind of abduction (they could study my brain and all the multifarious form of rebellious and unsatisfied neural transmission that cause anxiety, fear and aberrant thoughts). I am not offering myself up to this sort of experimentation- but sometimes I wonder if it would not be a better option than the fate of a human living on earth. Maybe alien abduction would offer me away out from the rules and norms that keep me stapled to way of life that feels tormented by Sartre’s concept of “No Exit.” So I run. I lament. I quit. And I write. I am not of this world nor do I belong in it.
A month ago I was working a few days a week in a very busy restaurant. My duty was that of a Waiter and I did my best to please the upper class families who dined in the establishment. One of the duties that all Waiters had to perform was making milkshakes (chocolate and vanilla) for the numerous children of the rich (and occasionally a few adults). When the restaurant was busy, which it frequently was, making milkshakes was a task equivalent to a trip the dentists office. It was painful and extremely messy. Here I was- stuck in a job where I was running around like a chicken with his head cut off making milkshakes while I had screaming customers waiting for water or food and the kitchen yelling out my name because the food which was waiting for me to take was getting cold. It was a no win situation which gave me chest pains and palpitations. But I did not care about this. The only thought that seemed to pass through my aggravated mind other than this sucks, was I can not believe that I am 36 years old making milkshakes. After two weeks on the job I quit and told the owner that I found the milkshake making duty an insult to my pride and well being. He just looked at me with a frown that seemed to say “you ain’t gonna have an easy time in this life.” Beam me up!!!
Sometimes I wonder if my dedication to being a writer and painter is not self sabotaging me into a life of poverty and making milkshakes. Of-course, I am aware that contentment and happiness all come from within. Of-course I know that if one is content with their life within, then making milkshakes or representing myself as a high school Teacher with a Master’s degree should not matter. Whatever I do should be a reflection of my inner-well being, despite the job. This seems to be the equation that is accepted by most spiritual practitioners- and I do not disagree. But I have a sensitive soul that feels easily compromised if put in certain situations. My soul shouts out at me that I am not representing it well enough and my body reacts to this revolt. I live in a particular era that seems to be based on the concept of compromising one’s soul in order to have inner and outer peace. Maybe what this life is all about is compromise….and this seems to be a lesson I am having difficulty learning. So I keep running, writing, lamenting and dreaming of a day that I will be either abducted by aliens or I will write the great American novel and move to Spain.