{Muse} Your turn...from a Cultural Contrarian.

We received amazing responses to our last question of the issue, which was: "Are you a planner?". Here's one that really stood out to us - because it challenged our perspective on planning a bit. And we love to be challenged (that's how you grow right?). So we thought we'd post it here, for you all to see. Sarah is an incredible writer, and considers herself a Cultural Contrarian. Whether you agree or disagree with what she has to say (disclaimer: there's some language in this post), you can't deny that the girl's got a way with words. It sure got us thinking...


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At 3 pm I realized that I haven’t showered in 3 days. That I am still wearing his sweatpants. That the last time I put effort into “doing” my hair was too long ago to even remember. That the Costco-sized jar of chocolate almonds he gave me a week ago are GONE. That I generate enough pop cans in a week to almost make money from it. That I have been in-between jobs for long enough to be justifiably called lazy. That I have unrealistic goals but I’m scrappy enough that I’ll likely achieve them. Even if I don’t know when.
Knowing is a concept that seemed easy enough to grasp at first, but the more I grow up the more I find its implications out of my vernacular. “I KNOW the church is true.” “I KNOW who I am and where I came from.” “I KNOW my family loves me.” “ I KNOW where I’ll be every Monday at 10 am.” "I KNOW I was meant to have ten kids or marry this person" etc etc  Definitional knowing is perceived of fact--but in my experience it has always been more perceived of belief and exercised as some sort of faith which is built upon giant pretensions of just the opposite: not knowing. So somewhere along the way I decided to drop the pretense of knowing.

the thing is: I kind of like not knowing. I like not knowing where I’ll be this time next year, I like not knowing exactly where my career will be, or what kind of brilliant idea I might gain from the journey that will keep it going.. I like not knowing because it gives me the freedom of finding something that is purely my own. The benefit of this is also the harm of it: I’m gutsy but I’m vulnerable.  I hoard options my life could take and hop around until I find that feeling, because I gotta try it to know for sure. I know that I assume more risk in this process, but I also know that with greater risk comes greater reward (in the right market conditions), and I know that I can take that on because my latest hustle is in finance and I stare at risk tolerance charts all day.

Church, family, politics, mobility, money, ideas, creativity…. Singularly, the definitive knowing/believing in specific veins of these concepts are someone’s everything and someone else’s nothing. Deciding what is everything to YOU is tricky. The influence of societal standards, family pressure/tradition, friends, etc can be blinding to the core of a person. Deciding that someone’s everything should also be your everything can protect you from many uncomfortable questions, situations, and storms (i.e. make you less vulnerable), but ultimately, if it truly isn’t your everything it only leads to emotional chaos and unhappiness. This is (amongst other things) why I left my religion. As a cultural contrarian I tend to express my feelings on the issue and by their very nature they offend some of my friends and family. But at the same time, if I know anything, it’s that there are massive amounts of unhappy people in every religion, every country, every political party, every income tax bracket. And while I do believe that happiness isn't unconditionally inclusive of correctness (ahmm mass amounts of creepy perverted people in the world ahmm) I do think there is something to be said for the simple joys of unadulterated happiness.
 
I know my ideology is admirable and contemptible. And that I make my mom cry because I say fuck sometimes. And I think I know that someday I will smell like lavender and eucalyptus, and will wash my hair on a more consistent basis, and will find it unacceptable to spend the day in sweat pants; that someday I will tell stories about the time I lived in x, y, and z country, about the time I had no money or the time I had lots, about the time I was in love or the time I wished I was.

My goals have to be unrealistic to be effective. I act on impulse. I jump when I see a chance. I'm a traveling gypsy whore who likes change and changing her mind. I sometimes feel alone and scared and like no one loves or approves of me, especially when I'm coinciding with my society's timetable.

but it’s so worth it to be happy.

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Thanks Sarah for writing in, and for daring to provide a different perspective.

If you'd like to write in for this issue's YOUR TURN question, you can find more information here!
Happy Wednesday! :)