Throwback Writing: On a Chain Gang

I have a crazy bout of writer’s block today. Good thing I have old pieces to post, huh? Here’s a piece from back in the day!

I just got back from vacation. I meant to do more writing during this time, but instead I partook in the act of over-partying, consumed far too much alcohol and committed myself to 10 days of insomnia. It was nothing short of awesome.

Welcome back to reality.

I have a question I always ask everyone when I first meet them: If you could do anything for a living regardless of pay, what would you be doing? Somehow it allows me to somewhat gauge a person’s mentality. While I was on vacation, someone answered this question with an answer I had never previously received as a response.

Person: Nothing.

Andre: Nothing?

Person: Yeah.

Andre: You don’t think you’d get bored?

Person: Isn’t that what hobbies are for?

Andre: Good point.

Person: Do you have any hobbies?

Andre: Hmm… I guess going on vacation to over-party, consume far too much alcohol and have temporary insomnia.

Today is my first day back at work. After a fairly lengthy and satisfying vacation, I can’t seem to remember why I got into eDiscovery and Information Technology. Wait a second; yes I do. Money.

I’m a whore.

Now, I’m no tree-hugging love child, but it seems to me that the concept of work isn’t so much an issue as the notion that we place so much emphasis on it. It’s almost laughable at times. Trust me, I know I’m not revealing anything mind-blowing here, but damn it, this is my book and I’ll whine like a little girl who just fell face-first in a puddle because all the cool cheerleaders pushed her down after not giving them the answers to today’s quiz. And when she fell she broke her glasses like Piggy in Lord of the Flies which, in turn, caused the cheerleaders to cackle with glee and proclaim “You’ll never be a cheerleader, Dre! Never!”

Ehem.

When I was a child I had countless aspirations. While I had no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I was certain that I wanted to delve into anything concerning the arts. So how did I end up here in the confines of a cubicle grinding away the day with tasks that most people beyond the miniscule world of eDiscovery (Google it) wouldn’t appreciate? I’ve recognized the fact that I’m good at what I do, but is that truly enough? It’s good enough for my bills I suppose.

Complacency – that seems to be the death of dreams. My bills are getting paid and I have a place to live. Do I have a right to want more? I struggle with this question from time to time because I’m fully aware of the fact that there are people in this world far less fortunate than me. At the same time, is it right for me to squander the chance at fulfilling a dream simply because I feel that I’m already fortunate enough?

Years ago my parents immigrated to the US and struggled to provide a better life for my sister and me. Growing up we didn’t always have much, but my parents gave me one thing I can’t take for granted: opportunity. Why shouldn’t I strive for more? I think I’d be doing a disservice to my parents if I didn’t.

Too many people don’t appreciate the lives and opportunities they are given. Even worse are those who squander the chances they have not only to do more, but to be more.

More than simply an employee for a company where you are expendable. Don’t kid yourself, we’re all pretty much expendable.

More than another victim of social conditioning.

More than another face in the crowd.

More than themselves.

Yesterday I wrote a song. Today I’m huddled in my cubicle. Tomorrow I’ll record that song. Afterwards I’ll return to work. Then I’ll let someone hear my recording. Another goal is achieved. More bills continue to get paid. Wants and needs are met simultaneously.

Am I achieving more? Not yet, but I suppose that comes striving for more; your overall can never be completed. Then again, what’s life without a good chase?

Peace out, party people.

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