Don’t Work Full Time!

The nine to five doesn’t work. The full time job model that most of the world faces is broken and wrong. From the moment we are born to the time we are christened as adults with our first paycheck we are taught to shut up, sit still, and conform.   We are taught to conform to corporations who employ us, and subversively control us. Enter: the great treachery of capitalism. The lie that in order to be loved, respected, successful, and fulfilled, you must be employed (by another company) full time.  I’m here to teach you all how to avoid falling into that trap, and I’m here to journey with you away from the trap, and into the ocean of possibilities that appear when you take control of your own destiny.

Toward the end of my 4th year of working part time jobs, I got hired as a game-master at a company called “RavenChase Adventures LLC”. This company ran an Escape Room. Players were locked into themed rooms and forced to escape before the hour ran out. Unlike everywhere else I had worked, I wanted to be there. I enjoyed getting to learn from my coworkers. Our boss encouraged us to follow our dreams and take risks. He himself took risks and allowed us to contribute in ways that were meaningful and challenging. He trusted in us to be able to learn, and execute effectively in all capacities. He gave us all a spark of hope.  Hope that maybe we were worth more than $7.25 an hour.

In August of this year, I made an amazing decision to move closer to Rebecca.  I quit my job at the Escape Room and took a full time job at a print/copy company. I made this decision expecting that the affirmation from my family, and my partner’s family, would bring me everlasting joy. I thought doubling or tripling my salary would be worth it. I thought having benefits would make me feel more secure.

Instead it has completely broken me. Each and every day I wake up, I sit in an office, or in a car, and am presented with a day devoid of challenge or excitement.  My coworkers, who are all over 40, have accepted this as their fate. When asked why they continue to work here even though they hate it, they reply with “that’s just how life is” or “because I can’t do anything else”. Envisioning myself in the future saying the same thing to a new recruit makes my stomach lurch. How could ANYONE in their right mind allow themselves to become so dehumanized that they accept this misery SIMPLY because “that’s how life is”?

That’s not “how life is”. Life is vibrant, joyous, creative, beautiful, exciting, surprising, and overwhelmingly fulfilling. Life with a Corporate boot on your neck is hell.  If you want to be happy, and fulfilled, and joyous in life, than you must look away from wealth, and look toward enriching your life through art, music, dance, love, creativity, and helping others.

 So what am I doing about it????

I used to think that because I was raised as a musician, I was destined to be a musician and nothing else. I didn’t think I could paint, take pictures, write, make movies, build houses, or fix cars. The truth is: I can be and do whatever I want. Realizing this is the first step to escaping the degrading mindset of compliance that corporations want from their employees.

I firmly believe that you are what surrounds you. If you watch tv all day, than the sum of your mental capacity is limited by what you watch. If you work around people who are complacent and satisfied with meaningless work, than you will become a zombie like them. If you wish to be an artist, surround yourself with art, and challenge yourself creatively. If you wish to be a carpenter, surround yourself with wood and working tools, even if you don’t know how to use them. If you want to open a business, commune with small business owners and entrepreneurs and you will be more likely to succeed.

In order to break free from corporate complacency, we must first and foremost teach ourselves to learn actively.  We need to start seeking challenges outside of the working world.  Through sharing my learning experiences with you, I hope to inspire you to begin to learn and explore things you never thought you could. In the past three months alone, I have learned the following in a functional capacity, and I wish to share with you how I have been able to do so, while working a full time job.  Please join me on my journey to escape the meaningless life of a corporate employee.

Digital photography editing,
Darkroom Photography,
Ableton Live,
Acrylic and oil painting,
Bamboo flute,
Drywall building,
Writing a blog.

The Cat and the Rain

A cat realizes its raining and thinks, “It’s raining, better go find somewhere cozy to snuggle up for the night and enjoy the sound of droplets hitting the ground”.  The human realizes its raining, and muses, “I wonder how this is happening?  I wonder if I could make rain and sell it?  How can I recreate this?”.  The cat spends the whole night cuddled up inside his cozy kitty-cubby, while the human, stands and studies in the rain, and catches a cold.

This was the beginning of the biggest argument Rebecca and I have had so far.  While our banter was sporting and silly, the problem at hand held heavy significance to me.  Why do humans do so much to change the world around us, instead of just enjoying the things mother nature has given freely?  Why do we feel driven to create things to keep us entertained, when we could entertain ourselves with the simple pleasures of the earth?  What causes humans to be so destructive, in the name of progress, and distracted in the name of boredom?

Our argument started with a simple question: are humans more intelligent than animals?  My answer was a resounding no!  Rebecca, astounded, pointed out the achievements humans have made over millennia to improve their living circumstances and the general longevity of the species.  I argued that humans (stupidly) spent so much energy on trying to progress that they have forgotten to simply sit and enjoy the sunset. *I* think humans are smarter ONLY because we believe we are smarter.  We can only be intelligent if we contrast our intelligence to that of other humans.  (I’ll fight you tooth and nail on this.  SUE ME!)

Whether we are more intelligent than other animals is unimportant to me.  What IS important is that humans don’t take a moment to enjoy, rather than to improve.  I’ve found, especially in the past few months, that it has become increasingly hard for me to sit still without looking at my phone, or reading a book, or watching the news.  I seek to find some answers or some new step-by-step happiness guide.  We crave answers, rather than embracing mystery.  The happiest moments in my life are the ones experienced unhindered by the need to conquer or solve.  On top of a mountain basking in a sunrise on a cool morning is true bliss.   Uninterrupted communion with nature, and family are the pinnacle of ecstatic pleasure.

Humans also tend to overcompensate for their problems.  Shoes are a perfect example.  One day, a cave-man stepped on a thorn.  He first yelped in pain, and then he thought, “I could make something to cover my foot with when I go hunting that way I don’t have to worry about thorns stabbing my feet.”  His invention caught on.  At first he only wore his shoes when he was hunting in the woods.  He then began to wear his shoes while he was around the cave, because sometimes his cave-wife (or husband) was clumsy and sometimes dropped spiky rocks on the floor.  Eventually, our cave-man wore his shoes all day, keeping them on from the moment he woke up, to the moment he went to sleep, even when it wasn’t necessary.

There are current scientific studies that overwhelmingly prove the positive health benefits of “grounding”.  Grounding is the simple, (but apparently controversial?), act of taking ones shoes off, and standing on the earth.  Getting some grass between your toes and dirt under your feet is proving to be one of the most overwhelmingly powerful ways to overcome minor depression.  We have created shoes for work, shoes for playing golf, shoes for walking, shoes for hiking, shoes for walking to the bathroom from the bedroom, and in consequence, we have lost touch with the ground beneath us (pun intended?).

The next time you see a beautiful flower, don’t pick it, just let it sit there and do its thing.  When you’re with your loved ones, don’t pull out your phone and hope to find spiritual or human connection through its 8 inch screen.  Reach out and hug your family and friends and dogs and cats.  I don’t intend to try to convince you that shoes are destroying humanity.  I’m also not arguing that humans are inherently stupid.  I only hope that you’ll be inspired to look at the rain, and just let it fall.