This poem was written deep in the trenches of Corporate America.
As my 3-year anniversary was approaching, my boss had called me in for my yearly review. Advice was given, hands were shaken, and work resumed. When I left work, I was felt a soothing calm. I felt satisfied with my accomplishments and continued my daily rituals.
Towards the end of the day, my boss approached me and asked me if I would like to join an organization outside of work. He needed help attracting a younger crowd and asked me to be a member and to brainstorm ideas for attracting new recruits. I would essentially be doing the same thing I did on a daily basis, only on my free time and without pay.
When I left work that day, I was overcome by an inexplicable, overwhelming dread.
The following workday, I decided to leave ‘early.’ I opened up my laptop and began to decipher why I felt the dread that day.
This is what manifested:
The inescapable truth is that he was not happy.
As he strangled the life out of his daily rituals, desperate for a purpose
A riff escaped from the withered shadow of his doubts
There is no left. There is no right
And looking backwards to find your next destination
Is a tradition his heart succumbs to twice a month.
He convinced himself that chasing your dreams
Is a gamble left to the lottery chasers and the big game hunters.
Your dreams don’t mean shit here, young man.
Just hang your coat up, take a seat and leave your passions aside.
You’re a mole, so dig deeper,
Dig down into the rabbit hole until you reach a prejudice
Or rather precipice, precisely, a prejudice that begets ignorance, sheltered by the hive in accordance to the great Green Queen.
Your next steps are laid out for you, tradition as maniacal as it is mundane.
Born of a ‘That’s what I was told to do’ attitude, no need to burn your brain cells off thinking about what’s the right thing.
Just hang your coat up, take a seat and set your dreams aside.
Because they’ll tell you the wonders of a hundred dollars in your pocket, a brand new shiny sense of self, that’s part of you now, son.
Take care of it as if it were your own blood and skin, your next of kin and your one true love.
They’ll show you how to manage your time so you work more and think less, and make
more means to justify the shiny new ends, to show the world your means out shadow their shiny new ends, until the next one shows up with a brighter piece of soul.
That’s just not right, I need this now too.
Well, hop on it, son.
And take it up a notch, show us you deserve more respect from the shelf and give us more of your soul.
That’s right, no need to be shy, there’s plenty to go around, now.
Just how bad do you want that those three extra letters after your name? That flashy new little after your family name?
Just hang up your coat, take a seat, and swallow your pride.
Now you made it, sir. You’ve outgrown us all, dapper man. You wear that suit like a fresh new mannequin, rocking that livelihood of Bangladeshi children like you should.
You get out there and show the world just how much you matter, and tell them why you deserve to have your voice heard. You show the world what you ate for dinner today,and touch the hearts of millions with your No Filter Instagram picture of a Sunday sunset like you just finished the last stroke.
You show the world how better your life is. You deserve it, after all.
Out of billions of people in the world, this is your story, man. You are the only one who is you, man. You have to be all you can be, man.
Because you don’t want to live a life full of regrets, man.
Who wants that, regret?
Who wants to look back and see your mistakes like some kind of goddamn tally of things you should have done as if you had the knowledge you have now? Like you can magically give your former self the gift of 20/20 hindsight and wish for a better plan of action and a new hand of cards, as if you didn’t handle your life with everything you had at your disposal at that time?
Who wants to have to live in a studio flat as you find the meaning of life through the gifts that you were given and are not truly yours when you can sit back and watch someone else achieve their goals for a dollar at the RedBox around the corner? Why would you willingly embrace scarcity and budgeting while you do something you ‘love’ when you can sit in a cool desk with your own supplies and make much more money to be well off?
Sit down, son.
Just hang up your dreams, take it up with your God, and set your soul to Silent mode.
Dreams are overrated, anyway.