Undefined and Therefore Free

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Create for yourself a world from which you need not escape.
~Mikavelli~

Dear all,

I write to you a personal one from the heart, a theme I embrace for the coming year and would much like to share.

Needless to say, 2016 has been a roller coaster year for many, not just in daily life but also in the world. It has been physically confusing with global warming and cold spells hitting various parts of the planet, it has been mentally straining with the influx of politics sprawled across social media, it has been socially challenging with people’s personal views suddenly becoming  measurement of friendship, not to mention financially challenging for the younger generation who have been struck with wanderlust.

Many of us have spent this past year hyped by the definitions our generation has been adopting: LGBTQ, religious affliation, political stance, racial profiling, defining of gender and so forth. I, myself, have been susceptible and vulnerable to the perceived security a “definition” can hold, even the most simplistic ones such as “single” or “taken”, “drunk” or “sober”, “happy” or “sad” and what not. But this year, a few conversations and human experiences made me realize that every rambled answer boiled down to the exact same common factor: It’s all situational. Single or taken? Depends who’s asking. Drunk or sober? Depends on the company.

We hold onto definitions because we want to feel understood, to feel accepted, to feel like we have a community of people who agree with who we are, fundamentally. We allow ourselves to be defined by the same society we so openly criticize, not realizing that we are society. We generate for ourselves a new word to better describe ourselves, hoping that maybe, just maybe, the government will give “someone like us” rights or freedom. Truth be told, if you are accepting of how you define yourself, be it in any language, symbol, code, song or anything, then societal definitions should have no bearing on you.

I sit here as an actual writer with the knowledge of how much limitation there is to diction. How a single word is never enough to encompass the full essence of whatever concept is being expressed; knowing that no adjective can accurately describe the exact depth of beauty you see in a person’s eyes when (s)he smiles at you, knowing that no suffix can convey the intensity and magnitude of inner strength, knowing that only a combination of words can perhaps get a reader close to the passion one bleeds onto the screen.

Nay, words have their limitations, and for that exact reason, I still have not found a word that can accurately “define” me. The actual me. I’ll be honest, when I realized that, truly experienced the lack of words at the core, it was groundbreaking, earth shattering, and so magnificently liberating that the earthquake from my world caused ripples in the worlds around me.

Yes, being undefined, uncommitted, and unburdened, is liberating in a sense, but also completely disconcerting. It is a new challenge that some have faced, some have avoided, some have feared, and others have embraced. Whatever the outcome, undefined and therefore free will be my theme for 2017, and for those who are sick of the social media labels tying you down to what “words” tell you is “socially acceptable behaviour”, then all I can say is: create for yourself a world from which you need not escape. Build your world with the right connections, live your world with the right people, be your own world at the core.

2016 broke the world, but “you gotta break ‘em in order to make ‘em.”

Your past will make you or break you
It’s up to you to decide.
You can always rewrite the future
By living in present times.

Undefined and therefore free
That’s my 2017
If you choose to follow me
Then welcome to your new reality

~M.G.~

The Monetary Mistake

“Inherited fortunes are a misfortune that can only lead to sloth.”
~Alfred Nobel~

Money is volatile, it comes and goes, and even when it comes, it doesn’t necessarily lower the cost of living. In this generation, combined with growing up in a commercially competitive society, you soon learn that chasing money will get you nowhere. It’s like the leprechaun chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: “enough” just doesn’t exist, right?

 Wrong. Having “enough” money means if you can afford rent, food, bills and still have a little left over to have the occasional night out with your friends once in a while. We are consumed by the commercial mentality of consumerism that having more money means more shopping, more travelling, just more of whatever you have managed to live without for this long.

 Yes, it would be nice to have state of the art technology, to have a nice car, to travel around the world to see your loved ones and what not. But if you’re waiting around until you have “enough” money to do so in the future, I’ll tell you for a fact that unless you win the jackpot, you’re going to spend the next however long it takes to reach that “ideal figure” in your bank account. Why? Because the cost of living continuously grows. People are born, people need places to live, and earth is running out of land. Right?

 Wrong again. Earth is not running out of land, people are just flocking to places which have a stronger economy, which means that places that already have a high cost of living will continue to have a high cost of living. Now I can go on explaining how it’s all a result of colonialism, how colonisers took advantage of poor countries with lots to offer but also lack of resources, but this is the present. Yes, the past played a part, and the future will be impacted, and regardless where the focus is – if it’s on using the past to predict the future, or using the “future” to set ideals and standards for what is now – the present isn’t going to magically make things happen.

 Which brings me back to money. We have convinced ourselves (by way of media and society) that studying hard gets us a good job, good jobs bring good money, good money means raising a stable family. But why bet on the “what ifs?” Yes, education is pertinent to the future of our world, but it doesn’t have to be for money: contrary to the modern educational falacies, education is about knowledge, not status. It is about opening doors into our future by providing tools and skills, but at the end of the day, how you use them determine the level of happiness we gain from the output.

 So what is happiness? Happiness is not about chasing the pot of gold, it’s not about waiting for the day when you will be recognised and paid for your talents. It’s not about having enough money to waste and splurge. It’s about enjoying what you do have now and taking from each experience something that money will never buy. Yes, a new shirt or a new laptop might make you happy for a while, then it gets old. Think about this when you shop, “will this purchase significantly impact my functioning life?”

 Because in all honesty, if you really can’t survive without it, how has the human race not ceased to exist? Someone, somewhere, is still alive without that shirt. You don’t need it. You need happiness, and that shirt ain’t gonna make you happy. You fill your lives with objects that decay, with momentary frivol to keep you distracted, with the latest technology to make life simpler and a little lazier, with plane tickets around the world to “get away from reality.” Well face it, if you need that much reassurance and distraction in life, you’re never going to be happy.

 Just make the most of what you do have, because at the end of the day, people who love you will still be there at your lowest, and if they aren’t, then you were just their latest trend, just as your iPhone is now.

 Shit gets old. And so do humans.

 But at least humans can grow up.

McGordan

My comrades don’t fold, pop ****, get throwed
When it come to politicking all the homies need to know is
Get money, rent money
Get money, food money
Get money, school money
Stop taking shit from me
~Bambu~