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Monday, 27 October 2014

An Epiphany

An Epiphany:

Why Running Away Feels Like Progress
by
Alex Jahans

Running away is not something new for me. I tried it twice as a kid, both times to get away from the bullying and stress of school but since then I have climbed the corporate career ladder and chased after lifestyle products that advertising sold me on. I didn't quite finish school but I chose to go to college and university, I even got a job working for one of the big retail scumbags before my body complained loudly enough that I quit. I read books, I listen to books and podcasts, I read comics, I watch TV programs and watch reviews as entertainment. I chase after the dream of owning a gaming pc and becoming an internet entrepreneur. I write short stories and novels, I am now collaborating on a webcomic with an artist friend of mine, I try my hand at tv, radio and film scripts. I record let's plays and reviews and vlogs. I scream to the world "VINDICATE ME WITH YOUR MONEY!!!"

How despicable. How wretched. How thoroughly soul less. Trying to be remembered after my no doubt short and pathetic life by my capacity to earn money through being famous. Greed is the driving force behind this shambolic show, greed and something more intangible.

I never got to run away. I got to be institutionalized and chase after normality. To shake the bullies' hands and become their friends. 4chan and /Pol's pathetic attempts to break me, made me the man who could potentially achieve these materialistic dreams.

I had an epiphany last night as I was eating a mustard, ginger, ketchup and butter sandwich at half past midnight. I have made myself a gilded cage to keep me safe from the world and yet my very success at achieving my materialistic dreams relies on inviting the sadistic arseholes of the world to try their luck against me. I am a coward choosing to live a lonely life in comfort over an interesting social life.

All my life I have dreamed of sharks and the sea and swimming and I learned to conquer these dreams by accepting death, by running into the shark's mouth so I might be decapitated and cease to be afraid of death. The problem with this is that I avoided nightmares by learning to live with sharks and accept death every night over learning to live with life. The sharks never kill me in the dreams, their presence just creates fear, Instead of conquering it, I wrapped myself in it and let it overwhelm me to the point where death, however fantastic, was preferable. No wonder I live such a hollow half life, one that seems so enviable from the outside but depressing from the inside.

I have dreamed of running away for so long. Ford Prefect of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was my hero and I never liked tea. Then I discovered the Doctor and fell in love with his lifestyle. Danger and excitement and really wild things. I fantasized about hitchhiking and the travels I would have. I even did it once. I wanted to go on road trips and travel the world. At university I felt like I was living the great adventure but still I fell in love with adventures of Frodo, Bilbo and Dungeons and Dragons. This is why Minecraft is the game I keep coming back to time after time. There is no plot, just exploration, travel and life. Hell before my parents separated and I finished my university I was dreaming of buying a narrow boat and cruising Britain as a perpetual traveller taking his home with him.

Each time I get somewhat close to achieving my dreams an ugly hurdle rears it's head and I am reminded that I have an obligation to my family not to go off the rails and fuck everything up. My family is now a mess on the verge of falling apart completely and there is more pressure than ever for me to get a job and move out. Never mind that I genuinely have the skills to become a freelance copywriter, my dad is eating sandwiches and my mum is between homes so finding a stable job has to be the number one priority. I know this and understand this, this is why I do this but there is a desire deep in my mind to just up it and leave, to get an online income stream that earns me enough to get by and leave. Let my family crumble into dust while I travel the world seeing all the friends I can't meet up with where I live.

I am fed up with chasing other people's dreams and lifestyles. I want to go my own way, at least for a while.