Monday, May 5, 2008

Stranger in a Strange Land

When I was a child, I didn't have words for what it was inside of me that was "different" or "wrong", but I knew that it was there. From the moment I was forced into nursery school, large groups into which I must try to fit in bewildered and frightened me.

I've never had a herd mentality, and the idea of striving all my life so that I can be like everyone else, so that I can have the "stuff" that makes everyone around me "happy" and makes me look "successful" makes me sick.

Most of the people I know who are deemed "successful" don't seem awfully happy to me.

I can't even figure out what this whacked-out culture has for a collective value system, beyond the all-important amassing and showing-off of the newest, latest, most expensive, designer "stuff."

This media-driven excuse for a culture continues to bewilder me, but now, as an adult, I can choose to avoid as much of it as possible. Why does everyone else seem content to have The Media constantly telling them who to be, what to like, what to eat, how to look, what to wear...even what's funny (laugh tracks drive me ballistic). No wonder everyone is medicated.

What happened to the quiet spaces we used to make in our lives? What happened to slowing down and taking one's time? What happened to taking a moment to just breathe, just be? What happened to forging your own path and being true to yourself, regardless of What Everyone Else Thinks?

I used to wonder if perhaps aliens had abandoned me here on this planet, and dream about the day that they would one day come back for me and take me "home." Someplace where there would be people like me. Someplace where the multibillion dollar corporations running the world wouldn't have the audacity to try to tell me who to be.

I don't wonder about the aliens anymore; I'm stuck here, and I know it. But sometimes I look up at the stars and wish things were different.

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