Unsolicited advice, day dreams and the unrelenting pressure of enjoying your life.
These days, it is simply not enough to enjoy something. Like taking a walk? Well, how about you become a marathon runner? Show up to pottery once a week? So when are you opening your own shop?! Love vegetables? Why not grow them and get other people to buy them?! String a sentence together with reasonable finesse? You should be a writer!
And just like that, something that was once a source of pleasure transforms into another thing altogether. Whoosh.
I may have succumbed to this little life trap earlier this year when I casually enrolled in a masters course for secondary teaching. I suppose it went something like this… Enjoy talking at a bunch of people who cannot escape? How about being a teacher?! Or maybe it was: Do you continue to harbor quietly disintegrating hopes of creating a better world but still have no idea where to start? Go back to university!
Most people offer lots of affirming nods and words when you tell them you’ve gone back to university. Others offer flat out disdain at the mere mention of academic pursuits.
With my tiresome tendency to duality, I’ve entertained both sides of the coin. I’ve enjoyed having my hands in the literal dirt in search of the ‘freedom’ of manual labor. I find great satisfaction in ‘getting the job done’ and sleeping through the night. I am also convinced of the necessity of rigorous intellectual labor and the exciting ways new knowledge challenges and releases us from the physical realm.
As anyone who follows my instagram will know, I like wine. Recently I undertook a two day course learning about wine, its production and mainly how to look like you know stuff about wine. Naturally I am now ready to chuck in my current pursuits, buy a vineyard, tractor and become a wine maker. Northern Italian reccy anyone?!
Other things I like are siestas, dogs in cafes, verdant inside plants, the ocean when it’s got that sort of Mediterranean sparkle to it, new sneakers, friends that understand I don’t answer phone calls, reading a book on the couch even though it’s sunny outside (I will not be dictated to by the weather), having an authentic exchange with a customer at work, haloumi cheese and mustard (though not together).
Do you like something? Well I’ve got some advice for you: how about you do absolutely bugger all about that and just continue as you were.