the muddied definition of success.
I have recently found myself in the peculiar position of careless confusion, where the scenery occupying my mind seems to be a no-mans-land of unreserved bewilderment, more so than usual anyway. But like a scarab beetle mercilessly making its way under my skin, I cannot put any of my manicured fingers on the evasive resonance of ‘why?’
I guess this perplexed perception has been instigated by the term success and its meticulously muddied value that torments today’s insatiable culture, feeding the greed that has somehow secured a stranglehold on our corrupt ambitions.
You see success is currently defined by ones salary, irrelevant of the career in question. It’s now a generous job title that ignores the specifications, hiding behind lavish words like ‘executive’ and ‘senior’. Success is a bank balance, where the only number holding any influence is zero, and how many of them there actually are. It’s corruption, propaganda, inhumanity, sadism and bloodthirsty gluttony.
The masses have been turned-on and wanked-off by the likes of Gordon Gekko and Jordan Belfort, personified sleaze that disguises fraudulent exploitation by putting it in a pair of black satin stockings and matching suspenders. I wish this was over-hyped fantasy spewing from my mind and across the page, but it’s not anymore. For this sordid sense of success is valued and chased, and that’s because it now provides men with the kind of boner that even the little blue pill is jealous of, and gets women so wet they’ll discover they’re ‘squirters’ for the very first time. I do apologies to the frigid, coquettish and coy, but how else is one meant to get his point across.
I mean people are seemingly controlled by excessive luxury and unwarranted indulgences. Paper chasing the idea of fast cars, beach-owning mansions, private planes, super yachts, trophy wives and tennis coaches. They don’t care about the careers they have chosen, whether it encourages a mind numbingly painful five days of the week, or whether their contract states ‘compulsory fellatio is to be provided to senior management as regular as the coffee run.’ Essentially, there is this mad sense of expectation, a concentration on the future and a redundancy of the now and after much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that my confusion is based on this muddied mediocrity that falsifies success.
You see my conscience keeps striking me with a gargantuan sign that reads, ‘Youthfulness is wasted on the Youth’ hitting home the self-inflicted pain that my decisions are causing. But my amorous morality doesn’t cease there, for each and every sunset my integrity takes on a dominatrix role, pinning me down, forcing matchsticks between my reluctant eyelids and holding my face in the direction of a specific slideshow that represents the excursion of my daily grind.
A PowerPoint presentation that focuses on the dull bleep of the tube barriers, which sound more and more overworked with every oyster card that brushes over their soft spot. Then there are the far-from-highlights that show the casual stress of candy crush, which is ruthlessly repetitive but crucial to the actual journey, for it provides some sense of accomplishment as you sweat amongst the stuffy carriages that are more than probably conducted by Azkaban’s Dementors. Then there is the spectacular view of unqualified boredom that arrives with each platform, intermittently broken up by the trains working cogs that take us forward into a window full of nothingness. The presentation then shows me arriving at a job where the only mark I make on the world is in the form of the imprint I leave on my gyrating office chair. This accompanied by an out of body view of my unhappiness. Unhappy at the prospect of being paid a pittance in the present moment, yet pleased by promises and prospects that are only on offer in exchange for the valuable commodity of my youthful heart and ever depleting time.
It is this solemn outlook that has me lying in bed, fully awake and fully clothed, wondering why I can’t break out of this monotony, and why I left the coastal views of my home county to stare at concrete day in day out, irrelevant of whether it is architecturally pleasing. Instead, and as odd as it may seem, I want to be out in the world chasing horizons the colour of blood oranges, sailing seas that are a deep turquoise, tackling the Inca trail on a unicycle, taking a Vespa through the poorly surfaced tracks of indo-china and participating in hot air balloon jousting over the Savannahs of Southern Africa.
I want to do something expedient, advantageous and utilitarian with my life. I want to spread a smile to the farthest corners of the multi-cultural globe, whilst in turn smiling back at what my small mindedness will inevitably find unstably hilarious, forgetting that these are the traditions of natives. I want to experience euphoria and go looking for an abundant assault that will attack my senses. I want to do anything and everything that makes me unqualified but proficient in storytelling, excited by the awe that spreads across the faces of observers and audiences. I want to be able to report home at the simple press of a send button, linked by the god-awful sentiment of a blog. I want to be a modern day Christopher Columbus, only less fluent in Italian and paler in complexion.
The only thing stopping me, I’m scared. It is not what ‘professionals’ do, and I come from a background of ‘professionals’. Now don’t get me wrong, the rhythmic structure of a career is attractive on so many levels, not least the hindsight of what you have achieved, and where you have come from. But this doesn’t tweak my nipples or getting me twerking to the distant hum of kettledrums. Yeah I could do the travelling flex when I’m older, even have money to do it in style, but that’s not what I’m yearning for. I want to struggle and be forced to delve into the realities of different peoples lives, sleep in mud huts and stick my thumb out in the hope of lift. I’m desirous of everything and all at the same time, and I want to grasp this whilst I still have no true responsibilities, a journey that will allow me to make the calculated choice of whether responsibilities is what I’m after, but only once I’ve experienced the absolute alternative.
I am the proud owner of this bemused state of mind, for it is one that seems elementary optimistic and downright sanguine whenever I look in my freakishly handsome mirror. However, I have also come to accept that this is the kind of outlook that would ensure I’m banished from today’s preoccupied society and maybe even exiled by the golden generation that crucially came before me, for want of a better phrase.
I want to be successful in the way I believe humanity should be successful, not in the way success has been reshaped and remodelled by foolish policy-makers. The plain fact is this fruitful planet of ours does not need anymore-successful people, not in the new era sense of this terminology, which has sidelined the important issues via the medium of magazines, medias and editors, all of whom promote the casualty of celebrity and the corrupted value of crazy salaries.
Instead, this wonderful world desperately needs more peacekeepers, healers, restorers, explorers, storytellers, poets, artists and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their place, that revel in the here and now, not unnerved by the heavy expectations placed upon us. We need people of morale courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitual and humane, civilised and charitable, compassionate and humanitarian, whether these people be doctors, drifters, helpers, hippies, writers or teachers. We need people that embody these qualities that have little to do with success as we have come to define it.
Essentially I want to a way out of the establishment, an escape from the cemented jungle and into the actual jungle. I want to find a way to promote this caring lifestyle of adventure whether that is via my writing or whether I explore something equally visual like photography. A picture paints a thousand words, so it seems like a match made in the wilderness. I want to do something that discontinues the downward spiral of today’s nonsense-ridden newspapers and ever expanding publications that discuss whether Katie Price and Peter Andre are actually brother and sister. So as a conclusive sentence and piece to ponder, ‘Mum, you can expect a phone call.’