It really is like The Matrix – we’re all just plugged in and programmed.

I was watching Mad Men today and somehow it struck me that their individual offices inside their fancy buildings are like elaborate holding cells.

But that’s the prescribed destination.

Schools, universities, offices, prisons – they’re all part of a clever system that allows for eating, sleeping, a sanctioned amount of “leisure time”, and mostly – sticking to the schedule, and following protocol.

Isn’t that kind of a creepy thought?

It really is like The Matrix – we’re all just plugged in and programmed.
Because notice how when you unplug and deviate from the program – you’re generally rejected.

You appear as a threat to other humans on account of your deviation from the norm. They don’t have that program and they don’t know how to respond. It’s as if their brains literally start to short.

You know what I mean – when you tell someone about a creative idea or a triumph or a new plan and they look at you dumbfounded saying, “Wow, I could never do that”. They literally do not have the programming to compute what you’re saying. They can’t even comprehend doing such a thing.

Even worse is when they start projecting their own fears disguised as having your best interest in mind. They try to convince you to abandon ship, to stay, to not take the risk. They drown you in all of the reasons why and stay on the fear side of the “what if” questions.

It’s interesting how so many feel so mistakenly safe moving from four walled structure to four walled structure – home to office to school to home, paying bills, receiving paychecks, sticking to the routine on the way to achieving all the things we’re taught to strive for.

Not even realizing that what they are giving up every day in exchange for that paycheck is so much more then simply their time from 9-5. They are also giving up their creative freedom, their imagination, their mental and physical health, and oh so much more that isn’t quantifiable.

Being self reliant is the key to freedom because while it may seem overwhelming to be in control of your own destiny, it is ultimately only you that can lead yourself where you’re destined to go.

Where you’re destined to go is different than the next person. YOU are different than the next person. This is both a blessing and a curse. I am my own unique person, but so often I feel like where the fuck are the other people like me? Where are the people that get me?

But the only way you’re going to find “those people” is to be yourself, loud and proud. Because how else will they find you if you don’t let your unique freak flag fly?

It is one thing to be alone with just yourself, by choice. It is quite another to feel alone in a community of people, or with your family or among your colleagues when you’re pretending to be who you think you should be to fit in.

Isn’t it exhausting to wear so many hats? To assume so many things? To pretend to know what other people expect from you or how they will react?

What would happen if you hung up all your hats?

I’ll tell you what would happen: you’d meet your damn self for the first time and life would get a whole lot fucking easier.

Jena Schwartz Oh man, that question. “What would happen if you hung up all your hats?” And how the quest to be(come) fully ourselves requires a kind of forgetting of who we thought we were. That’s where this took me. Loved the freak flag and the honest wondering, too, “Where are the people that get me?”

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