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Taking advantage of life, what could that possibly mean? Well, there are certain activities I would like to take part in before I can no longer do them. I very seldom make idle promises, and I even more seldom tell hollow promises to myself. I am going to have the best possible time I can in accordance to my desires and no one else’s. I have already made up my mind that I want to work towards starting a musical band; therefore, one can be sure I am going to take advantage of the chance and opportunity I have to accomplish it. I also have certain places I want to go or perhaps activities I want to do before my time is up. I have made it up in my mind that I am going to travel to different parts of the world to see places most people will not, or perhaps some places that most people do not even know exist. I am going to make an attempt to do some extreme activities in an attempt to experience life from another angle. Again, an angle most people just do not see, an angle hopefully a little too far off a tangent the average person. To experience life and take advantage of it, one needs to make promises to oneself. A person may wonder, “How am I supposed to do this? How can I possibly accomplish anything I want to do?
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Like most people I detest working all the time. Why should I spend a significant portion of my life doing work that I have no desire to do? “We are victims of a lifestyle obsession…working jobs that we hate to buy shit that we don’t need,” says Tyler Durden.
As put by my favorite author through the voice of my favorite literary character, Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club attacks the society that we have become. Questioning the dependency of material possession, money, and society’s conformity, Palahniuk delivers a great book and a wake up call. Furthermore, I question why we as a society work ourselves to the end of our sanity. Too many experiences remain undiscovered by an individual because the individual spends great lengths of time doing what other people order the individual to do. How can we allow this tunnel vision for the almighty dollar? Everyone is too afraid to let it go. A person may wonder how can I possibly live without money; I need it. For anyone that believes a person needs money, believe me, no one needs money it is all in the head. People just do not try and live without it. Therefore, a person spends the better portion of a person’s life working for someone else at the boss’s command. Life is better than work all the time. One, at least, just needs to learn how to balance the two effectively. This point may not seem like one that can be argued. “Well, of course, I don’t want to work all the time,” people can say this till they are blue in the face, but when I take a glimpse into their lives anyone can tell that they do not completely believe it. Believing is in the doing not the saying.
Other times come when I realize I am getting dragged down. I have to let go. I have to live. I have to take the time to organize my thoughts and feelings. I forget about my responsibility, big or small, however mostly small. As Americans we have become too pre-occupied with our image. Most other cultures do not concern themselves with it. Again through the words of Palahniuk my point can be expressed, “I felt sorry for all those guys packed in gyms trying to look like how Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein told them they should.” We spend too much time trying to improve ourselves unnecessarily. Spending insanely large amounts of money on clothes, shoes, manicures, make-up, or jewelry, we fall into our lifestyle obsession. It is all around us. We spend our time and money attempting to better how we feel about ourselves, but whatever comes of it? Nothing. We usually just end up doing it all over again a few months later trying to fill the holes in our hearts and minds. Just like in “Do the Right Thing” the pizza parlor is destroyed, Sal’s livelihood is destroyed; however, he lived on. He put immeasurable amounts of work into his business, and in a matter of ten minutes it was destroyed. We are more than our jobs, more than what is in the bank, more than the clothes on our backs, and more than the cars we drive and “You aren’t your damn khakis,” Tyler Durden. We are not these material things. In time, they will be gone, and if one is lucky one may still be here to see them go.
Work is not always bad. One should just try and occupy oneself with something one wants to do or has to do. Living in quiet desperation like Thoreau described is no way to live. If a person were not really doing anything, working would be definitely a way to occupy the time. As long as working does not become one’s life, one is still alive. I will work once I graduate; however, I do not plan on working more than I really have to. I will work probably an average amount of time, but if I do not like it, I will not spend years of my life wondering why I wasted it working a bad job. I will find something else no matter extreme that may seem to some people. I shall spend the time I have off doing activities that I really want to do. Here I am. I am nineteen years old. I have made up my mind that life is too short to take it too seriously. Time, if there is such a thing, is not something that we can get back. All to often we are thinking about, what could have happened or what we could have done. I try to not occupy my thoughts with the wasted efforts of rationalizing regret and error. I fix the problem and then move on. It is already over. I suppose there are some necessary activities that we occupy ourselves with that we cannot help. Sleeping, for example, is an activity we have to do. For most people sleep cannot be escaped for too long. It always catches up. While people sleep, many hours are, for lack of a better way to put it, wasted. Imagine all the things one could do if one were never tired. I cannot imagine all of the days activities that one could complete in place of sleeping. However, people would always find a way to drown themselves in activities they want nothing to do with. Then, they would wonder why there are not more hours in the day.
I am not saying that money is bad. I am not saying that working a job is just plain stupid. I, myself, am a little dependent on money and society. Even though at any point if worse came to worse, I could leave it all behind and literally live like a man like Thoreau. I would have absolutely no problem doing it. I find it disturbing that people are completely dependent on their way of life. I find it even more disturbing that people are so naïve. People do not think that the world can cause dramatic changes to their lives. Then, changing one’s lifestyle becomes a necessity rather than an option. People have so much faith in this society, but they do not know what they have faith in. We are not special. “You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are not special. We are all part of the same compost heap,” says Tyler Durden. We are just like all the other truly great civilizations in the past. In time, it can all disappear. It is all a matter of time; however, I do not know what is going to happen other than I am going to die one day. I cannot do anything about that fact. However, no matter what, I am going to make the most of this time.