(a small blurb of creative writing for everyone. =3)
I hear people laughing outside, playing in the sun and enjoying the throes of spring. I want to be out there laughing with them, like I did when I was a kid. Instead, I’m sitting here in my office, wistfully looking out the windows as I wait for my next appointment. I’m not a kid anymore; I’m 25 years old, and I’m choosing to spend a good part of my day inside a cage, like an animal that has agreed to become a captive.
I hear the loud thrum of a motorcycle’s engine, and I see a man ride by, then pull down his face mask as he enters the store next door. The vibrations thrum through my memory and bring me back to a more recent time, a few years ago, when I would ride on the back of a motorcycle, trusting the love of my life that I clung to as we raced over pavement just inches away from my feet, soaking in the sun and the feeling of being alive.
I look out the window again, glancing at the cheerful clouds that hang motionless on the backdrop of a robin egg blue sky, and I quickly hang my head. That life isn’t for me anymore, I think to myself. It hasn’t been for a long time.
I should be doing my work, but instead I can’t get my head out of those enticing clouds. I can’t help but wonder: why? Why should I resign myself to a fate that I don’t want? What’s to stop me from running outside, driving away in my car, and never looking back? What holds me here?
Is it the money that every adult becomes a slave to, harnessing me here so that I can pump my share of empty numbers into the broken economy? Is it the dedication to my craft? It used to be…I love my job, but I don’t love the place where I sit and wait, where I’ve become comfortable and indispensable over the course of a few years. I don’t love spending my hours alone in a void where I can’t even think of being creative, let alone come up with enough inspiration to do my job well. But I have to; the customers do depend on me, after all.
Do I stay for my boss, a man focused on materialistic success and keeping up with the Joneses, who would rather make things easier for himself rather than make decisions on behalf of his business? This is a man who has hid his assets both from the IRS and from a bankruptcy attorney, taking advantage of the system in order to meet his own needs. This is a man who gave me a raise because I’d been loyal to his company for years, bringing him thousands of dollars in business and hours of loyalty—a man who decided that he could no longer afford to keep that promise to me that I earned. This is a man who relies on me to keep his business afloat, as his only employee, but who cannot afford to keep my loyalty because his paycheck is more important. He has a family; I have nothing. What will it matter if my pay is short a few hundred dollars a month?
I’d hate to think that I stay for him, but perhaps I stay because I wear my loyalty like a badge, an award. It’s a ribbon tied around my soul that says “Hey, look how valuable I am! Look what I can do for you!”
I stare out the window again as the motorcycle roars off into the distance…far, far away from my cubicle. But what can I do for myself?
I knew as I thought it what the answer to that question would be. I could give myself freedom. I can make my own choices, on my behalf, in my best interest, because I’m the person who has to deal with the choices I make. Shouldn’t I be happy with them? Shouldn’t it be important enough to me to have a say in my life that I should stop allowing others to make those choices for me?
I could give myself strength, and the ability to explore life in all it has to offer. I can give my soul a chance to fly, instead of allowing it to be sucked dry by the same lackluster walls and lack of respect that I’ve endured in the name of loyalty for years. I could give loyalty to myself.
I look out the window one more time before deciding that I now have enough inspiration to make it through the day and to give my customers a result that they’re proud of, and suddenly, I’m not jealous of the clouds or the laughter anymore. Instead, I’m eager to join them because I know that I can. And I will.