Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.”
I agree with the second part.
Growing up in Canada (or any other first world country for that matter) I’ve always wondered what would make me happy? I’d say on a general consensus, it would be: a mortgage-free home, a nice car, stylish clothes, freedom in one’s job and lifestyle, being fit, finding, falling & staying in love and a secure retirement.
Many people would argue that this is in fact, not a lot to ask for, nor is it hard to achieve if it is wanted bad enough.
I would tend to disagree.
When I wake up every morning, I quickly think of what I have to do for that day.
Go to work, hit the gym, reply to personal/business emails, visit clients, set up lunch meetings with clientele to discuss future growth and business opportunities, bring my dad a coffee at work or take my mom out for a snack during her break, watch a movie, go out for drinks or dessert with friends, read another chapter in a book, go for a walk and reflect back on the day before sleep.
Sounds pretty eventful, wouldn’t you think?
Once again, I would tend to disagree.
The life that most of us have in North America, including myself, disgusts me.
From the moment we arise, to the lingering moments before sleep, the predominant thoughts in our minds are: make money & be happy.
Everywhere I turn and open my eyes, I see constant thoughts being driven in my head.
Buy this car and your friends will be envious of you. It’s only $499/month for a lease.
Wear this pair of jeans, and you will not be discretely ridiculed for not conforming to what is the fillet of fashion at this specific point in time.
Spend your ‘extra’ income on the latest electronics, clothes, body modifications, CDs, restaurants, and anything else the business world can muster to throw at consumers. You aren’t cool, unless you have the newest products.
Find a beautiful and successful girl to fall in love with and marry. Don’t forget to sign that prenup!
Make as much money as you can, in as little time as you can, because the more money you make, the quicker you will achieve happiness and prosperity.
I sit and think about what makes people in lesser-developed or developing countries happy and joyful, compared to us.
Is it the ability to feed and clothe their family, so that they are able to go another day without starving, as compared to simply being famished?
Is it the ability of being able to afford their simple medication to prevent diseases and ailments, that we ourselves, cannot even pronounce, nor know the effects of?
When did we as a society stop caring about what goes on a few thousand kilometres away from us, and only care about what goes on directly in front of our eyes?
And when the time comes that we DO decide to visit less developed destinations on a trip, what do we do? We sit in our air-conditioned rooms, drinking unlimited amounts of alcoholic beverages, watching TV in different languages, sunbathing on beaches surrounded by English speaking employees and only venturing out into the strange and foreign world that surrounds the resort, with the assistance of a tour bus, making very specific and censored trips to places in which tourists WANT to see.
Who says this is the way to live life?
The developed world is populated by such evil, manipulating and heartless leeches that the end result, is them consuming whatever goodness exists inside the hearts of those who have not yet succumbed to this way of thinking.
And rest assured, eventually almost all of us fall victim to this.
Some just earlier than others.
Edit: I’m putting this in around a year after I wrote this because of a song that is popular right now; it’s called ‘Your Beautiful’ from James Blunt. They lyrics are as follows and it means a lot to what I have written below:
I saw an angel.
Of that I’m sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won’t lose no sleep on that,
‘Cause I’ve got a plan.
You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don’t know what to do,
‘Cause I’ll never be with you.
Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
And I don’t think that I’ll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.’
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
I think everyone has someone from their past (or will have at some point in their lives) that they cared about a LOT.
Someone that left you with bittersweet memories and thoughts.
The one that got away.
The one that was your everything.
The one that was your first.
However you look at it, this is someone who had an impact on your life.
I’m sure a lot of people have bumped into their exs but when you are like me and have only had two, it strikes you pretty hard when you DO in fact run into them.
Yesterday, I saw my ex-girlfriend of two years on the streetcar coming home from a movie (I hadn’t seen or spoken to her in around 5 years).
I was sitting at the front and this girl climbed aboard. It was so crowded that all I was able to see was the side of her face.
I kept glancing at her, telling myself, ‘That can’t be her’.
About five minutes after she got on, she turned around completely, so I was facing her straight on and it was her, but as soon as I noticed this, she got up and left.
My heart jumped up in my throat and I felt as if a truck was baring down at me at highway speeds and all I could do was keep staring at it, but my feet were frozen to the floor and my mouth couldn’t muster a single word.
It was crowded so I couldn’t really do anything and EVEN if I could, what would I say?
This is the girl that I thought would be with me for the rest of my life and we would never be apart.
Was it a teenager’s unrealistic dream?
After I got home and was able to calm down a bit and absorb what I saw, I thought back to one of my favourite films Vanilla Sky.
In the film, the protagonist meets a girl who is his ‘everything’ but only spends one night with her in which the possibility of true love existed.
The main character dies but the memories they shared on that one solitary night escalates to so much more in his mind.
Even though in real life she was just a great girl, in his dreams she was his saviour.
I have not seen my ex-girlfriend in so many years, but I have never been able to forget her.
I dated her for quite a while but even after it was over she has only grown in my mind and my dreams.
I have no clue what she is doing with her life at the moment but I hope she is doing great.
She looked amazing when I saw her; absolutely stunning.
She used to make me so happy and was such a calming force and nurturing sense of love in my life.
Reality is great; full of joy and despair.
A great balance; ‘the sweet is never as sweet, without the sour’.
Dreams are even better; full of extreme feelings.
But in the end, you wake up, realize what is real and what is fantasy and it hurts inside.
It really does.
Love is something that not all of us are blessed with but the ones that are lucky enough to share a true sense of it, truly hold it close to you.