by Ash Night
The realization of leading a normal life and how it happens.
Although society wants everyone to be the same and have similar beliefs it actually does more harm than good in most cases. If you look at any society over any time period you can see the people who were not ‘normal’ burned at the stake, lynched, or even discarded to grow up a stray. All of these options are scary, but in comparison to losing yourself it is nothing. I know now that I would rather have death waiting at my front door than be something I am not.
Now you are probably wondering where my story begins, well see it is not quite that simple. My story began twenty one years ago and I am just now realizing the grave danger I am in. My name is Alex and I am in danger of becoming ‘normal’.
When I first realized this my day was like any other. I woke before the sun rose and went to work where I watched people swim and made sure they didn’t drown or need help. That’s right I am a lifeguard and let me tell you if you want to torture someone make them a lifeguard. A lifeguard’s job is to prevent problems from occurring by observing the surroundings and solving problems before they arise. Fun, right? Wrong! Basically, what you do for four hours is sit in a stand and stare at the water waiting for nothing to happen, but there is a catch. Your boss or manager may stop by at any second and quiz you on everything you should know or test your rescue skills. So, you are sitting there thinking about every possible situation that could occur while scanning the water and waiting for a pop quiz. In essence, you slowly lose your sanity to the solitude of your mind and when someone talks to you or asks a question you latch onto it like a raft saving you from the ocean. Now I may sound melodramatic, but remember I work before the sun even rises and I am in college, so sleep is virtually nonexistent.
As like every day, I question the likelihood of some drowning while doodling on a piece of paper I found when I started having some interesting thoughts. Last night my mother called me and we discussed how weird of a child I was. As I mentioned I had a very active imagination that got me in some odd situations. This conversation brought back that childlike curiosity and brought forth the question as to why I am so different than I was as a child. Most people think that the reason for the change is growing up, but I have to completely disagree. If growing up equates to losing the imagination, creativity, and view on life than I never want to grow up. I will be the next Peter Pan if that is what it takes. So, I am sitting in the most uncomfortable chair listening to some old lady discuss the water temperature differences and thinks I have magic powers to fix the temperature to what she prefers as I think about where my life went wrong. As a child I cared about the world and now I could care less. I do not care about this lady’s problems.
It's not what you think I do care about the world and want to understand everything, but the out there ideas are gone. The creative ways in which to go about solving problems are slowly disappearing. I am starting to see things in a black or white perspective instead of thinking about all of the grey areas. I am literally going through an existential crisis as this lady bugs me about problems that are out of my control, but the question is still there. When did all of this start?
The answer I came up with is slightly alarming. From birth you are told what to do and how to act. You are taught the correct way to speak and how to respect your elders. From birth you are taught to lose this creative way of thinking. You are scolded for thinking outside the box. You are taught to color in the lines and have a corresponding color goes with different objects. “Why can't the sky be purple?” is a question a child would ask while a teacher just chuckles and says that it is not a possibility. Although there are atmospheres on different planets where the sky is purple or red, even green. Why can’t the child be thinking of a different planet or just draw the sky purple? Simply put society says no. No to outrageous thoughts. No to different ideas. No to change.
So the end question, Why am I in trouble for realizing this fact. The answer is shown throughout history all you have to do is look.