I’ve always thought that the rules only apply to those who are willing to follow them.
I spent much of my childhood staying out after dark to play in cemeteries, breaking into old abandoned buildings and starting fires. As a teenager I was labeled as a “troubled” child by my high school guidance counselor because I wore black lipstick and nail polish, a spiked collar, platform boots and Marilyn Manson shirts.
But the “rules” change as we get older. The expectations are different and more subtle than before.
Instead of rules imposed by our parents or authority figures like those of our childhood, the rules are implied through the cues we receive from our peers, by the media and through corporate advertising. We’re expected to behave in a certain manner, to drive a certain type of car and to wear a certain style of clothing. Knowing who was voted out last night has become a vital piece of information necessary for the conversation we’re about to have…
I’ve never been able to bring myself to care about the cultural expectations of my beloved country of America. My way of thinking about life doesn’t fit with the average American mindset and because of this I’ve spent my entire life with fingers pointed at me as being someone with a “problem.” I’ve been told countless times that I should seek psychological help.
And for a while I bought into it.
Maybe I was the one with the problem. I’m the only person who seems disappointed in our culture and society while everyone else is happily following the herd, never questioning anything. Maybe I need Prozac to make me feel better … that seems like a socially acceptable thing to do; take a drug to make myself feel better (all the while pointing a judgmental finger at people who smoke marijuana. Does anyone else find irony in that?) Maybe a pill will solve all my “problems.”
Maybe it would make sense to seek professional help and talk to someone about my disgust for our culture; someone who will no doubt go home that night to watch the latest episode of Survivor and The Biggest Loser while I’m left believing it’s me who has the problem because I just can’t bring myself to give a fuck about who’s going to be voted off the island.
But I’m not buying it anymore.
I’m not the one with the problem. I just see the world in a different light than do most people. A light in which I refuse to let myself become a zombie, mindlessly following the fabricated trends of the moment. I will not be told who I’m supposed to be or how I’m supposed to feel by a psychologist who can only benefit from my having a “condition.”
The truth is, I’m happy with my life and if there is something “wrong” with me, it’s that I refuse to accept the aspects of our culture which I consider a waste of precious time. If I am depressed, it’s because I’ve been unable to convince other people that they don’t need to buy more shit in order to be happy; that they don’t have to watch five hours of television a day; that they don’t need to see the latest viral video on YouTube.
What our society needs is to unplug; from the media, from the news, from the Internet, from the advertising, and instead focus the attention we’ve been wasting on bullshit on the people and moments that make life worth living.
Happiness doesn’t come from a pill.
And I’m not the one with a problem.