In the era of the 2020s, our air reeks of uncertainty, and no mask, N95 or not, have the capacity to shield us from that.
The unknown takes precedence over control, confusion colonised our quest for routine and instead of wearing hearts on our sleeves, we’re donning doubt and anxiety. Our world was on intermission break of its grandeur performance and with everything being on pause, there is no indication as to when the next chapter of normalcy will unfold.
With the human race being constructed from the building blocks of evolution, we’re crowned with pliancy. When life hits us with a bag of bricks, we, just like trees, creepers, and vines, choose to grow around brick walls.
Remaining stunted is never in our itinerary.
But, we’ve made an exception here, right now. Instead of following the flow of life and reaching for compatibility with our world that is changing, we have chosen to play statue by not moving and emulating life as we knew it before chaos struck.
Our values and beliefs remain stagnant. Busyness is glorified, prioritising one’s career over self is seen as a noble sacrifice and a manic, hectic lifestyle is seen as being on par with success.
Even in a pandemic, we get into fistfights with our emotions and we call defeat when our body isn’t able to gather enough energy to leave the safe space in our beds. We are wrestling with ourselves and in the end, the only one beaten, bruised, and sore in the ring is us.
Despite the world outside burning with fire and our homes being the only sanctuary where its warmth is actually comforting, we shred ourselves to pieces when we opt out of being a part of the wreck beyond our window frames.
Allowing our homes to nestle us with solace seems like such a battle in this war we never asked to be involved in.
In an already rotten world, the vulnerable seem to suffer more. Their uphill battle just got a whole lot steeper.
More and more babies have their stomachs roaring and growling with hunger, a sound that triggers their mother’s eardrums in a way no nails on a chalkboard could.
People are earning half their income but are working twice as hard.
Stringent laws are put in place but unequal enforcements still take reign. The world had an ugly side and it is being exhibited in this gallery that we all got free tickets to.
We also witness people parallel to us living unparalleled lives. Those sitting on their throne of money bags continue to thrive and the pandemic gifted them with escapades to private islands and increasing amounts of wealth.
Those with billions in their bank accounts get to draft in their time cheques by playing chess with their children, organizing dinners with the rest of the members of their cult, and hosting game nights.
And, to express gratitude to the people suffering under the same system that allows them to flourish, they throw in a few claps here and there and, maybe some bars to a hit song which “imagines” what the world would be like if we were all one and equal, as a treat.
We live in a society controlled by inequality and the bridges that form it are hard to burn.
It is tough to love yourself in a world that more often than not breeds hate but we can very well try.
In order to break a system, one should try stretching out its loopholes.
Try to sleep in on a Wednesday morning, draw badly, sing off-key, colour outside the lines, take up an online course in woodwork because you can.
Our passions need not be monetised.
Perfection is overrated anyway and success is vastly subjective. Our lives are cradled with such urgency to be the best and to reach for the stars that we sacrifice so much in the process.
We cannot expect to be our higher, fuller selves by embarking on a process that simultaneously requires us to lose so much of ourselves along the way.
In going with the flow and remaining in our current state, the higher-ups are being pacified which provides an easy win for the privileged against the marginalised in this cruel tug of war. But, by challenging the system and resisting the currents of normalcy we’re slowly releasing ourselves from the grip the world has against us.
In this current state of absolute bedlam, there should be a sense of urgency to, well, reject urgency and structure and composition. The concept that we should magically have it all together is extremely far-fetched.
Relaxing by a lake is not a crime, leisurely reading books is not a sin, and learning about things you actually love even though they can’t be monetised is not a mistake.
Normalise refusing normalcy. We’re living in utterly abnormal times, anyway.