Interrupted Infinite Life…
I truly believed that, this time, I’m making progress… Finally :)
After years and years, you began to understand. How to connect people on social media (I allow few strangers (who we strangers but not now…) on my social media, just for real critics on my art and writing). How to advance your career with your laptop or let’s say phone. How much you can get for how little. Great experiences. Cool things. Trips that makes you richer. Products (possible to buy Lindt chocolate in India now) that make the world better. Finally, everything was starting to click.
That’s what you are Angry…Deep down, you resist. It should not have been this way. This was not what you signed up for. You had a plans and ideas. You’ve invested thousands of hours of blood, sweat, and tears. And now, all those hours have been invalidated.
Everything you thought you knew about life was wrong! You feel remorse. You wish the rules would still apply. You regret learning them. You regret falling in line and getting all your ducks in a row. What did you do it for? What’s the point if it all went to shit anyway?
But one event changed everything. Absolutely everything! It’s like someone ripped the curtain from its rail, and you were still sleeping. You’re blinking. You can’t see. Just like it’s too bright. What is this? What is this light? Why is it so aggressive? No, Maa, not today. Let me just go back to sleep.
The light is aggressive because sometimes, aggression is the only language we understand. If the light wasn’t blinding, it wouldn’t force us to open our eyes. If we want to take it in, we must take in everything. No more blinders. No more curtains. Even if, at first, the light will make you angry.
You’re angry because yes, life is actually fragile. Million cases. Many dead. How many in our country? How many in our town? Someone you know? A friend of a friend? Fuck, “Death” really gets everyone, huh? Fuck, what a scary reminder. You didn’t ask for it. And that makes us angry.
We’re angry because, despite how many times other people have told us, we didn’t really believe that “there are no guarantees.” You were gonna be the exception. The one person whose five-year plan would work out. Randomness wouldn’t apply to you. Except it did. And now, you’re angry.
You’re angry because the walls are fake. All these little in-groups and out-groups we use to comfort ourselves and pretend everything is fine and normal in our neighborhood — they don’t exist. Black…White…Rich…Poor…Freelancer…Employee… art enthusiast…Activist… club member…Car nut…Mother…Daughter…Father…Orphan…Everyone is wearing a mask now. Everyone only has one label left: HUMAN. One label. One species. One planet. The walls have come down, and that makes you uncomfortable. You can’t hide behind any of them anymore. But the very safety they offered is also what kept us apart. Both of these things make you angry.
You’re angry because your boss lied to you. Your boss said remote won’t work for your company. They said you should focus. Pick one thing, get really good at it. Finance, maybe. Your boss said you need a degree before they can hire you. It’ll provide you with everything you need. Your boss said freelancing is risky. Where will the money come from? But your boss didn’t show you their cash balance. They didn’t tell you they had to solve that same problem. Your boss said you should work hard, fund your pension, buy a nice cloths if you get a raise, and don’t ask too many questions. Except now, all that has gone to shit — including your boss. Your boss is out on the street because your boss didn’t do anything. Your boss just told people what they needed and had to and should. Just like you, your boss is hoping for another check. But they still lied to you, and that’s why you’re angry.
You’re angry because you’re way more productive from home, and you wish you’d have tried it years ago. You would have been a freelancer all along. Fuck buying another T-shirt. Everything works without meetings? Oh wow, it does. It really all works without meetings. At the very least, it works even if you’re snoozing while Zoom is on mute. So I guess it works without meetings. No one is watching anyone anymore. And yet, everything gets done. It’s weird, isn’t it? You give people autonomy and they use it responsibly. Who knew? Your boss can’t believe it. Then again, your boss isn’t your boss anymore. Maybe, even that makes you a little angry.
You’re angry because your textbooks from college don’t have anything useful to tell you. You didn’t understand it at the time, but you were sure they’d come in handy someday! Well, someday came and went, and your textbooks are still useless. Your textbooks never held the key to great work. Not even good work. Your textbooks were overpriced from day one, and now, the ship that carries them is sinking. Academe is like the Titanic: Rusty. The shipwreck looks magnificent, but it’s still a shipwreck. It’s full of holes. So many icebergs in academe. Why don’t they teach what the kids need to know? You wish they had taught you what you needed to know. Does that make you angry?
You’re angry because everyone said, “Just give it time.” It all takes time until it doesn’t. The universe snaps, and the world flips upside down. Where’s the spare time to build your career on the side? Where are the low-stakes, random bar encounters to find yourself a partner? Where are the relief mechanisms? Where’s the cinema and the sea and the weekend trip to mountains? Just like your plans for all of these, the roads towards them have disappeared overnight. No more clear signs. Not even paths. All wiped away, like footprints in a sandstorm — and that makes you angry.
You’re angry because the world told you how to live, and you trusted that if you followed the rules, kept quiet, and just jumped through the hoops presented to you every day, eventually, one day, you’d get what you deserve. You trusted them. You trusted all of them. The in-groups. Your boss. Your teachers. Your elders. You trusted them, and they let you down. The lines you were supposed to color in never existed, and you, like them, have fallen for the same, false, collective ideas about what life is, about when you’re supposed to get what — about how to live. You’re so right to be angry.
You’re angry because, after months of all shit, you’ve finally realized: It’s not coming back (after covid situation). Nothing is coming back. There is no return to normal. Not even a new normal. Just a new different. This really is all we’re going to get. This is our world now. This pile of broken glass is all we have. Oh, you’re so angry at all of it. Good!
Good, because that anger will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Your anger is the chance of a lifetime. It’s the catalyst. The spark that will ignite this gasoline-doused pile of wood called your potential. Don’t let go of the anger. You’ll need it. You’ll need it if, this time, you really want to mean it. Want it to mean something. To make a difference. To let this be day one of true change.
You know who was angry? Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi, symbol of peace, beacon of compassion. “Bapu”, Gandhi did not let his anger go to waste, nor did he throw it in his enemy’s face. Gandhi turned anger into change. Gandhi did not believe in the caste system. He did not want India in which some people were deemed “untouchable.” So Bapu protested. He went on a hunger strike, which helped improve their rights. Two years after his death, untouchability was abolished. Gandhi did not believe in paying tax on an essential, abundant good to a ruler he hadn’t chosen. He defied the British tax law on Indian salt by marching 400 km and picking up no more than a few grains from the sea. Thousands followed his example and set in motion the movement that would give India its independence from the British Empire 17 years later. Everything Gandhi did, he did it without violence. And yet, much of it was fueled by anger. It’s okay to feel anger. It’s better to use it for good.
Make anger the engine of change. When Gandhi died, a million people joined his funeral procession. Another million watched as they walked by. In 1913, he wrote: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. We need not wait to see what others do.” Anger is an agent of change.
The first thing you should do with your anger is realize it’s a gift and accept it as such. Not superficially. Sincerely. Make some time to accept the gift of anger. If you don’t accept your anger, you can’t use it for good. It’ll mutate and grow and destroy everything around you.
You must accept your anger. Once you’ve accepted your anger, use it to see the world clearly — maybe for the first time. See everything as it truly is. Yourself…Others…Society…The lines connecting everything. Anger is a lens, a lens that bundles rays of light. Those rays become a laser, and it burns away everything that is fake. The ads. The news. The games of status and power and perception. That’s what this is. You found an exit door, to get out of the Matrix, and now, you must look at it from the outside. Look at everything. Take it in. Don’t waste this moment. Don’t waste the clarity of the lens.
No one will have to come and save you because finally, for the first time, you’ll truly understand that you must save yourself. You can do it. Only you. It has to be you. You’re the one who must look outside and inside, who must understand and process and accept everything, who must venture into the depths of their soul and grab every thread, every spark, every little bit of life that is in it and bring it to the surface. You. No one but YOU.
Deciding to save yourself means severing the connections that kept you coloring inside the lines.
Don’t become the backdrop. You’re the star of the show. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Everything you thought you knew about life was wrong. Never in history has the universe taught us that lesson as powerfully, as lastingly, and as globally as it is doing right now. It’s okay to react with anger. We all initially do. But soon, the question becomes: What will you do with that anger? What will you use your anger for? You can keep collecting it. You should. Add a little, burning piece of coal into a glass jar every day. But if you don’t direct it, if you don’t pour out the glass, someday, that glass will explode — and the shards will hurt you and everyone around you. Don’t waste your anger. Anger can mark the birth of great things. Convert it. Use it. Turn the glass into a telescope, and look at the world as clearly and intensely as you never have before. Transform your anger into energy. Make it the fuel that’ll propel you towards the stars, propel you from a sad, lonely ground zero into the stratosphere of true, lasting, positive change. Pour the glowing coals onto society’s invisible rules. Burn every convention away. No more “age-appropriate” behavior. No more “we don’t do that here.” No more “are you sure?” No more “that’s never gonna work.” And finally — finally — no more strings. You’re free now. Free to breathe. Free to move. Free to think. Free to make your mark — leave the mark that only you can make.
Oscar Wilde said: “Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art. Whatever is popular is wrong.” If everything popular is wrong, a lot of wrong things are unjustifiably popular. Ideas…Traditions…Rules…If you’ve never broken any of them, now would be a good time. Forget the rules. Rules don’t exist. If a single event can stop the world from spinning, who knows what you can do if you dream?