Yes, I know. I almost didn’t come back to this blog. After a two week hiatus – one of which was spent suffering from the flu – it’s easier to go, “Well, the blog is doomed, I give up” rather than sit here on a Friday night and struggle to come up with something to blog about.
But that flies in the face of everything that I’m holding myself to, so you’ll have to bear with me as I try to organize my thoughts around this glass of wine.
Lately on TV there’s been a commercial that’s caught our attention (and when I say ‘our’ I mean ‘mum and I, who share a brain anyway’); the theme being people doing their daily business dressed as who they want to be – who they really, really want to be. Princesses, superheroes, astronauts, race car drivers, knights riding fixies around the streets of some sort of vague New York-type cityscape. It’s attention-getting in the way that commercials are meant to be, with a listenable pop song and an inspiring message.
We love it. We exclaim every time the commercial comes on, and our conversation turns to, “What would you be dressed as?” “What would you be dressed as?” Imagining the lives we would live if we could just be us is a fun little mental exercise – what would your soul look like, if you allowed it to dress as it’s meant to be dressed?
I can tell you right now that my soul would look…interesting. It would wear a lot of hats. And a frilly skirt, a riding habit, and tweed everything all at the same time. But that’s just me, and you probably already knew that.
Regardless of what I would be in that commercial, why, exactly, the commercial itself is so appealing was somewhat puzzling until a convenient epiphany struck. This commercial, even though it exists solely to sell a product, is so appealing because we all have a role we know we should be playing.
“Realists” will argue that a reality where everyone follows their dream path and does what they think is their life’s calling simply wouldn’t be feasible. Society likes to gently remind us that dreams of quitting the cubicle job and going to open a yoga retreat in the Andes simply isn’t “realistic,” so you’d better keep your nose to that grindstone.
You know what? I call bullshit.
There’s enough variety in human wants and desires to support a world where everyone does what fulfills them. Some people love being plumbers and electricians – they like the satisfaction of knowing how things fit together to create a functioning system. Some people love working as accountants and tax preparers, and revel in finding incongruities in accounts and find joy in the simplicity of numbers. Some people love being farmers, working close to the earth, perhaps as their family has for generations. Some people love working in waste management or water treatment or bakeries or banks or this, or that, or….
See what I mean? It takes all sorts to make a world, let alone a functioning society. And I think that the illusion of a functioning “society” is what keeps people tethered down to jobs that they don’t want, working for people they don’t like, to pay for things that they don’t need. It’s a self-perpetuating circle of misery. Happily, I think it’s slowly starting to break apart.
In the past six months ~ year, I’ve noticed a trend of people starting, as if suddenly awoken, and realizing: “This is not what I want. This is what I want” and following what feels right and true to them. One of my closest friends quit technical school to follow her passion of makeup and cosmetology, and I couldn’t be prouder of her. My own mum has found a path in sound healing, which, let me tell you, suits her more perfectly than bookkeeping ever could. Even personally, I feel right and content when I say, “I want to study Medieval history” after several false starts down paths in the field of history that didn’t quite seem to fit. Collectively, I think humankind is starting to cast off what doesn’t feel right to them – and starting to embrace what they really want.
This is kind of too deep of a topic to open this blog with right away – I’m afraid I’m giving you all the terribly true impression that I am a crunchy soul-singing hippie – and I wouldn’t have posted it if I hadn’t read this article from Mind, Body, Green.
The gist of it is, to fit in, we all embrace certain roles – regardless of whether or not they fit us. And the ill-fitting roles that some of us adopt manifest in negative physical and emotional ailments – our bodies and souls railing against what does not suit us. Just as in real life, if a piece of clothing does not fit, the wearer experiences discomfort – and the more it does not fit, the more uncomfortable the sensation.
So how does that tie in to the lovely commercial with the fun costumes? I think the article’s final paragraph sums it up beautifully:
If you are desirous of more than a costume change, remember genuine transformation starts and always from within and moves outward. This expansion from your authentic energy will burn away the habituated grooves and negative boundaries of all the roles you have been playing in life. It starts with a recognition that you are something greater. Really, don’t be afraid. The only thing you can possibly lose is everything you don’t want.
So the question I would like you to ask yourself, darling reader, is what roles have you assumed over the course of your life? Does it fit true? Which costume would you wear if you embraced the greatness of your own being, and simply allowed yourself to?