I realise that people like to tell each other what to do as if we’re licenced to know what’s right for them.
“Yuh mus’ go a university cuz yuh need a degree fi get a job”
“Don’t wear yuh hair like that cuz it nuh look good”
Mek sure yuh don’t wear nuh shot-up shorts, else man a go look yuh
“Leave yuh job?! Yuh mad?! Yuh know how much people woulda glad fi have YOUR job?! Mi nuh care if it a mek yuh miserable. Yuh shoulda grateful. Mi woulda skin mi teet’ an’ bear it.”
Do these all sound like impositions to you?
I think we go around telling others what to do and how to live their lives out of fear of the unknown. Because we’d rather be complacent in our safe havens, we don’t venture outside. We don’t tip our toes in the puddles. We don’t trek down dark alleys or try foreign food.
We may just be standing in another’s way because we clearly see that if they trod a new path, they might just earn a level of success or happiness that we’ll never achieve because we’ll never try to get it. And no one wants to feel left out when someone else unlocks that level. The fact that she, of all persons, could achieve enlightenment that puts her one step closer to self-actualization is just too much to bear. How him fi get that award? After him nuh better than me. We get red eye and badmind if anyone testing the status quo makes it to the other side, & the grass really does look greener.
The truth is, we’re all afraid of stepping out into the night, but we really want to. But the want isn’t big enough. That’s due in part to the fact that since the day we were born, those who came before, have tasted of the apple and have seen the consequences, hammer into our heads the age-old mantra: STAY IN YOUR LANE. If you go over the mountain, how do you know there’s food & shelter on the other side? Our resources won’t protect you when you go that far, & we’ll make sure you’re outlawed if you ever come back.
The dilemma I face right now is wanting to leave my job. I’m going to, once I wrap my head around embracing the unknown. But everyone I’ve asked for advice up to this point, instead of empathising with me 1st, have launched right into rote with, “How yuh fi lef‘ yuh good-good part-time job with full-time pay?! Yuh think yah go find that anywhere else?! Oh! Yuh must a go mek yuh own business cuz nobody else nah hire yuh without nuh degree.” Yada, yada, yada.
The decision to leave was made out of knowing that where I am at this moment is not right for me. Dare I also say, it’s not good enough. I know my potential, & I see me heading nowhere in the direction of achieving it while doing this job. I feel like the time invested in it can be spent somewhere else that is more conducive to my growth. It’s not just about the money. What about being happy? What about being fulfilled? I can tell you that in my 11 months of monotonous routine, no one has asked about what I want to achieve, & no one has listened.
Am I really to accept the, “Oh a just so di system go, yuh jus’ haffi deal wid it” mentality?
I have debts. I have my own mouth to feed & have been sleeping on my talents. I’m aware that jobs nah just gi weh so I can’t very well up & be on my merry way, but I believe I can. A lot of the more prestigious establishments you can find were built on a dream, a desire, a whim of mere trial & error. Why can’t I have the right to do the same?
The best I can say is, if more people not only recognized, but ACTED on what they knew in their spirits to be good for them, we wouldn’t have so many people droning on as a result of routine. I genuinely believe the world would be a happier place if we stepped outside the status quo more often.
What do you believe? Let me know in the comments below.