Comfortably Numb

Do you remember what it felt like when you fell in love for the first time? The feeling of nervous anticipation of your first kiss? Or the vulnerable uncertainty as you lost your virginity? The pain of your first broken heart?

In our youth, our emotions were uncensored. Pure. Everything felt raw, like an exposed nerve. Emotions surged through our veins, inside us a fire burned brilliantly. Everything seemed…intense. Life was meaningful.

We loved without hesitation. Dreamed without doubt. Trusted without question.

The child is grown, The dream is gone. I have become comfortably  numb. ~ Pink Floyd

What’s happened to us?

Our lives used to be filled with purpose and urgency, but now they’re filled with expectations and obligations. The fire inside us that once burned so brilliantly is nearly extinguished, little more than a flicker. “Welcome to the Real World,” we’re told…and we listen, accepting our lives for the way they are, stifling our dreams in exchange for a life that’s “real.”

Occasionally the embers from the fire of our youth are churned, and we’re reminded of our former selves; so vibrant, so idealistic, and so filled with hope for the future. But those thoughts are quickly silenced.

“Life’s complicated.” “Things are different now.” “We’re responsible.”

And our lives really aren’t that bad. Maybe they’re not quite what we’d hoped they’d be, but they’re comfortable. And we’re comfortably numb, indifferent to the lives of quiet desperation we lead.

So we’ve resigned ourselves to jobs we hate, but don’t leave because it’s “not practical” to quit just because we aren’t happy. We’re more responsible than that. Paying the mortgage and feeding our families takes priority. Besides, we’re really only mildly annoyed with our job. We’ll survive.

And we silently submit, sacrificing our happiness for a paycheck.

The passion in our relationship has slowly eroded away, until one morning we wake up wondering what the hell happened. We used to be so in love, but now it feels like we’re simply sharing space. “That’s normal,” they say. “The passion is bound to disappear.” Maybe they’re right. Maybe the passion can’t last forever.

And so we surrender, hopeless that romance will ever return to our relationship.

Our dreams are quietly abandoned as our lives become engorged with responsibilities. We have obligations to fulfill, deadlines to meet, and commitments to follow through on. There’s no time to chase our dreams. “Be practical,” we tell ourselves, and our dreams are replaced with practicality.

Except things don’t have to be this way.

If you hate your job, look for a new one until you find work that’s meaningful. Once you’ve found that, quit your old job. If you’ve lost the passion in your relationship and want it back, be passionate. Let no flat surface be immune to your sexual revelry. Fuck like you’re getting paid. And don’t abandon your dreams. They’re what gives life purpose. Find time to chase them, no matter how “impractical” they might seem. The longer you wait, the less time you have.

It’s time to rekindle the fire in your life…to find the intensity you once had.

Don’t waste your life being comfortably numb.

Who’s in Control of Your Life?

There are two types of people in the world: those who believe they’re in control of their lives, and those who think what happens to them is the result of fate or destiny. I’m a firm believer that people have complete control over their lives, and that we’re all responsible for the lives we’re living today. The decisions you made yesterday got you to where you are now, and the decisions you make today will determine where your life is tomorrow.

If you’re not happy with your life, change it.

Does your relationship suck? Fix it. If you can’t fix it, leave. Hate your job? Quit. Do work you value. Broke? Quit spending money and pay off your debts. Want to travel the world? Buy a plane ticket. Sick of being fat? Exercise.

If you feel like you’ve lost control of your life, what can you do to get it back?

Start taking responsibility for your life. You can’t change the past, but you can change tomorrow with the choices you make today. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, and nothing will change. You have to leave your comfort zone if you ever expect things to change.

Ignore the expectations of others. It’s your life, live it how you want. Ignore the pressures to conform, and stop letting other people dictate the direction of your life. When you breathe your last breath, will you be proud of what you’ve done, or will you wish you’d have followed your heart?

Be (a little) selfish. Stop trying to make other people happy. If you’re always concerned with how other people feel, you’re ignoring your own desires. It’s important to make your feelings known. But it’s just as important to know when to compromise…you don’t want to be a douche. Be pragmatic.

You’re in control. Now do something about it!

Where Do Our Dreams Go?

Do you remember when you were younger, and filled with wild ambitions?

Maybe you thought you’d climb Mount Everest, or find the cure for cancer. When you grew up, it was your dream to become a fashion designer for Hollywood celebrities. As time passed and you got a little older, those dreams slowly began fading away. At the time, you probably didn’t even notice. Now, the reality  in which you find yourself is far from what you’d envisioned as a child.

The dreams are dead.

Still, some days we catch ourselves daydreaming about what might have been…if only we had done something different. If only we’d done something else. Something better. If only we’d have chased our dreams. Who knows what might have been. The sky was the limit.

Today we’re working at jobs we hate to pay for shit we don’t really want. We hate don’t like our boss, and our co-workers annoy us. Our jobs are so simple a monkey should be doing them. “Did I really go to college for this?” you ask yourself as you sip your cup of luke-warm coffee, thinking about that better life we could’ve had. If only…

It doesn’t take long before you’re reminded why you’re still shuffling your feet through the door of your miserable job. There are student loans, car loans, mortgages, and credit cards to pay. Not only do we have all of this debt to pay for, we also have to keep up with the Joneses. Expensive vacations to exotic locations, fancy clothes, and dinners at the finest restaurants.

This is why we continue to force ourselves through another workweek, feeling like slaves to our employer…to a paycheck. But the reality is that we’re slaves to no one other than ourselves. We’re the ones who built the walls of debt that imprison us, and we’re the ones who are shoveling the ground out from beneath our feet as we continue spending.

It’s no wonder our goals seem so far away. So distant. So impossible.

If you’re looking for something more from life than what you have today, you have the power to make it happen. You decide what the future will be. It will take hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. If you want the freedom to chase your dreams, you’ll have to change your life in profound ways.

If you use debt as an excuse for why you can’t do something, eliminate it. If you don’t think you’re smart enough, educate yourself. Maybe you want to climb a mountain but aren’t in any condition to do so. Get your ass to the gym and start getting in shape. Whatever your excuse, stop letting it get in the way of your dreams and your success.

If we don’t take matters into our own hands to do everything we can to make our lives the way we want them to be, things will never change. It will never get any better. There will always be exceptions to the rules, those who get lucky, but why rely on luck when you already have the ability to change your life?

You have to decide what you want more, the life you have now or the life you’ve always dreamt of having. Even though it may feel like you’re against insurmountable odds, with enough hard work and determination you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Live the dream.