“Me, I got no choice but to work----it's the "eldest kid" thing here to help out with family finances. I've done that since after graduation…I do envy you for living the way you want without giving a damn about what would others think. It's something I can't do.”
Rule of Thumb
The Timekeeper paraphrased a Hadith when he said that the faith of a believer is more valid than the actions of a skeptic. But then, how do people develop belief in things? How do believers – in any religion or philosophy or school of thought or lifestyle - come to terms that what they’re doing and believing in is the only way that might it work for them?
Wouldn’t Conventional Be Easier?
Maybe. You don’t spend as much time trying to explain what it is that you do if you had traditional labels up your sleeve. Having done the normal: teaching, banking, clerical, marketing, sha-bang! It was easier to appease my mother, and to conform and win hearts with socially acceptable labels.
Problem is, easy did not equal functional. And basically, it doesn’t matter what conventional job you have, if depression and self-hate pins you down to bed until late afternoon.
Sure, it takes balls to live it unconventionally. Then again, maybe growing balls is easier than trying to live conventionally, and those who stick around the conventional strata are beyond courageous. I would have perished if I had to keep on living it conventionally. And, so many times, I think I have. So the lifestyle is not mere matter of choice, but matter of survival.
Or a matter of what size of cap your balls can fit into.
When Your Beliefs and Thoughts Disagree with Common Sense
I have no questions about the unconventional lifestyle because I’ve tried living it differently. This lifestyle is something that I can do only because of my blind faith in it. And this conclusion, the sheer faith and confidence in this particular way of living, actually came up after a number of times trying to live it conventionally.
When this lifestyle’s downsides shows up (lack of pretty clothes and flashy gadgets and a summer house by the beach) – I play with the thought of having a job and social prestige…then gag again. It just wouldn’t work. I have the journals, the past experiences and failures, to prove how than being rich and pretty is worse than being dead and depressed.
Besides, like what Coral said, you don’t have to live it on extremes. You can still live conventionally and get away with a night out of splurging here and there. Even the nonconformists, when they try to fit in, can have normal conversations with conventionalists without ripping apart each other’s living standards.
Footnote: When I wasn’t dying in a debilitating depression, I try to make peace with another thought that is just as haunting. I wonder if the life I live is just that: being the selfish eldest.