All you have to do is write one true sentence.
Write the truest sentence that you know.
So, here it goes.
It starts off easy.
You put one foot in front of the other, step by step, the treadmill starts moving.
How effortless! Each step forward builds confidence. You look around and can almost hear those four words playing in your head – “I can do this”.
The world’s your oyster.
Like most, you find that this planet is completely flawed but it’s also a place where opportunities overflow. So you keep walking forward, sometimes even running forward, uncertain about what’s ahead but remain confident that things will work out well, someday.
Many of us fortunate ones graduate with a degree. On that 160gsm paper, your specialisation and achievements are inked. For better or worse, that certificate didn’t come without a price.
Some left with their ankles shackled to the weight of a massive student loan. Others left simply with their dreams in these shackles. At this point, you feel grateful that you’d be able to pay off that loan in slightly less than 10 years – with a job that starts off on £35,000 a year.
You think to yourself. This is it.
17 years of academic preparation and your sentenced to a desk (if your lucky). Report to work at 8.30am (which by force gradually becomes 9.00am), wear your smart clothes and don’t lose your ID card.
All of a sudden, the treadmill seems to be moving faster – as if an invisible hand messed with the buttons on the treadmill you’re on.
You look around, the faces across the office were faces that were well in their late twenties and thirties and forties and even fifties. In short, they were trapped. Although they ran on the corporate treadmill diligently, they wore faces of apathy – accepting their fate as a corporate rat.
The ones who played their political game well, made it to director in their 50s. The smart ones (but seemingly classified by their peers as the dumb ones) found a way out of the rat cage. But most of the others were still panting and running on the treadmill.
You look around and again hear those four words playing in your head.
This time it sounded a little different. It sounded more like, “Can I do this?”
All you can think about now is a job and a pay cheque. Before you know it, a year has passed and you’re handed more responsibilities in return for a salary. Some make wise choices at this stage but others surrender their future for the present, thinking that one day ‘future-me’ will deal with the credit card debt, medical problems, regrets and “should-haves”.
Subtly and tenderly, the invisible hand messes with the buttons on your treadmill again. This time, you find yourself running to keep up with the speed of things. The job’s getting tougher, there isn’t any work-life balance and money never seems to be sufficient.
Now you hear a familiar whisper – in a slight change of tone, you hear yourself saying a variation of those four words… “I can’t do this”.
“Am I the only one who feels like this? Surely, I can’t be”.
Then it dawns on you.
Most adults know how to disguise their feelings in their facial expressions, it’s our innate body language that gives us away.
No one wants to be there.
No one wants to be bounded by a paycheque, to live a lifestyle inflated by victims of the same treadmill, to purchase things that we don’t need to impress people that we hardly like, to conform to the rigid rules of an emotionless organisation that wouldn’t think twice to replace us however and whenever it deems fit…
Yet we are all still here.
The treadmill tilts into an incline position.
The only way to get off the incline treadmill is to get out of the ‘system’.
Don’t get me wrong, some of you are truly happy with the ‘nine-to-five till you’re sixty five’ routine. If you are, then I’m sincerely happy for you. After all, happiness is subjective.
But for those who aren’t this was written for you.
Be happy. x
P.S In regard to anyone who has not yet received a response to an email/message – my sincerest apologies. I am working through them and will have all emails responded to by the end of the week promise 🙂