The following a spoken word poem written (on and off) from September 2016 until March 2017. The video above was performed on May 4, 2017, at Urban Grind Coffee.
I am tired of posters.
Everywhere I go. Every doctor’s office, professor’s desk, waiting room, classroom, bedroom, every place that I go; they follow me.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
“Don’t be afraid to be different”
“Do what makes you happy”
They don’t tell you if you miss the moon, you’ll die with seconds in the vacuum of space,
If everyone just focused on being different, then we’d all be hipsters
And do what makes you happy
Look, these phrases are simple and catchy
And yet, repeated endlessly until I can no longer quite remember what they once meant.
I am sick of these posters.
Shoved down our throats at every occasion – every convocation and celebration – a culmination of an entire generation’s worth of brainwashing.
These grains of truth turned into meaningless adages, hiding behind framed stock images.
Is this what I’ve come to?
I’ve spent so much of my life trying to be happy,
told to “do what I love” and to “love every moment”
And yet I’m on a treadmill of goals and wishes, that just goes on and on and on,
wondering why I’m not able to reach that one trophy I so desperately crave.
Not realizing that it’s literally two steps in front of me, in front of this machine that I can’t seem to turn off.
We are taught that happiness comes from ‘defining who you are,’ from ‘following your passions,’
as if happiness is just some hedonistic reward for being unique and different.
Almost entirely neglecting the meaning, the purpose, the importance
that comes from suffering, from pain, from giving.
For it’s only when we’ve finally lost ourselves that we stand to gain everything.
We’ve become so obsessed with passion, that we’ve forgotten about compassion,
so self-centered that we’ve lost our ability to center our Selves.
I’m done with these posters.
I’m over being told to keep running.
I am ready to turn off my treadmill.
I am here.
If you enjoyed what you heard or read, please let me know! Comment with any line that resonated with you.
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