Sunday, 25 October 2015

The future

My friend and I went to a university fair last Wednesday,
She came back with an armful of brochures
And a mindful of dreams.
A plan for a future she would never know of
Until she got there.
We talked to admission officers,
Professionals in blazers and patent leather shoes,
Entry requirements rolling off of their tongues,
Boasting about how their schools stood out from the rest.

We read each brochure cover to cover,
Leafing through a prospectus to tell us how we’d live,
Dorms we’d make our homes,
Parties we’d firework through-
The kind of people we would turn out to be.
With that, we lost the kind of people that we were
Right in that very moment,
Shuffling through high school hallways,
Back and forth,
Drowning in assignment after assignment,
Exam after exam,
Sinking deeper into shadows of a lurking future,
One that we couldn’t control.

Maybe it was this lack of control we feared,
Longed to discover,
Giving up every moment in an attempt to understand the next-
Obsessed with the mystery of tomorrow.

Our future lingered in the fine print of that university brochure-
The one part we failed to study:

You will be fine, it read. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

This generation

Welcome to this generation. Come in, take off your running shoes – you won’t need those. This is the sofa, take a seat, get as comfy as you can. You won’t be leaving for a while. Can I get you a drink? I’ll bring along some snacks. Put your feet up. Relax.

We’re a generation of homebodies, couch potatoes, those who bury themselves amongst blankets and sink into cushions. Sink into the familiarity of it all.

Aluminium packets glisten in supermarket aisles – red for crisps and blue for cookies. The discount sign screams for you to grab two of each. They end up being half the price of the pack of vegetables your eyes skimmed over.  Another win for corporate companies that put money far before health on their list of priorities.

Should you?

We live in a world where Netflix marathons are more appealing that walks in the countryside. Where a film set by the ocean is enough to prevent us from needing to visit it ourselves. Where we would rather stare at others living their lives than go out and live our own. Because a bowl of snacks beats experience, right?

It might be years before you realise. You could be eighty three sitting on a sofa that you can’t get up from, looking back on a life of sitting on a sofa that you chose not to get up from.

So get up.

Challenge yourself to do squats in the show’s ad breaks, lunges while the film plays. Better yet, turn the TV off, hide the remote and leave for long enough to forget where you left it. Let fresh air fill your lungs, free yourself from the dust of your living room, the lingering residue of artificial cheese and cocoa powder. Build a campfire just the way you saw on that reality show. Replace the ready salted crisps with vegetable crisps. Replace those with actual vegetables. Find the running shoes you threw into the basement and explore areas of your neighbourhood you didn’t know existed. It’s free. Escape the familiarity of it all.

Give this generation a name it deserves. A name, a life, that you will want to remember.