What I Used To Be or The Ignorance of A Misvalued Who (Ranting Towards a Value Structure)


Life used to be plain –not in a simple way, but uneventful. Some might even be inclined to say boring.

I used to be complacent with who I was and the demands others placed upon me. I was oblivious to stillness, silence, and the astute manners of any sort of an intellectually-guided life.

In general, there was an overall lack of awareness towards who I was, the person I was becoming, towards the environment, and my relationship with the world and its variegated forms and multi-functions. The problem was that I used to be so set on “me” as the center of the universe that I forgot I was part of a much larger rotation –a communal Earth.

Earth as the show in perfect orbit, Earth as the subject of external impact from colliding asteroids, Earth as the background to a meteor shower, and an Earth that will eventually lose its light’s warmth, our current warmth, from the only slowly burning sun in its solar system.


Where are we now?


Back then, my days were composed of routine, repetitive nomenclature handed down from generation to generation that I was expected to follow unquestionably. I used to be trapped by my thoughts, my dreams, my desires, fear, and what I imagined I should be doing, instead of taking steps to actually achieve what I loved doing and appreciate where I always was. The most shocking discovery was that all of what I used to be was a conditioned half of what I am without the freedom from my mental programming.


…here I am.


Before I was not original, machination ruled the day.

My parroted thoughts weren’t genuine. Nothing about what I actually wanted to explore or apply myself towards was a possibility. My mind had been transfixed in cultural traps that society had spent so long laying down that people, and I for one, had begun to think were safe to step in without getting caught. Patterns as the net we are, but more we can become through continual emphasis on realizing our stigmatic habituations and freeing ourselves from their hold. As the Buddhists say, detach. Comparatively, Huxley’s mynah screeches, “Attention.”

The dreams of who I used to be were insane. I don’t need a million dollars to experience eternal joy, or a brand new car to get me from point A to Z, or a 12 bedroom mansion with more space than I could ever utilize. All I ever need is enough.

Enough space to breathe. Clean water. Enough money to live within a reasonable means. Enough food to sustain a healthy body. Exercise is free. Basic clothes for comfort, social cover, and warmth. Affordable, working transport is bonus; other than that there’s feet, bicycles, and public transport. For housing, a stable structure with a roof and insulation adds protection to our list. Of course, these are the outrageous, bare essentials and serve as a harsh outline for our example, but life teaches us continually that we need only to strive for enough. That which nature inherently means to supply us with.

At some point I lost touch with a genuine base towards quality in my life, and what ended up happening is the past of who I used to be. I thought I needed to go out and conquer a never-ending story of work filled with paychecks earning reward for what I thought I wanted, not exactly what I needed. It took me years to question if my value structure was even in the correct place to begin with; it took me years to question what a value structure even was. Caught twisted and turned upside, I found myself asking how I got tangled up in the sensation of wanting more, way more, than I actually needed. Why did I think I needed to live outside the means of my own necessity? The only reasonable answer was that at some point unbeknownst to me, I sacrificed authenticity for imitation. In neglecting to understand what I actually valued, I lost that which is most valuable – an individual freedom of expression, a sense of liberation, making decisions based on what I valued, indeed what I lost most was the very gift we’ve demeaned in labeling life.

Why did I feel the need for a huge house or brand new car? Why did I never question working 60 hours a week at a job that I wasn’t entirely in love with to support these superficial thought processes? Why do so many of us assume the role of marriage and having children will provide us the meaning we are looking for in our lives? The gift of reproduction, our ability to birth offspring, for some, is not always genetically optional.  Our loyalty and commitment to the corporate cause never guarantees the successful completion of our dreams. There are times when our dedication backfires and we are pitted against swallowing our idealistic pride or being devourees ourselves. When will we actually halt long enough to challenge society’s playbook of “how” we should live our lives? Are we courageous enough to face forward and examine our societal-based value structure? Let it be known that we -individually and especially collectively, can create! And we can create our lives! We are not here to fulfill what other’s deem is our purpose to fulfill! We are here to make, shape, solve and create through our own will, from our own accord, and in the expression of that which we truly are. To clarify, our capacity to create applies to anything, not simply the act of procreating children or recreating from our jobs for a week out of the year. Creativity used appropriately becomes a powerful vehicle for transforming our lives.


Was no one speaking, or was I just not paying attention?


No one spoke of the excitement that a self-directed education affords one, nor its benefit, nor its role, nor nothing of the sort. No one said we could pick a subject we are interested in and pursue it passionately through hard-work in order to become something or someone more, maybe even make useful enterprises that contributes to our community-at-large’s well-being. Instead, we are fed the granules of a tasteless grain, a massively fed corn of commodity toward a machinated community. Dull books and preformed plans about how and why we need to go to college, get a “good” degree (of debt), and land a solid job –one in which orders are complacently followed through that automaton of hierarchical chains and office spaces they call a corporation. A corporation not composed of citizens, but a hierarchical structure void of legal responsibilities to its persons, thus a structure seemingly excluded from its environment and environmental responsibility. Yet, people stand behind the safety of the corporate mask and to what is their duty, their responsibility to others, save for themselves? Savior is left to the Sabbath, meanwhile every other day and the majority of our time is dedicated to a culture of consumption. Regardless, the devouring nature of time begs at the immediacy of the question: are we making the choices in who or what consumes of us? We are better off escaping from, rather than assimilating towards, the robolife of society’s sheepish version of a human. Corporate entities are farming us. The repetitive drudgery of follow the leader, envy the leader, back stab the leader, and replace the leader never fulfills what we need most: an authentic value structure in our lives, hence becoming leaders of our own lives.


This who I used to be is frightening.


The ambitious terror of it all still upsets me. I wonder how it was that I became such a dizzy fury and so fast estranged from the normalcy of nature’s way. Some thing in “me” still searches for one to blame? But who? Who is there to scream at all those who neglected to tell me, show me, or teach me that nothing is more important than education –for myself, for the world –except perhaps, the only true luxury we cannot afford to purchase: good health, but again, without psychological sanity how many of us are truly healthy?

If I had I been truly, duly, and honestly educated, perhaps I wouldn’t have been sitting in all my classes year after year judging my professors life choices and career selections. Then again, was I? You know I kept saying, “If they are so smart, why are they wasting their time in this classroom with me?” The stupidity! The insanity! Here I was, one idiot thinking my teacher an idiot for not going out and earning a real paycheck. “Like if you are so smart, why aren’t you making more money,” I assumed. How had I become this way? I wondered why my teachers weren’t out in the world earning a respectable salary, but here in this classroom confined to me along with a few broken meter sticks and the fowl smells of puberty. Worst of all I still wasn’t listening, how long had it been since I’d been attentive? My imagination constantly got the best of me, running wild with how I thought my life would go, how it would and should be shaped, lived, and all the steps I needed to take in order to fulfill my dream ideal of who I was and who I was going to be on this here Earth and the impact I was going to make. The money I was going to make. The thought of Perfect Future Me was all I had created through the many parts of play which served as part of a fantasy series in my mind, one that had whispered for so long that I was certainly convinced it was true.

What is worth sacrificing and striving for? What it worth dying for? And by this I mean, how much is an hour of our life worth? What do we absolutely love? Are we committed to asking the right questions? And are we asking them constantly enough for them to lead to a personal transformation from being stuck in a quantity system into establishing a quality structure?

Moreover are you rushing through this article, skimming, totally missing the point? Or am I just rambling on? Again says I, how much is an hour of your life worth? Are you paying enough attention to the right questions to evoke a mature response? If not, who is there to blame now? No one.

So many of us enjoy an illusion we label life. The one we create and yet never feel entirely responsible for. The one that happens incessantly to us. The one we blame on others. The one we control only through choosing to escape from our realities. Again & again & suddenly, life is gone into great escape.


Where are we again?


Plenty of us are miserable, confined, confused, and constantly scared. We’ve become a petrified people (slowly solidifying the planet) and many of us have absolutely no idea about how to live a unforgettable life free from regret, guilt, and anxiety. We are a collective so occupied with telling youth how they should be living their lives with the irony being that many intellectual advocates have never stepped outside the safety of their constituental confines and lived first and forwardly themselves. “Professionals” offer direction without first and foremost taking the enormous responsibility of directing their our own lives, before informing ours, in accordance to a higher cause or calling. What nonsensical advice!

Are we helpless and afraid? For good says I, we cannot escape this tension of opposites. Life realized is a perpetual paradox and its hum is the battle drum of uncertainty. Does not life lead unto death, sickness unto health, sorrow unto rage, and is not the bitterness of broken beauty all too far apart from that dissolving decadence of oblivion reaching upward in an unspoken ability to convey such mysterious prominence and to such a point of individual exacerbation that one can do no other but cease entirely in collective resolve? Was not our very birth the beginning of a process of decay, or did growth come first? From whence comes one and by this we mean number?

In an age of abrupt obesity, worry, self-obsession, and a people fascinated by the most boring, dry, dull entertainment possibly imaginable, what is our worry! Are we not glued to tubes of distraction? Are we not a collected cohesion of sticky residues of a past that remains still unresolved to integration, still unscathed by global conflict, and still unmoved in our  own personal responsibilities towards the liberation of a people continuously pointing the finger outward instead of summoning the courage to look inward? Are we not the very movers of this world! Would we rather focus our energies on the lives of others -celebrities, twisted faced housewives in halter tops, and petty “news” scandals, or is our freedom of choice, rather our willing capacity towards attentive dedication day in and day out in following and supporting personas in positions of social responsibility, yet who waste no effort in attempting to enlighten the masses? Do we choose to support entertainers with absolutely no care towards the importance of establishing value structures or about leaving behind a life well-lived as an example to our future generations? Are we becoming a civilization of misvalued whos?  And worst of all, are we so busy saying whatever comes to mind without ever stopping, reflecting, listening, or considering how our words may affect another that in happenstance we are affecting our very selves? And then there’s the question of paradoxical reserve: in having more, is not our being lessened by it?

This is the purely the ignorance of what I used to be.

This is my ignorance, today and always.

Persistence in its very presence; time awaits for change. And to come it does. Eventually, two are one again & again.

But will you?

For now, at least, I’m beginning to realize what can be accomplished by counterfeiting caution with a touch of applied awareness.

You see, life is more than what I used to be, it’s got everything to do with who I am today, understanding where I am going, and asking why the choices I am making matter more than the choices I don’t.

So let it be and let who you used to be behind.

Stop avoiding reality and choose an authentic value structure to guide yourself.

Rant over.


This beautiful image is from Steven Depolo’s Flickr and has not been modified in any way.