05 Dec An Existence of Rushing
If I were to summaries in one word what people do in London it would be that they rush. Whatever their objective / profession, there seems to be an overwhelming sense of hustle that beats to the tik tok of each second as it passes. While time is regularly traded for funds all over the world which drive economic developments. There is a disproportionate ratio of input required to obtain a reasonable amount of output. This is the competitive nature of working in overpopulated settlements. Time is money, and in a city where the cost of living is nothing short of staggering, it makes sense for inhabitants to conduct their daily routine with substantial concern for the amount of time each endeavour consumes. Especially considering that unlike money, once time is spent, it can not be regained.
This constant rush of people moving things along at a faster than normal pace has been an eye opening experience. After-all, at the end of the day, we are all just working with a maximum of 24 hours each day, how that time is allocated is one of few variations between people that matters. While motivations and circumstances are vastly different, the amount of free time someone has is a great indicator of their success in life. Though 24 hours sounds like a reasonable amount of time, many of us would gladly work with. Most often we have just a tiny fragment available to do the things we aspire to. A full time job with a reasonable sleep schedule already reduces the amount by 2/3rds, leaving less than 9 hours to conduct the necessities. Between commuting vast city distances, maintaining a social life, eating, exercising, staying on top of household chores, and countless other commitments, it seems impossible to balance everything with just 9 hours a day. The restricting characteristics of a 24/7 connected world reduces our ability to turn time into something substantial and worthwhile.
I found myself no different from the cohorts of people trading significant amounts of their time simply to afford living in London, staying afloat in a city that requires a lot for the small privilege of enjoying its confines. Operating day to day with the notion that just by being there I was happy, because I could exist in a city with prospects rarely matched elsewhere. London was my New York City, “If I could make it here, I could make it anywhere” – Alicia keys. Before long I found myself transitioned, wearing only monochrome attire, adhering to the normalised rush, seemingly essential for city life. For the most part, even with all its flaws, I found enjoyment in what was on offer, there was an overwhelming sense of joy in the daily progress because it was a challenge. A daily endeavour that one day turned boring. All the things I had been enjoying suddenly were no longer amusing. Months of excessive self reflection turned into the realisation that this is not an existence, it’s a chore that depletes my abilities and for what? As nice as it is to identify with Alicia keys’ words. What exactly does that do for my existence longterm?
The development that took place within my first year of living in the bustling capital made it clear that the path ahead without adjustment would conclude with an apartment on the outskirts of the city with a routine centred around commuting into the heart of the city for work. This of course required years of savings for an approved mortgage. Assuming an existence dependant on out of touch politicians and financial overseers dictating policy without concern for the domino affect. I felt uncertain about my ability to trust others with my outcome in life. Was this really the goal in life? To go with the flow, helplessly nodding along, hopping that developments are made for the greater good. With time, undoubtedly becoming one of those workers living for the weekend, anticipating public holidays and annual leave while struggling daily to avoid the constant exchange of people rushing with similar levels of mounting rage regarding a broken system? The risks associated with trading decades of hustle for the hopes of one day owning a place to call home didn’t seem like a valid reason to commit to an existence determined by traditional, outdated perceptions.
Our lives will eventually conclude and the legacy our individual existence leaves behind for those who come after us is not something to take lightly. We can choose to consume the work earlier generations left behind for us or contribute for a better future. For most of us, there is a balance between consumption and contribution. In 2013, I was seeking to optimise my ratio. Legacy is the only thing that matters. For some this means having children, ownership of property, making a difference. Will those in the future inherit a world better than our own because we did our part to develop past the limitations of our current inept, or are our greatest hits in the past? The best motivator for change is knowing that regardless of the outcome, things can only get better. A repeating theme in life, though only apparent in hindsight. It was clear that whatever conclusions I may arrive at down the line, personal development would be inevitable. When you don’t know what it is you want, elimination of what you definitely do not is a good starting point. I didn’t want to wake up in a few years time to realise that my 20’s, a time where one is most energetic, capable of adjustment and most importantly, full of naive ambition is suddenly in the past with no significant accomplishment to show for the time spent.
Though the answers weren’t anywhere on the horizon in 2013, my hopefulness and immense feeling of opportunity made for an interesting perspective on what the future may hold. I felt strongly, foolishly even, that the answers I sought to my own existence would somehow appear in view if allowed to exist without a 9 to 5 consuming time, energy and distracting my mental capacity. The weeks of calculated thought solidified itself into a conclusion that I will be leaving London to travel while seeking my purpose. Filling my time of contemplation with enlightening experiences that would somehow, hopefully add to personal development. Finally affording myself the energy needed to figure out who I was and what I could be. This was the very definition of risk, leaving behind the life that I had been so adamantly in pursuit of not that long ago. One of few things I was certain about, hence the foolishness. No 21 year old should be so certain of anything, especially not as stubbornly as I was. Then again, stubbornness can be utilised for perseverance, which is fundamental to any form of success. Dreams change and my latest ambition was to venture into the unknown, embarking upon my own uncertainty, dictated by spontaneity and a healthy dose of hope for the horizon to eventually present options better than those offered previously.