Chasing Benjamin

7:00 AM

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Or Elizabeth if you are a Commonwealth country, or whoever is on your money.

Growing up life was simple, I only had to pay attention to the next step. Pass the test, pass the exam, move on to the next class. When I reached High School and nearing the end, it was pass CXC, go on to State College, then university in the US. After all of that get a job, get paid. This is where simple got complex, or does it?

Throughout those formative years, I never asked a very important question, a question that would have made adults uncomfortable, the simple question, why? Why go to school? Why go to State College? Why go to university? More likely than not, the answer would be to get a good job. Then like a child, I can't help but ask, Why should I get a job?

More likely than not, the answer would be to get money. Ah ha, so all those years were in preparation for me to get money.

Parents insist on their children getting tertiary education because they believe with the knowledge they acquire over the 2 - 10 years, their children will get more money than if they hadn't gone to the college/university/institute of higher education. But is that belief valid, does having a degree guarantee you a higher paying job? Plus why do you want to be paid more?

After college, I went in search of the holy job, holy because every politician from here to Timbuktu consider it holy. I built up to a job that was considered "ideal" for a person with a fresh degree and I hated it. No, hate is a strong word, I did not find pleasure in it. Sometimes I worked long hours, I did boring work that did not give me any satisfaction. I got paid well but I felt empty. I did it, I got the well paying job, but it made me question if this was it. Now what?

Now I have money, now I can buy things that will make me happy. But will the things make me happy? While I was spinning in my hamster wheel, I never once asked what made me happy. Even recently, I was in pursuit of Elizabeth. Almost everyday, I was either stressing about the lack of money or how to make/earn more money. Then the other day, I asked the questions I always ask myself every now and then,

What do I want to do?
How do I want to spend my waking hours?

And the same answer came to me as the other times I asked.

I want to write

Simple, straightforward and still I wasn't doing what I wanted to do. I was chasing the dream that society, my parents say I should be pursuing. I created Bus Stop Antigua, a labour of love and whenever I mention a positive development with the site, be it more people visiting it, it being linked to from other sites, the one thing my mother asks is, "So when you going to make money from it?" It's now reach the point where I don't mention the site to her at all.

I've now reached the point where I would be content with having a decent job where I can meet my needs AND the time and space to do what I enjoy. The media and commercial entities pay big money to convince me to buy things and experiences I really don't want and need. At the end of the day, I am content with a nice house, a decent small SUV and plenty time to write and maybe take part in some mischief. With some work and guidance, I can become a professional writer and, that my friend, might explode my heart with happiness.

Money is nice, but happiness is nicer. I might not be making a million dollars, I might not be jet setting here, there and everywhere, but when I wake up, I will be looking forward to the day, not begrudging it. I won't have to convince myself that I have to get out of bed or I won't have a job and if I don't have a job, I won't make any money.

Money and buying things to make me happy is a poor substitute for DOING what makes me happy.

Moving forward, I won't be pursuing Elizabeth, I won't be pursuing Benjamin, I will be and I am pursuing that special place where happiness and peace resides. I might not live there all the time, but I will be visiting it a lot and I will be enjoying my stay.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed and it makes no sense doing something for money that will slip away like water through my fingers. It makes sense to me to spend the time doing what I love and if I'm lucky, Elizabeth might start pursuing me.

OXOX

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