Chapter 7 : Future's So Bright, Who Needs Shades?
October 19, 1998
So that's it, huh?

Everything has become a standard. What you were doing is now what everyone else is doing. You try to yell 'Hey! I was here first!' like it really matters to anyone.

But, somehow, it should. Really. Just from an experience standpoint. You did the legwork. You paid the dues. You help create things so that they are the way they are today. What you did contributed to the fact that no one now that comes along will need to go through what you did.

Therefore, they won't understand the experience. They won't understand the difference.

But it matters, god damn it.

But not to them.

But it shouldn't stop mattering to you. But somehow, it has. You've been thrown down into a fit of depression, spawned by the introspection you began after a night up just a bit too late. You were feeling a little lost. Somewhat misunderstood. Most definately confused about what you've been doing with your life the past few months.. hell, years, even.

And then you took that fateful step from the precipice and said "But I wanted it to become so much more."

The funny thing is, what we plan for ends up being one of the less likely outcomes. In our plans, we become idealic. Our skys lay before us, rosey colored in the rising sun, blue exspanse stretching out like silk linens spun in ocean blue dye.

Then we look back and reflect. Used to Be's and Should Have Been's flash before your eyes. No one's original anymore. Everyone's doing the same things. Bandwagons. You started them, but got off before they became 'mainstream' and 'uncool.' Oh, except for the 'private' or 'in the know' wagons that operated in the shadows - where the originals could hide from the newbies who hadn't paid their dues yet like they had.

And now, it's all falling backward upon itself. There's less and less people who really care. They're changing it from what it was into something... something... less than before.

But is it less, or just different? Is it just a rebellion from what equates to being their parental guidance in where the whole thing is supposed to go?

The thing is, what was cool, new and hip a year ago now is commonplace.. there's no buzz that surronds it, no charge gotten from it. The list of new things rapidly is becoming a finite set. If it hasn't been exhausted yet, leaving only permutations that, in essence, are only a poor facade over the original - like portals over search engines.

So now, that the past has been so decimated, and the plans for what should be today have been left ruined on the roadside, the best pieces being picked apart like roadkill by crows, you are left pondering what is next?

If the past and the present have been so decimated, what is left for the future? The silken blue sky that promised you the keys to your happiness have run gray, therefore the future must be as bleak as the present in the context of the past's future.

'This isn't what I planned for! I didn't see it coming, yet I perpetuated it all along.'

It was only semantics the whole time. We need to feel validated. We need to protect ourselves from self-betrayal, so we use the words that make sure the context of what we want is not corrupted and the right impression is conveyed. And besides - you never really influenced the free thinkers that are working behind your back.

But what of the future? Can we take another look? Why does it look so bleak? Are we just tired?

Of course we are. Because we all have been there. We have run forward, thinking we were doing something great, something we loved. We weren't going to join the masses of the 9 to 5 brigade, but if we did, it was only to fuel our true ambitions.

But, even in our own ambitions, we succumbed to the patterns and schedules of 'normal' life. Maybe we even stopped thinking and ran on autopilot for a short time.

But you must deny that fate. It is not you. This is not what you intended things to become. Turn on, drop out. But I want to make a difference. I want to be different.

What you keep failing to realize, with each peek in the mirror, is that your are, you have, and you'll continue to. Because that's what makes people who they are.

If you never had this realization, you'd still be one of the masses.

Success, popularity, noteriety are all relative. But can you continue to be you, without the trappings of these obvious and easy definitions? Now that's self-validation.

I'm still searching.

But the future will come none the less.

This is in response to a piece written elsewhere on the web. I never got a response from the writer, so I am not putting their name or a link to the piece here out of respect for them.

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