Why I’m going on a media holiday

I spend all my time “plugged in”. When I get up in the morning I throw on a TV show and walk around with my wireless headphones, getting ready for work. On my commute I listen to a podcast. At work I take regular Facebook/Reddit breaks. If I eat lunch at my desk I tend to put on a youtube documentary and play a game. Podcast while commuting back. TV shows while prepping dinner. Game, book or Reddit for an hour or two after, then end the night on the couch with Edda, watching an episode of something, followed by some light reading in bed.

We are a generation largely raised by TV and internets. And ads on these things constantly tell us that our lives are broken, but if we just bought this item we’d be happy, if we just took this one vacation we’d discover purpose and beauty, if we just signed up for this mailing list we’d get all the answers. That one sale is all that stands between us and exoneration from the strife and pointlessness. The final goal.

On top of all this you see people everywhere that have done something amazing. Something big. Something remarkable. I’ve been told by my parents on others my whole life that “You can do anything you set your mind to”, “You are special”, “You are going to do something big”. So how does it feel, now that I haven’t? Were they wrong?

I believed them. All my life I felt that I’d go on to do something big. And since I hadn’t yet, everything felt like preparation for that. Like I shouldn’t get too invested, because that big thing was around the corner. How can I enjoy the small things when I’m about to go on to something big? How can I do things that I enjoy, but aren’t very good at if I look at myself as a big fish in a small pond?

Every day I immerse myself digitally with people that have done something big. In the name of learning and taking inspiration I subject my brain to this day in and out. But what I’m coming to realize is that all this bigness is holding me back. If I’m going to take any joy out of life, I need to be OK with being a small fish in a big pond. I need to be OK with doing something because it’s fun, and get invested in it even though it’s not remarkable in any way. I need to be OK with being the slow kid in the class sometimes.

In a world that constantly pushes the expectations to become super rich, have an adventurous life and change the world, it feels rebellious to say “No, I’m going to do little things that have meaning to me personally”. In the 21st century you stick it to The Man by saying: “The world is good enough as it is, I’m not going to change it”.

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