The End of Blissful Delusions: Learning to live again after workaholism
Throughout my time of being a college student, I have gone through many remarkable career opportunities to establish a sense of being caught up. If I was not working, then I would be going to my next shift. It started with two, but quickly added on two more. Having four jobs while being a full-time student just doesn’t quite work out. Which adds on to another fact that not only has school been out of mind, but my love for swimming drowned out of existence as well.
I thought time was running out for me.
For a while, I travelled throughout the United States in search for answers, a discovery to what Western society has defined itself to be.
What source of happiness does the ‘American dream’ provide to the soul?
I have studied Eastern philosophies on the way of life, but I never really understood the Western mentality of what it means to live.
I am a journalist after all, the overly dying sensation of seeking truth comes with many uneventful realizations. Of course to travel you have to find the financial stability for shelter, food and transportation.
I worked endlessly to find this dream, which resulted in losing who I was.
Job #1: Cleaning A LOT of houses
Job #2: Freelance Event Photographer/Videographer
Job #3 : Cooking Show for CTV Channel 11
Job #4 : Photo Editor for The Collegian
Working as the Photo Editor at The Collegian, I have established team of talented photographers. It was truly a desire of mine to create a joyful space for visionaries to come together. I have cycled through many jobs and quit many of them, however, this one enlightened me the most. It was most exciting to share knowledge with people who are as hungry as I am to learn.
Before I went into the dangerously dark corner of chasing my delusional freedom, I had a group of friends from the University of Northern Colorado that showed me what true freedom was.
We all met at varying times yet came together in perfect timing. They have graduated and mostly achieved the peak of adulting, which is not eating ramen every day for a diet.
We recently took a trip to Chicago, Illinois, out of all the places to visit during the Winter. It was an insightful adventure, so out of this world that I almost stopped breathing.
For the longest time, I was not able to incorporate photography as a practice of self-discovery. Pictures taken throughout the year did not fill a certain desire of perfection in my eyes. I started to look upon my photos as a bland and plainly laid piece of unimportance. The emotional attachment that I once felt just slipped away. Being conditioned to take a journalistic approach in the style has limited my creative power to express the art inside my mind.
Taking pictures for myself, I have lost .
Under the illusion of success, an easy trap that is laid out for those who strives to be first is more mesmerizing than those who drive to build character. As one grows and find new meaningful experience in concern with relationships that is when they create a foundational stability in real success. In other words, the external or physical reality in terms of gaining wealth was my delusional sense of freedom. My priorities and expectations to a source of happiness were misaligned.
I was simply chasing the wrong avenues of life. Placing my health last was the destruction of my real wealth. The electrifying bright light was such a temptation to fly towards because everyone else was going as well. Knowing what crowd mentality meant, I still went with the moth’s deluded guide of direction. When passion and monetary goals collide, it creates an opposition with how one may view their work.
I contracted the coronavirus while on this trip and it was the best possible thing that happened to me. It took a virus to put me down, to tell me truthfully to stop torturing myself. Pushing beyond my mental and physical limits, I did not take care of who I was. COVID-19 made me realized that no matter how hard one tries to play the game of material gains, nothing you’ve gained here matters once you have disappeared off this plane of existence.
You can’t take your bank account or title with you to heaven or hell, the valuable items we have built emotions around is an artificial conception of temporary freedom.
A group of troublemakers we were, seeking different goals and attempting to find a source of connection. My friends unknowingly dragged me out of workaholism with their persistence to reach out; outshining my ignorant perspective to avoid everyone. I gave up on myself, but they did not. If not for them, my life narrative would drastically stay comfortable in settling for disappointment.
Not only was I able to reunite with friends, but the establishment of animal reconnection was there too. Stella has a special place in my heart, a soul that came to me and eventually led me to understand what love was. Love something enough to know that their soul deserves much more than you can offer. I am forever grateful for my friend, Austin, for having Stella in his care.
Racing to the finish line to catch up to success can blindside you from other aspects of life. The moment that we begin to cherish our joyous time with other beings that is when it will prove to you the answers you seek are in front of you. We complicate our perspective on freedom within Western societies because the places we live around are built on the validity of materialism.
Personal attachment to physical materials is an addictive trait and behavior that is hidden in plain sight. Detach, so the truth shall be shown to you.
This trip was a turning point for my well-being as well as my relationships. I have decided to not dropout of higher education, relieve myself from the bliss of delusional abundance and start taking photos for me once more.