“Marshall McLuhan once said that the last thing a fish would ever notice in it’s habitat is the water. Likewise, the most obvious and powerful realities of our human culture seem to also be the most unrecognised. And it is only when we take pause, often at the risk of social alienation, to question the foundational principles and ideas to which our lives are oriented, does a dark truth about our supposed ‘normality’ become more clear. Today we live in an ocean with enormous waves of status obsession, materialism, vanity, ego and consumerism. Our very lives have become defined not by our productive thoughts, social contributions and good will, but by a superficial, delusional set of associations where the very fabric of our society now radiates with cheap romanticisms, connected to vain competition, conspicuous consumption and neurotic addictions often related to physical beauty, status and superficial wealth. In effect; social conformity masquerading as individualism, with the virtues of balance, intelligence, peace, public health and true creativity left to rot on the sidelines.”—
You use the phrase, "The world is my oyster." I was recently told that as encouragement, but I'm 30 years old, never went to college, unemployed for six years, only just now learning how to drive, and desperately trying to find a way to move/find work two hours away so I can be with my girlfriend. Maybe the world is my oyster, but I have no idea how to see it that way. I'm trying, but it's so hard to breathe like this, so hard to keep from collapsing into a pile of terror.
Have you ever seen an oyster in the wild? Have you ever tried to open it? It’s fucking hard.
Do you know the origin of the phrase “The world is my oyster”? It comes from Shakespeare’s play The Merry Wives of Windsor:
Falstaff: I will not lend thee a penny.
Pistol: Why then the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.
Falstaff: Not a penny.
Are you seeing yourself in this? He’s not getting what he wants without a sword. Without a fight. He’s not getting a penny from anyone.
As an English major and a librarian I almost always look into the meaning behind these types of things. We took that line and we turned it into The world is yours to enjoy! YOLO! Woohoo! Which is true, yes. But, you’re probably going to have to brandish your sword at some point.
I am jumping into the next stage of my life with optimism and love. That’s my sword. I am coming at this with the belief that I deserve good things and that I am loved.
I am 28 years old. I have an unspeakable amount of debt. I have had huge let downs that made me question my value, my worth, my rights to love and food and survival and existence. I have had smaller let downs, the kind that creep into your sleeping dreams and ruin your daytime ones. Pile of terror? I’ve been there. That has been my mailing address and the place where my emergency contact lived and the place I thought I would live and die in. So, I get it. I get not wanting to be optimistic or not understanding how to even begin to be optimistic.
But sometimes the world isn’t going to lend you a penny. And you need to decide what your sword is and use it on the goddamn oyster. The only other option is to sit with that tightly sealed mollusk for the rest of your life and wonder whether there was a pearl inside.