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The Real 1% - kale & cigarettes
The Real 1%

The Real 1%

We are complaining about the 1%, like they are somehow taking something from us. But the real 1% is what we are allowing for ourselves. The real 1% lies in the amount of the human experience we are actually participating in.

We’ve been trained up since birth to operate within tight parameters. Go to church, go to school, go to work, go to stores… we’ve all realized this to some degree by now. They’ve been driving us in a straight line. Meanwhile, our curiosities, desires, and energies have been functioning in cycles – let’s call these the ups and downs of emotions, inspiration, and creativity. We can never have them all at once, nor can we predict what we’ll feel on any given day, but we can guarantee that everything we experience will come and go, and then come back again.

All of us circles have been forced to live as lines, which explains the constant presence of internal conflict. Hoping for more, wishing something was different, wondering what the hell we’re really doing. We only notice moments of fate/destiny/coincidence/dejavu once in a while because our lines have to cross paths with curves on the circle at from time to time. These points become those moments when we are tugged at internally and gently urged that maybe there is more going on than we are letting ourselves believe – a city we should visit, a class we should take, a letter we should write. But we can’t stretch it too far or search too hard because the human condition punishes those of us who go against the grain in the most devastating way – by alienating us. And once we are alienated we are cut to pieces slowly in our hearts in a way that is too gruesome to overcome. Waiting for the next opportunity, we jump back on the line. Those are all the times we had an idea that filled our hearts but time passed and the passion faded because we let it fade because all the other liners were slowly starting to turn their shoulders away from us and threatening to forget our existence. The fear of isolation keeps us in line. It takes away our courage.

If I’m playing basketball, a game I love as much as anything, 2 hours isn’t nearly enough. And when Alexis is waiting in line at the DMV, a place as wretched as any, the same 2 hours is enough to induce a panic attack. So we know that time is relative. It expands and contracts depending on our desire or disdain for the moment we are in. We know instinctually that the system we’ve created for living is greatly flawed. Our logic can only extend to a certain point before it stops having answers. Yet we continue to operate at minimum capacity without much of a fight.

These glimpses of timelapse and moments of spine-tingling coincidence are reminders that there is more out there if we are brave enough to look for it. It doesn’t necessarily come from quitting a job and backpacking through Thailand, it is as simple as waking up one morning and starting your day with a soft breath and the pursuit of something that brings you joy and freedom – a stretch, a book, tea, a drawing, a walk with the quiet morning – anything that adds life to your heart. It’s not letting emails and notifications and routines dictate the first few moments of a precious morning.

We are more than lines, more than routines. We are more than the 1% of life experience we are allowing for ourselves.

If you’re wondering what all this heartfelt nonsense means for you – it’s simple – follow your curiosities as often as you follow your obligations. So that one morning you can wake up and say, “I am free,” and know what it means.

Curiosity – a strong desire to know or learn something.

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