An ode to last Monday

By Elena Cameron

April 16th, 2024

It was the third Monday of two thousand and twenty four when I came to the inexplicable conclusion that I had had enough. Enough of the sheer resentment I felt to be facing another week. Enough of the growing realisation that the flame that had once burnt bright within me had transformed into something else entirely. A flicker that could barely be felt. An unrecognisable memory of a promise that there would be love in living life. 

I sometimes wonder if my habitual requisite for more is a side effect of privilege or whether it’s simply the human condition, felt by all of us but only pursued by some. I suppose whatever the reason is irrelevant for now. The fact is it was an inescapable truth that I could no longer tolerate my lacklustre life. 

On that third Monday, I contemplated whether to quit my role to pursue my dream of running my brand consultancy full time. Like all important decisions are made, I created a mood board to consider my choice. The title was an inspiring original: ‘Whether to quit my job to pursue my dream full time’. My creativity had dwindled to an almost nothingness. 

The moodboard was messy, unfocused and became an immortalised reminder of my complete lack of coherency at the time. Yet through my ramblings there were a few key points, fighting to be made. 

The first of which: 

1. Dreams are just dreams when you pursue them part time. 

I reflected on all of the incredibly smart and hardworking people I’ve known throughout both my personal life and professional career (more on this later), and how many of them have ‘side hustles’. Before we go on, I want to preface what could be perceived as an incredibly privileged perspective with this. I’m tentative to suggest that we should all embark on a journey of divine awakening, proverbially filing for divorce from our stable employment in the pursuit of ‘following our dreams’. Stable jobs can enable stable incomes and the betterment of mental health. Varying circumstances determine when and if someone can ‘drop it all’ to bet on themselves. I know that. And I recognise that there are so many things in life that contributed to me (somewhat) safely being able to leave the stability of my full time job to pursue my dream. I hope above all else, this doesn’t read as me discounting the importance of, and to be frank, complete dependence so many have on full time employment. 

Circling back to side hustles. 

I think anything that starts with ‘side’ rarely ends well. Side-chick, side-step, side-saddle, etc, etc. I truly believe that success comes to those who devote their very being to something. It comes to those who are routinely dropping another espresso pod in the machine to fuel them for one more hour because the proposition of joining everyone else in sleep is an impossibility when your creative buzz is buzzing. Anything pursued on the side will always stay on the side. There is only room for ‘full’ hustles in the notoriety hall of fame.

2. We’re as indifferent to our reality as we are inattentive to our destruction  

It wasn’t until I jumped head first into an Alice in Wonderland-like rabbit hole when I came to terms with just how truly disconnected I had become. The incessant cycle of monotonous themed repetition had successfully distracted me from the unhappy reality that the corporate paradigm that consumes so many, had in fact consumed me too. And looking back, I know there were nights (and many of them) when I cried for how badly I just wanted to pursue my business. How badly I didn’t want to continue deprioritising my dream to allow space for my job. I suppose the tears were proof that there were parts of me all along still fighting to be heard. Fighting to resuscitate the dreams that I insisted on choking. But we’re as short sighted as we are complacent and as indifferent to our reality as we are inattentive to our destruction. Our amnesia is our hamartia. And so we convince ourselves that no we’re not that unhappy and yes even if we are, so is everyone else and we put away our neglected dreams for another night when we can’t help but cry about them again. 

3. Changing is rarely a side effect from talking about changing

It became apparent to me that if it weren’t for the generosity of my friends’ patience, I would have nobody to invite to my birthday party. I don’t know how many times I called my family and friends whining about how much I resented what I had labelled as: ‘my inability’ to pursue my business full time. If we enact no change in our lives (by actually changing rather than talking about possibly, maybe, one day changing) then every attempt we make to save ourselves from ourselves is a sisyphean paradox. Inexorable people have short fuses with long standing traditions of inevitably exploding. Don’t talk about changing. Just change. 

I hate to be corny but the kinds of movies with scenes that are repurposed into motivational youtube videos have it right. So. To paraphrase every great movie ever made (and my mood board):

You want something? Go get it. 

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