I guess it’s time for another blog entry.
I’ve gotten bored with my life. So I decided to ween myself off of Social Security by simply refusing to reapply for the monthly money I’ve been getting. For the people I’ve asked about it so far, this is an irrational, unreasonable choice. Why refuse?
I don’t think the answer is that mysterious. I’m sick of being different from my peers. I want to survive under the same circumstances other people have to survive.
But why cut myself off arbitrarily? Why not wait till I have a job or something?
One possible justification is that I can’t lie. I have never been able to lie well. I’m about to attempt a career in the entertainment industry, and one of my angles is that of stand-up comedy. I’m hoping that without money I will be funnier. I don’t want to stand there and tell people what it’s like to be a barnacle on a giant outdated government program, which I could very well quit but don’t have the guts to. I think I will be a more interesting stage presence if I’m struggling for basic income.
Perhaps the most direct explanation is that I feel myself to be living in apocalyptic times. I see myself as someone who takes a stand. Being on Social Security doesn’t harmonize with my self-image.
Strangely enough, it was just such risk-taking behavior which, twelve years ago, got my family to put me on Social Security in the first place, which I have heretofore accepted as a compromise solution to a difficult problem. I had a mental illness, and Social Security was a way of lessening my financial burden. It’s also a way of stagnating in the same life in perpetuity. What has been difficult for me to accept is that our culture has no better way to deal with people with mental illness than this.
In other cultures, there is a common pattern by which certain people with mental illnesses actually become the society’s primary mental health experts. In these cultures, you can’t know what it takes to treat mental health problems unless you’ve also had them. Moreover, a person initiated in the arts of mental health becomes a wise person in general, not confined merely to areas of mental health. I have always considered myself to be on the path to becoming such a person. You have to go outside the mainstream of mental health, however, to encounter such ideas about the nature of mental illness and recovery. The mainstream of mental health has very little to do with actual mental health for me. I’ve always thought that I must become the change I wish to see, and I’ve always acted that way.
At any rate, I guess my main reason for cutting myself off from Social Security is that I want to try living as a normal person. I’m hoping I can get some money coming in from the entertainment industry, because its the most interesting of all the careers with low enough barriers to entry for me to apply without having to waste time and money going to school. I’ve never believed in school. Other career options are the food service industry, which is hard, but at least you get to move around; and tutoring perhaps. While I might seem like a natural fit for tutoring, being so introverted, intellectual and smart, I don’t believe in school. But money’s money, and if it comes to that, I will become a tutor.
If you have any other ideas for me, tell me about them!