There’s this guy I know, Marcus. Marcus’s got these funny bags under his eyes. They’re not the kind you get from sleep deprivation; I know those bags. If I had to guess, I’d say the bags under Marcus’s eyes are there from some kind of stress. Stress induced weariness. They’re always there.
Every time I notice those bags under Marcus’s eyes, I think about how I really don’t want those kinds of bags under my eyes.
Marcus works a lot. A lot. He has an hour-plus commute to and from work and he gets to his job before anyone else and I gather he’s usually the last one to leave.
I don’t really know Marcus much; our paths only cross occasionally. But I began to notice that when we did interact, he never, ever spoke about his family. I met them in passing a little later, so I know they actually exist. There are two kinds of people I flat-out don’t trust; people who say they don’t care about music and those who don’t talk about their families. A mutual acquaintance once told me that they didn’t trust Marcus. He didn’t know why…there was just that “feeling”.
Eventually I learned that Marcus met his current wife at a previous job, where he spent all of his time. I remember he once joked about how, on the one family vacation he’s taken in the years I’ve known him, his son texted “the entire time he was awake”. I understand Marcus’s current wife is a lot like Marcus. And I wonder when they see their kids and when they’re a family together.
I don’t want to be like Marcus.
But this morning I realized something.
I’m getting bags under my eyes. Like Marcus.
They’re not sleep bags. Believe me; I’m very familiar with the bags caused by sleep deprivation. They may be connected to aging. But I’ve seen plenty of those kinds of eye bags, too, and I don’t think it’s that. These have been there for a while. They started slow, but are now undeniable. These bags I’m getting look just like Marcus’s.
Bags from stress and weariness.
Marcus is what I would call a slave to the system. He’s working as hard as he can to get ahead. To climb the ladder. To become more than what he is. To become what he wants to be. Whatever he has to sacrifice to get there be damned.
Look at Marcus’s story and construct the narrative using the exact OPPOSITE of what Marcus is doing and what motivates him…that’s where my bags come from.
Either way, we’re all motivated by something. A slave to something.
“You gotta serve somebody.” - Bob Dylan
Why can’t we just LIVE?