Perspectives, Cliches & Cake

As a lover of analyzing the human thought process, I have always had a love-hate relationship with clichés, and their [over] usage. Although they have their place in inspiring, soothing the pain, and excusing negative behaviors, they can be a bit much, and often one sided.

Recently, as I was scrolling through Instagram, a post caught my eye, "Don't chase them, replace them", and it immediately sparked my thinking. I asked a good friend what his thoughts where when he heard those words, and he echoed the interpretation of the original poster; Don't chase them, replace them. If a man walks out on you, if a relationship ends, if your friend decides your friendship is not worth the work or the upkeep, the solution is as deceivingly simple as finding a new one. To the left. To the left.

However my instinctive interpretation was a scolding, "don't you dare"; if your dreams don't work, if your vision is turning out blurry, and you can't see the end road clearly, if the universe isn't making your plans as stress free as you had hoped, the best solution is move on. Create new dreams, write new visions, pave new roads, and make new plans. Being lazy is ok, we encourage giving up, you don't have to work so hard, because you can just replace them if and when they don't work out.

I remember quitting my well paying, 9-5 job for my dreams. As a full-time artist I was below living paycheque to paycheque; adding my child into the mix, chasing my dreams were what had to provide us with the necessities of a healthy balanced life. I couldn't afford to be lazy then, and I can't afford to be lazy now, tossing in my purpose for a new one is not an option. I can't afford to just replace them. I need this to work. I need to chase them.

Perspective. In that moment I learned that you can tell a lot about a person by which side of the cliché they choose to pick up and run with. You can get a clear view of their priorities, their heart conditions, emotional states, and general [dis]contentment. In that moment I learned that my friend has worry on his heart, his relationship status and its future is heavily on his mind, and as he shared with me, he is choosing to chase the woman he wants, because he knows she is irreplaceable.

I'm not negating the need to leave a damaging, dangerous, dead situation, I've done my share of leaving, and it's done wonders for my peace. Damn it, I left my creatively damaging job, and it's a decision I don't regret making.

Clichés are an important and necessary way we understand and articulate our world, and our experiences. They are also deceivingly simple, and empowering. They allow us to forget that there are always two sides to every story, and that the coveted "real men"and "real women" don't actually exist, that replacing is not always the easier or best way to live our lives, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to have your cake and eat it too.

Why can't I eat my cake? I love cake. Find a different metaphor for whatever you are trying to say, because everyone wants to eat their cake.

Perspective. There are always two sides to every story. Write yours well. full-width


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