The Impersonator

There are several notebooks on my desk.

I am always writing things down. Things that people say. Ideas that come into my brain from out of nowhere. Things written in books that I read. I write down my thoughts and feelings. I write my to do lists. I am always writing in notebooks.

And then I write on this blog as well. Blog posts come into my head from places I don’t pretend to understand and I write them down. I write novels and then leave them alone on my desktop. I do the same thing with short stories as well. Always writing.

Always using words to resist the powers that be.

Words are the only way that I have found to fight back against the normalizing and abusive powers of  the society I live within. Like many non-violent men, I use language instead of harmful weapons. But what is society? Society is what the majority of people think and believe. Society is a massive club that one joins without knowing it. Society is like a spider’s web formed by a large group of people all believing in relatively the same laws, the same beliefs, the same ideas about how life should be lived.

This is what is interesting about society. It is a verb and not a noun. It is a living thing that is always shapeshifting. Society is not some solid mass that never moves. It is continually moving and changing based upon what the majority think and believe. But because society is always controlled by those with the greatest economic interests, the mass of people are always made to think and believe in very specific and controlled ways.

It is funny to me that most think of themselves as individuals. The belief that one is an individual is the most popular and the most destructive belief in the society I live in. Few are truly individuals. Most falsely believe that they are individuals because that is the belief they have been conditioned to have by those with economic interests. We have been sold this belief that we are individuals. But to really be an individual requires much hard work.

To be an individual one must continually be working and striving to free themselves from society’s influence. Believing that you are an individual just because you have the freedom to chose what you consume, is what is keeping you locked into a false belief. Just because you can choose what to watch on Netflix does not mean that you are not being spoon fed the same ideology as every other show and film on Netflix.

You probably believe that you are an individual, but most likely you are not. You have not done enough of the hard work yet. I question how much of an individual I really am. Probably not nearly as much as I wrongly believe.

But this is why I am always writing. Always recording. Always jotting things down. Always reading. Always using words to free myself from society’s hypnotic influences. We only get one opportunity to live this life and I do not want to live my life under the hypnotic ideology of a society I don’t really believe in.

To be myself means to feel free to live the kind of life that feels right to me. To be able to say and do what I want. To live in a way that feels authentic to who I am as an individual. These things are important. No matter how successful we become, if we are not being ourselves we will just feel like impersonators. And an impersonator is never happy with themselves.

When Nietzsche was in his mid-twenties and was successful and popular as a Professor he wrote to a friend of his, “The most irksome thing of all is that I am always having to impersonate someone- the teacher, the philologist, the human being.” Nietzsche used words to find his way out from being an impersonator. Nietzsche’s entire body of work is the struggle to be himself, free from what he saw as the sickening influences of society.

I don’t know if anyone completely liberates themselves. Did Nietzsche? I don’t think so. But he got close. And this is the best any of us can do. To eradicate society’s influence and become an authentic individual is a noble pursuit. Maybe the most noble pursuit of all. And I think it is worth the life-long dedication to writing things down that this often requires. It is through writing that those of us struggling to be authentic individuals (which is everyone in some way) create our own worlds free from the toxic influence of society’s ideology.

We use writing to make our own mark and quit being impersonators in the world.

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