Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tanks or Unicorns

Have you ever dreamt of riding a unicorn? Imagine the feeling of freedom and joy. Not a care in the world - only anticipation for the magical journey ahead. I used to believe in unicorns. I remember feeling that way at school - on the first day of summer vacation: 2 months of free time. So much time that I didn't even feel the pressure to "have fun fast enough" - true freedom. 

But you see, unicorns are fickle creatures. Sometimes they'll throw you off their back and run away into the forest. Sometimes it's their time to go. You have no control over it - after all, unicorns have a mind of their own. You were having that magical adventure on its back only because it allowed you to. The unicorn is the master of your fate. 
As I grew older, my vacations became increasingly loaded with schoolwork and other responsibilities, until at some point that feeling of true freedom disappeared entirely. I still had technically "free" time but my obligations weighed heavily on me. Freedom was no longer given to me - I had to take it.

That's when my faith began to shift: instead of unicorns I started believing in tanks.

When you're riding a tank you are not on a magical adventure. You are on a determined course - set by you. You are not blissfully free of responsibilities - believing that someone else will take care of things and somehow everything will be ok. You are the driver - if you won't move the tank, no one will. When you choose a tank, you trade a fleeting magical adventure for the power over your own fate -  a trade I would happily accept any day.
There is little joy in driving a tank - but there is satisfaction. Satisfaction when looking back at the trail you've made in your wake, at the obstacles you've pushed through and run over. And when the time is right, drive your tank into the forest, and hunt yourself some freedom.

So next time you dream of a care-free unicorn ride through life, don't. Instead, get yourself a big fucking tank.

Michael.

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