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The Pursuit of Electrification


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I was not born to be a writer.

I was born like all of us are - with a tiny charge inside me, keening for a joy, a buzz, a thrill. It took me all of eighteen months to find that charge fizzed contentedly when faced with a book, and a further decade to feel it sing at the cold touch of a pen in my hand.

There's a feeling I get - shared by many and alien to the rest - when I lock myself in my room ("Dan, you're being antisocial!" "GTFO MUM I'M WRITING HERE" *hisses ferally*), put on that old song I'm obsessed with, and stare at a blank screen with the blue typing line flickering invitingly. It builds in my chest, and behind my eyes, and if I was anywhere else it would be a cough or yawn but a strange bubbled laugh escapes from my lips and my mind alights and I look out of the blackened window at the streetlamps and feel inexplicably alive. Or I'll read an unapologetically brilliant short story or perfectly-tuned Fanfiction and gasp as the letters translate to shocks up my veins.

Non-writers have a misconception that with sudden ideas, a page appears in our head and we have to frantically transcribe it; for me, it's a tugging feeling in my lungs and stomach, words just out of reach, and I think and think and they begin to spill out through my fingertips. Or, a flourished line that slowly spiderwebs into a stanza, and then a poem.

All of it's tied together with that stunning, addictive buzz - a shockwave I like to call Electrification (mainly because it sounds cool and electric).

Yours may not come from writing. The feeling I've just described has been enthusiastically mirrored by my friends and acquaintances when talking about nearly everything they're passionate about, from snowboarding down a sun-speckled hill, to seeing a favourite band live as they hit that perfect chord, to kissing the person they love, to frantically filling a canvas with blurred brush-strokes, to re-reading that beloved book passage a thousandth time, to finding the elusive bird with its feathers glowing as if sparked, to getting that perfect headshot in COD...the list snowballs.

All I know is that it's the best reason for living I've ever come across, and is accessible to EVERYONE. But people don't talk about it much. People have accepted life as a cycle of monotony, when really it's only a concrete wasteland if you're blind to the luminescent cacophony that's everywhere and everything. How can we flippantly say 'Life sucks' in the face of electrification? How can we be so cold when the ground's on fire?

Bored nowadays is 'cool.' It's considered the cool thing to not care, to condemn our existence with a 'meh' and sit around with a bottle of liquid lobotomy and a roll-up tobacco death wish to bring about the end sooner. Apathy is the plague that is killing our generation. You can tell us anything; you can shout over and over that we can be anything we want to be and that we can take our lives and loves and swell them to encompass the universe, but as soon as the kid in the Hollister jacket shrugs your words evaporate to dust. Apathy is like a grey bubble, a black hole swallowing light and joy and growing ever stronger with everything it consumes. Apathy is our superpower. We feel like we have no control, so we take control by turning our noses up at everything - it makes us feel powerful.

It also makes us miserable, but for today's teenagers that's a mere side effect for a temporary blinding power. Problem is, the grey bubble extends into adulthood, but the power ebbs away, replaced by work commutes and festering bitterness.

I will spend the rest of my life in the pursuit of electrification, but I worry that too many people's grey bubbles are already too thick to penetrate.

We have to act now.

So, if you've found your something, use it; if you haven't, infinite joy comes in looking for it. Do a bungee jump. Paint a cardboard car and take it through the McDonalds drive-thru. Smile. You're one of seven billion live wires on a world infinite with terrifying beauty; every bored breath you take is a stolen one, a wasted one.

Don't use fear of the unknown as an excuse to let your circuits atrophy.

That's all our current 'cool' is; fear masquerading as detachment. "Oh, I'm not going to try hard in school, that's for nerds" -> "Oh, I'm not going to try hard in school, because I'm scared of failure - so I'll resign myself to it now, then no disappointments!"

Life is simple. We make it complicated.

Just live. Love. Laugh.

Burst your bubble.




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