August 15, 2020

It’s Your Calling to Be a Rule Breaker

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stick figure girl ripping up the rules - rule breaker

Everyday between 10 and 11 am my neighbour walks his dog.

Nothing remarkable about a man taking his golden retriever for a stroll. 

Except for this.

A few seconds after leaving their house, a third companion shows up. A short haired white cat with black patches... real scrawny looking in the face. 

(No idea what breed it is.)

And this whole set up is the strangest. 

Because cats are solitary creatures. Not followers in the slightest. 

They're not known for engaging in typical subservient canine activity. So this man-walks-dog-cat-follows ritual puzzles the heck out of me.

Oooh but it gets weirder.

On the rare occasion I catch the trio returning home, I'm struck by what happens next: 

Man arrives at front gate. 

Holds gate open for cat. 

Cat nonchalantly saunters in. 

OK, this isn't some cat who just happens to be leaving the house at the same time as its hooman. This cat is mimicking obedient dog mentality. 

But not really

Because from the looks of it, he or she (whatever sex the cat is) clearly is the boss of that guy. I know. I know. I'm over analysing.

It's strange, but cool.

And no. The spying on your neighbours bit isn't cool. It's sad, and odd, and a little creepy.

(Thank you COVID-19! I've now sunk to the lowly depths of a curtain twitching weirdo).

Yet I'm sitting here. Stuck on this image of a man and his complicit fur babies.

I blame my childhood. 

Lemme explain... 

I grew up watching Tom & Jerry cartoons. 

I learned early on that dogs saw cats as prey. While cats saw dogs as mindless gullible hooman pleasers; too dumb to ever catch a feline.

My inner five year old was under the impression the two species hated each other. 

Cats and dogs aren't supposed get along, let alone do family walks. 

It's against the rules of the animal kingdom... Isn't it?

The rules we break

This observation-fest got me thinking. 

About the rules we break as creators. Not just in our work, but in our daily lives.

And so you know, I'm not talking about the kind of rule breaking that'll land you in jail, get you killed or sued. I'm talking about breaking the common rules followed by society and our peers.

The kind of rules that don't serve free spirits like us.

It takes courage to break rules

If we want to do anything meaningful in this world, certain 'rules' need to go.

It's not easy being a rule breaker.

Not when these rules have been transmitted to us since birth. People will mock, or ridicule, or gawp at you from behind a dingy window pane *whistles innocently*.

But when you own who you are, what you stand for, and what your purpose is, breaking protocol becomes second nature. 

You start:

  • Ignoring people who tell you 'you can't' or 'you're not good enough'.
  • Speaking up and offering your honest opinion when most people choose to sugarcoat things.
  • Un-apologetically putting yourself first even when others think you're selfish.
  • Being open about the messiness of your life when most people hide behind an Insta-fake version of themselves.
  • Saying no to wasteful weekends. You value working on your craft over getting tipsy in some random club with the 'living for the weekend' brigade.
  • Writing in a way that'll get you banged up by the grammar police but you don't give two bananas because it's all you. And you're having fun being you.

And you get to:

  • Release yourself from inhibitions that once held you back.
  • Make the impossible possible. 
  • Re-frame other people's perceptions of what is doable (even if they still hate you a little bit on the inside). 

Ultimately, you create magic. 

And who wouldn't want the gift of creating magic... eh?

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