Monday, April 9, 2012

The Good Charlotte Gospel: The Anthem


I honestly have not listened to Good Charlotte since seventh grade, but ya know, sometimes random songs just pop in your head, and you just have to log in to YouTube and let 'em out.  That's what I did this morning.  "The Anthem," by Good Charlotte came to mind, and so of course I brought it up online and listened to it.

What seemed like a quick, insignificant three minutes, turned into a three-video encore of Good Charlotte and deep resonance within my soul.  Through that, I present to you "The Good Charlotte Gospel."

1) "The Anthem"
"Go to college
A university
Get a real job
That's what they said to me
But I could never, live the way they want

I'm gonna get by
And just do my time
Out of step while
They all get in line
I'm just a minor threat so pay no mind

Do you really wanna to be like them?
Do you really wanna be another trend?
Do you wanna be part of that crowd?

'Cause I don't ever wanna
I don't ever wanna be, you
Don't wanna be just like you
What I'm saying is, this is the anthem
Throw all your hands up
You, don't wanna be you"

Man, it feels so good to scream those words at the top of your lungs!  The last few weeks I have felt a mountain of stress as everyone tells me what I need to do and where I need to be.  Get a job!  You need a boyfriend or you'll never get married at your age!  Don't you know where you're living this summer yet?  What job will you have?  You don't have an internship for next fall yet?  What type of PR are you going into?  Did you decide what you're doing with your life yet?

People are repulsed and disgusted as I tell them I have no idea what I'm doing next month, let alone next year.  I'm not even sure I want to do PR, let alone have a real job!  Truth be told I would be happy as a lark being a waitress and living in a small run down apartment.  For some reason people don't like to hear these things.  They say I'm selling myself short, not reaching goals, and failing...and to the world's standards, I am.

But you know what?  Those are lies from Satan's Americanized Dream.  Money and success aren't everything, and that's probably the biggest thing I've learned while being at this fancy college.  In fact, God has taught me to almost be repulsed by these things.  (Check out the Bible, he explains it in full detail there.) 

The Successful Life
When I first got to this university I went for the big internship, the over-achiever's organizations, and all the fancy titles.  I won a few prestigious awards and scholarships, and then I realized it was all meaningless..."a chasing after the wind," as Solomon puts it.

Now as I miserably sit through Friday meetings with 20 other over-achieving Public Relations majors, I am repulsed to the point of laughter.  I don't want to be like them at all.  I want nothing to do with this business world.

As we sit down for our 9:30 meeting, the first ten minutes are filled with keyboard clicking and iPhone checking.  I look at everyone's eyes.  They are blue and saggy from lack of sleep, yet wide and fierce as they quickly march out the next press release and email on their Macbooks.

Finally, our fearless leader breaks the technology buzz and starts talking about business--only everyone keeps clicking, typing, and scrolling.  As he suggests a new strategy, they have already completed it online.  The email has already been sent.  The dates are confirmed.  The caterer is booked.

He then brags and brags on how efficient we are, how successful we will be, and how the top firms in the nation are watching us, waiting for that day of graduation so they can snatch us up into eternal PR glory.

I used to try to hang out with them outside of meetings...yeah that was a joke.  They have no free time.  Their down time is spent at events and parties related to their professional life.

I mean, we're told to have a separate twitter account for our professional lifestyle...tell me that's not causing psychological problems somehow!

The more I watch these people, (who are some of my closest friends, and I do love them really,) the more angry and depressed I get.  Not because these aren't wonderful people with wonderful goals, but because I know I'm just like them, and that's what hurts so bad.

I don't want to be busy.  I hate having places to go and things to do from sun up till bedtime.  I don't like being the crazy girl who can't even breathe long enough to get her point across.

I still have a problem being myself and telling people no, but I'm working on it.  I'm no better than any of these people, I'm just observing.  As I said, I love these people dearly.  I just realized I don't want to be like them.  In fact, the more I walk with Jesus, the more I really love the idea of poverty and greasy burger-stained clothes.  Honestly, that is my dream job.

Don't get me wrong, we definitely  need Christians in the corporate world too.  It's just not what I want for my life anymore.  Which, I suppose is what you come to college for in the first find out what you really want to do.

I guess my answer to all the life-goal questions I get asked throughout every day of my life, is this:

While the song most likely wasn't written for Christians, it should be our anthem too.  Jesus said we aren't supposed to look like the world.

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 
 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. 
 As it is, you do not belong to the world,
but I have chosen you  out of the world.  
That is why the world hates you."
John 15:18-19

"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."
James 4:4

"No servant can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money."
Luke 16:13

I've definitely spent way too much of my life trying to please other people.  All these years I've been so happy with my success, but now I realize it was all meaningless and empty.  God is walking me through what it looks like to live out of the depths of my own heart, not everybody else's, and this has been a hard and rewarding journey...but so far mostly just hard.

This post will definitely offend some people, but I guess my whole point is, find out what God wants for YOUR life.  Don't base your dreams and desires around other people's ideas.  Follow Jesus with your whole heart and everything else will fall into place.  A lot of times the things we think make us happy are just a chasing after the wind. 

"Now all has been heard, here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commands,
for this is the duty of all mankind."
Ecclesiastes 12:13