I’ve got some bad news for you. The zombie apocalypse has already begun. I know that you were planning on stockpiling food and weapons, but it’s too late. It’s been going on for quite some time, all around you. Are you telling me that you didn’t notice? It’s been going on for decades.
Do you remember The Drew Carey Show? It was a sitcom that revolved around the everyday life of its loveable, ordinary, lead character, Drew Carey. He went to work in a typical office. He went home to his plain American house. He had some good people in his life and had some annoying people in his life. Occasionally he had an adventure, but mostly he just lived his life, day-to-day.
In one of the episodes, another one of the characters wants to quit her job and proclaims that she “hates her job.” Drew Carey replies:
“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”
While comical, the message is simple. It doesn’t matter whether you are happy or miserable. You have to keep your job. You have to live this ordinary, average, traditional, conventional life. If you’re unhappy, then turn to external solutions such as alcohol or drugs to soothe the pain inside. In short, you have to become a zombie, like everyone around you.
Real Zombies Eat More Than Brains
You’ve probably got this Hollywood-created version of zombies in your head. They’re the reanimated dead, with practically no cognitive capability except that which furthers their one goal – eating your brains.
Real-life zombies are much more frightening. They eat more than just your brains. They devour your soul, consume your true desires, and gorge themselves on any inkling of non-conformist thought or behavior. And they are far more insidious than the zombies on the screen.
You can run from the fictional zombies. It’s clear who they are, and there is no illusion that they mean to eat your brains. The real-life zombie horde wants more than just your brains. They want to make you one of them. They smile and have your best interest at heart. Making sure that you are “safe” and don’t do anything impulsive or risky is essential to them.
The zombie horde may already be all around you, and you might not even know it. It’s the narrative that you believe. It moves through the dark recesses of your brain, occasionally surfacing to keep you in line. It was the questions that you were asked as a child. It was advice that you received as a teenager and young adult. It was conversations that reinforced how life should be lived.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Come on, be realistic.”
“It’s time to stop daydreaming and be responsible.”
“Well, that’s not a realistic goal or way to make a living.”
The messaging leaves a nearly indelible mark on your consciousness. The messaging is clear and echoes over and over through your mind.
If you want to be “successful,”
if you want to be a “good person,”
if you want to be “respected,”
Then you must march to the drumbeat of ordinary. Bring your actions, decisions, thoughts, and values into alignment with the regular people. Don’t stray from the path.
Time To Hunt Some Zombies
Ultimately, many people are comfortable being part of the zombie horde, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to live a traditional, normal, in-the-box life. However, for many, many people, the constraints are emotionally crushing, but they feel trapped and unable to move against the norm.
Hunting zombies may sound like a satisfying activity, especially if I was here to share with you tips or tricks for getting at all those people in your life that are making you feel trapped. But I’m afraid there’s more bad news for you.
The zombie horde isn’t out there in the world. It isn’t the people around you that are “making” you live a miserable existence trapped in an ordinary, unfulfilling life. The monsters that you are fighting are in your head.
Yes, we may live in a society that has certain norms, practices, and expectations. All the people around you may be actively encouraging you to get on the same bus that they are traveling on, but the choice is yours. I can already hear your excuses. It doesn’t matter what they are; those excuses are also part of the zombie culture. They are you allowing yourself to be consumed and integrated into a standardized life.
The first step in radically changing your life is a decision. It is a decision to change. It is a decision to do something different. The decision will very likely mean that you’ll have to “gear up” and kill some zombies – the frighteningly dangerous ones that live inside your head.