I am guilty of a crime. Ask me what and I’ll tell you. Go on, ask me. Okay, you won’t ask because you know I’ll tell you anyway. I am guilty of walking away from a routine that refused to give me life, a routine that was slowly killing my dreams. I am guilty of saying enough is enough, I want to start afresh, I want to play an active role in the direction my life takes. I am guilty of starting over, of believing in the magic of new beginnings, of renewing my hope, and faith, that there is a life calling out my name, and I want to live it.
Now that I have committed this crime, I might stand in court someday to explain to the world why I think I’m so special to have a say in the life I live, when everybody else is just trying to get by. I will be required to explain why I think I have the right to wake up today and say, I don’t want this anymore. I will need to state clearly where I got the notion that I have the freedom to choose the life I live, to decide the circumstances that surround me, to decide which path I will walk. I will be required to explain why I quit a life I already had, for a life I only hoped I would have.
The crowd present in court on that day will look at me in contempt, sneer and exclaim, ‘these millennials think they own the world! Look at them. Sad creatures. They think they can wake up today and want to be a musician, tomorrow be a doctor, and the next day be an artist. They think they are free, yet they are chained by their own unrealistic expectations. Dreams are just that, dreams! We made do with what we had, with the life we had and here are today! We are happy! These millennials are the most misguided of the human generations.’ Together, in perfect unison, they will chant, ‘hang her! Hang her for thinking she has a choice! Hang her! She is not special. Hang her! Give us her head!’
The judge, being part of the wiser generation, and totally bemused by the case presented before him, will ask my attorney to read the law to me. And the law says, no, you cannot just decide. If you want to decide, you need to have decided in the knowledge of others before you decide with yourself. You do not just stand up one day and say ‘no, I’m done’. You need to inform us you feel like one day you might say no, even if at that time that is not what you really feel, or you feel so many things at the same time. Like constantly being misunderstood.
And they will probably drag me out of court, the crowd around me chanting hate slogans, the dust rising with their feet, the earth shaking to their rhythm. The hangman will be standing at the gallows, flexing the rope every two seconds, waiting impatiently to do his job, to be at the forefront in hanging the first millennial who will serve as an example to the rest. Let everyone who has eyes see, and everyone who has ears hear, lest you be the next in line.
But before they hang me, they will ask me to say my last words. The crowd will stand silent, holding their breathe, all eyes on me. I will lift my eyes up to the sky, to infinity, and proclaim, ‘I pray that in my next life I get to live my dreams!’ Even in the face of death, I will live my truth. I will call out to the life tugging at my heart.
‘No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.’- Maya Mendoza