I’ve always wanted to be part of the community. It used to be the smokers, I wanted to belong to. They were cool, just a very special mentality. Smoking is shit! That was never the question. In the old days, everything which was shit and which was forbidden, was cool. Being with the cool ones was always my dream. I have to say that I never started smoking nevertheless, and today I’m even happy about it. As I said, it is unreasonable and with the necessary distance, I know today, that I actually did not want to belong to them. Well, I wanted to, but I would not have been in the right place.
Then it was the Trading Thing. I really wanted to be a trader. In the wallstreet world, with so many flashing screens, its fast paced market and the even more exciting off-exchange business. Everything seemed new, everything was complex and the more complicated people express what they do, the more impressive everything seemed to be. This feeling of being a trader in New York as the next Wolf of Wallstreet, that was the water I wanted to swim with.
I got my foot in the door and I was part of this new, exciting world. Six screens daily showed me the many options I had, and with three different phones for myself alone, I felt more important than ever. A business mobile phone and business travel. A stay in London was only the beginning. I felt as expensive as my new clothes and forced myself into a cliché that I could not fulfill, because I just did not want it from the bottom of my heart. I was blinded, young and stupid. And I needed the money.
You can only belong to it if you adapt. You can only belong to it, if you transform into one of them. But do I want to be like this? If so, why do I cry every night when the front door closes behind me? There were tears in my eyes in the evening knowing that I had to go to work the next day. While I was promised the whole world. The business trip to London, with the briefcase in hand for important customer appointments… to feel like you’re really important. Licenses for Bloomberg and Reuters, the work spends a fortune for me to work. So that I can do something important. So that at some point my nose sticks to the ceiling just like those of the other bigheaded monkeys, who basically have no idea about it, except how you pamper yourself with oil and sell yourself as best as possible. It does not matter what you can do, here only counts how you act in front of others.
My pride forbids me that. I do not belong here. The attracting flashing lights have deceived me, the mass admiring me gives me a drive. Feed, which I would have better prevented. “This is the opportunity of your life!” they said. “You must be stupid, if you do not accept the offer to work there!” they said. And I got fully on the train. I did not trust my own opinion and listened to it. But who are they?
I’m still not immune, but I definitely learned. What seems important to the outside, is often nothing more than hot air. I opened the window, let the air escape and obey me. I’ve found my own inner voice, which I still hear hidden, saying that I do not really want all that. I remind myself, “You know what you really want, and you never cared if it was cool or not.” To belong to the Community, to be a leader, an influencer. We all want that. But for what? For which price do you sell yourself?
I pulled the emergency brake and still pull on the lever. I often need all the strength. For me, it’s no longer about 6 flashing screens at work and trading cool structured derivatives.
Now it’s more about the sport. Social media are spreading this area and you will not go to the disco or bar on friday night and enjoy the weekend. No, you go to bed early so you can be fit the next day and show everyone how hardworking you are. You provide your training with a variety of hashtags and every single like motivates for yet another pull-up. How many people really do that for themselves? And how many are doing it for the Community, for their own ego or for the position as a leader?
I’m in the middle of the whirlpool, the pull pulls me in, and I have to be careful not to drown in this lake where I just can not swim. I can swim, I’m not lazy. On the contrary, I’m sure I could accomplish so much more than so many others, if I did not constantly put my light under the bushel. To state this is simply not my cup of tea and in a world of social media that seems to determine everything, I can only lose on this point.
I’m the winner. If I listen to my inner voice again, then the price of my most important investment – namely myself – will rise again, and I will record profits that can not be expressed in money. I do not have to belong there. It is enough, if my loved ones feel that they belong to me. And the right people do like me anyway with my self-made cap rather than with one of Burton, Volcom or any other lifestyle brand I have to wear to be part of the Community.