This Chip on Your Shoulder

Greg on Monrovia beach

You have this chip on your shoulder, you know that? I think to myself.

I know it, myself thinks back to me.

Do you know why? I ask myself.


It’s because you worked so hard to get here and waited so long, I think.


You spent the majority of your twenties in university to ‘prepare’ for this, didn’t you? I think.

Yes I did.

And now that you’re here, it’s not exactly what you expected it would be, is it?

No, it’s most certainly not.

And why do you think that is? I think to myself.

I don’t know.

It’s because you’re so much fucking smarter than all the rest of them, aren’t you? I think.

No. That’s a terrible thing to think.

But you think it just the same. And most of those other expats didn’t work as hard as you did to get here.


It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I think.


They should be working for you, shouldn’t they?

Some of them yes.

So you have this chip on your shoulder, I think to myself.

Yes, myself thinks back to me, I do.

Yes, I think in reply.

But why do I get so very upset at some of them? myself thinks to ask me. Like the ones who stole from the last place I worked.

That’s a good question, I think. You want to know why you take it personally, like as if they stole from you?

Yes, that’s it.

That’s because it is, I think in reply.

I’m sorry?

For you it is personal.

I don’t understand.

This was the dream and the dream has turned out to be so much less that you expected, I think, and you don’t accept things without understanding why.

No, I suppose I don’t.

So someone has to be the cause of it – to blame for it, right?

I guess so.

Sure they do, I think.

So it’s the ones who stole’s fault then?

It’s their fault and the fault of the incompetents and of the apathetics, and it’s the fault of the ones who let them all into their positions and the ones who let them continue in their positions still.

So that’s it then, myself thinks.

No it’s not, I think back.

It’s not?

It’s not their fault or the fault of the ones who let them do it.

So is it my fault then for blaming them for it?

Yes, partly it’s your fault for making them the face of your dream’s ruin, I think. But mostly it’s just the way the world works and no one’s to blame.

Then what can I do about it? myself thinks to me.

About the world?


You can try to change it – in all the small ways you can, I think. Always and forever you try to change it. But mostly it’s about what you can do about yourself.

What can I do about myself? Learn to accept it?

Not accept it, I think. The true world-shakers are the ones who, being out of tune with the world, bring the world in tune with them. But to do that you must be in tune with yourself.

That last bit sounds a bit la-ti-da doesn’t it? myself thinks.

No it doesn’t, I think back. It’s about attitude. It’s about being open to the world and its possibilities. It’s about making an effort and living for the way things should be and then being flexible that they’re not there yet.

It still sounds fu-fu.

Yeah, maybe it is a little bit.

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