In Slavic countries there is a saying: “Called a mushroom – climb into the basket.” People usually say this when they want to emphasize that you should complete the work you started. For most people, it is a reminder of the obligation to keep the promise.
I heard this phrase today from T. We haven’t spoken in a while and I was glad to hear his thoughts and voice again. Sometimes I think that T. is too free for this world. He is like an untamed element – he blows all norms and ideas to dust. It is strange for me to feel this, because I myself am quite freedom-loving. No wonder in the past I was called the Immortal and the Wind.
So we talked with T. about freedom and a sense of self, about independence, about how important it is to live according to yourself and enjoy life right now, and not somewhere in the imaginary future.
I said that I felt an uncontrollable desire to act, because in the last 6 months we seemed to be pushed into the routine of a normal moderate life. Being a refugee, going to almost a year-long language courses, looking for a job, working, paying bills from month to month, moving up the career ladder, saving up, once a year (if possible) rest and living the real life, and somewhere later maybe when we collect the mythical amount of money we will move and live the life we always dreamed of…
Yes, yes, I can feel it. Even writing this is sooo boring, how about living that life? So, for a second, I allowed myself to complain that I didn’t want to get into this refugee story. To which T. replied; “And what were you thinking? Called a mushroom – go in the basket. That’s what they want from you.”
At that moment it dawned on me.
The thoughts that have been swirling in my head for the past months have become a puzzle. This happens sometimes, when another truth is revealed to my consciousness. A wonderful feeling as if the world has become a little brighter and clearer.
If you say that you are a refugee, people will push you into the framework and model of a refugee. If you say that you can’t do something, or don’t know how, or don’t have it – people will treat you as a weakling. If you don’t have a piece of paper, whether it’s money or a diploma, you’re worthless. But when you declare your right to happiness – everyone around you babbles, shocked, but shuts up and frees you your way to your own choice.
There is a point in this.
People always want to know for sure. Who are you? What is your profession? Where are you working? What are you planning? How much money do you have? What can you do? Where you was born? What is your status?
And they immediately come up with an picture of you, immediately give labels, immediately find masks and images in the storehouses of their memory that they are going to pull on you.
You just start talking and they will immediately attach their expectations to you. But it has nothing to do with you.
Maybe you shouldn’t be called a mushroom, and then you won’t be pushed into a basket? Perhaps it is better to be nobody, and reserve the invaluable right to choose.
If you don’t want to go into the basket, don’t say you’re a mushroom. Don’t say who you are at all – it’s a stupid idea, just feel what you want, and don’t forget that the right to choose is always yours.