The Catfish Concept
Saturdays generally look the same. I get up binge a few episodes of whatever I am watching, do something productive and then binge some more. Being productive can take many forms but today I would like to share what my productivity lead too. Something I would like to christen the Catfish Concept.
To properly explain what this means let’s start with who I am. Most of the people who read this know me personally but I feel this section is great just in case this goes viral. I am a 25-year old wannabe screenwriter residing (currently) in Stellenbosch, South Africa. I recently got engaged to a wonderful woman (who I have actually met) and we will be married soon and will enjoy marital bliss.
In this season of planning a wedding, my constant companion has been unpredictability. From what flat we are moving into, to my new job, to the moving…everything is in a constant state of flux.
Now pin that on your imaginary pinboard…
Today my binging was Catfish: The TV Show. Which, for me, was very sad. I couldn’t, for the most part, understand the emotional trauma and pain that the Catfisher had to go through to feel so isolated from the world that they felt they had to reinvent themselves to meet someone. I don’t think what they did was right and I don’t think the pain they had caused was warranted, but I have some sympathy for they are going through. (What is being catfished?)
So after watching a few episodes and feeling the intense sadness of these very hurt and misunderstood individuals (Catfisher & Catfishee) I needed a bit of a break so I put on some upbeat music made some coffee and was just about to sit down when I had this need to just experience silence. I turned the music off and let the silence wash over me.
My flat faces a busy street as well as facing a big parking lot close to a train station. There are minibus taxis picking up commuters and taking them from here to where they would like to go.
As I was sitting, looking out onto the street I saw a man on his phone waiting for a taxi to come and I had a thought, I call it divine revelation. His waiting is where life happens. Life wasn’t the whooshing of the cars on the busy road; life was this man waiting. I thought back to moments where I waited for my gran outside the karate studio and the life I saw. Families walking past living, doing, breathing. I think of waiting for my window to be repaired and seeing the life in that waiting area.
I thought of where I am now waiting and this phrase resonated with me. Life is in the waiting. I think for so long we have been led awry by dreams and goals and aspirations. I look at my life, where I am now. I think of the many times I have said or thought “I am ready for my life to start” meaning that I am ready to start ticking off some goals and to be in the space where this dream in my head manifests itself in reality. I have been fooled to think that once I do this or become that, I will be on this happiness cloud. I look at the planning of my wedding something I will only experience once in my life, in how much of this have I been living?
Before I go any further, I am not at any moment unhappy with my life. I would rather say that I am not always living my life. I am sometimes, living my future and in many occasions, I have missed the life that happens in the waiting. The life that is seated in the place between the goals, dreams, and aspirations.
This is what I call the Catfish Concept. The idea that my complete contentment is seated in a place where my dreams have become reality. We have in many ways become like the catfishes, we are so concerned with what could be that we forget what is.
I feel that societal pressure has taken my generation and turned them into people seeking happiness and content in where they are going and not in where they are. I feel we have traded in the joys of sitting by a window and listening to the rain for figuring out how to capture and share that moment. We have traded in being for becoming. Living for sharing.
For me, the outworking of this revelation is about remembering that if we only live in the moments we achieve our dreams we aren’t living at all. Life is in the waiting.
(Like my one friend, and the Bible, would say)
I am not inherently opposed to sharing memories, photos and experiences online rather that sometimes we focus on sharing how great our lives are instead of just enjoying how great our lives are.