—By Jessy Tapper
Junior copywriter, Momentum Chicago
To be a pirate, one does not have to roam any tempestuous ocean waters, raid, pillage, or pilfer any stolen booty, or even own a boat.
Pirates don’t always look like Johnny Depp (unfortunately) or the assailants of Captain Phillips. They don’t necessarily wield swords or guns or hand grenades to accomplish their aims, and they don’t use, “shiver me timbers” in everyday conversation.
And how do I know all this, you ask? Well, I work in an office FULL of them. And if you’d like to join the raucous and raunchy ranks of this exclusive clan of Momo hooligans, there is a “code but actually more of what you’d call guidelines” to which you must adhere...
Insecure people always lecture that there is a fine line between arrogance and self-confidence. To them, I say, show me this line and I’ll show you why you’re NOT A PIRATE. While, it’s never ok to put someone down while trying to make yourself look better, it’s equally horrible to put yourself down while trying to boost someone else. Be confident. Others will only see how incredible you are if you can acknowledge it first.
LIVE LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING
I’ll never forget the first time I learned what this really meant. I was on a walk through some woods (because obviously, all big life discoveries happen in the woods) and nothing particularly special was happening. Until I saw him—my running dancer man, as I’ve forever named him in my mind. We were walking in opposite directions down this forest path—or I should clarify, I was walking. He was definitely not walking. He had headphones on and was doing anything but walking as he made his way toward me. He was bopping, jumping, side shuffling, spinning, waving his arms, skipping, and swishing his hips all to what I have to assume was the beat of his music, and clearly without any awareness that he shared this path with another living being. As soon as I saw him, I froze. “Crap,” I thought. “He’s going to be so embarrassed when he sees me. I feel so bad.” And then he looked up. He saw me, nodded in recognition that I was there, and just continued on down the path, grooving, swinging, and swaying like nothing had changed. This is what I mean when I say to live like no one’s watching. People will watch, but it’s a pirate’s responsibility to not give a shit.
LET YOUR FREAK PIRATE FLAG FLY
Humans are weird. Stop worrying about how weird you are, and own it. It doesn’t matter if someone else on this strange orb we call Earth has matching weirdness or loves your brand of weird, or whatever else those corny Pinterest-spawned info-graphic images purport. It just matters that you love your weird. This is especially important for pirates, because we tend to be especially peculiar.
DON’T JUST MAKE A LIVING
This may be the hardest pirate “guideline” of all to actually follow. As children, we’re all encouraged to “dream big” and we believe wholeheartedly that these big dreams are in our reaches. We thrive in a world of imagination and creation, painting our futures with the brightly colored strokes of fervor and excitement.
Then we turn 18. Large, imposing words like “organized,” “responsible,” and “pragmatic” begin to fill our resumes, and we forget what it’s like to live in a world without limits. Suddenly, we’re encouraged and rewarded for putting a steady income above all else. Retirement funds trump passion. Insurance benefits win over curiosity, and the zeros on a check outweigh the smiles and satisfaction of a job well done and well loved.
BUT NOT FOR A PIRATE. Pirates work their asses off without any complaints, but they know that life is more than just hard work. Pirates take the time to breathe, to relax, to pause. They smile at red-mouthed, sticky children and remember what it’s like to savor a Popsicle for so long it melts everywhere in thick sugary streams. They have snowball fights, read for pleasure, and eat cake without worrying about their waistlines. They laugh at themselves and dance in public places. They sing just to sing, no matter how horribly off-key they may sound. Pirates joke. Pirates look at themselves in the mirror and don’t see their occupation staring back at them. They see artists. Pirates nurture their passions and protect their dreams. They know that the most important parts of their day happen outside the hours of 9 to 5. They work hard for what they need, but they understand that needs come in many different shapes and forms.
Pirates don’t make a living—they make a life.
So drink up, me 'earties. Yo ho!