by Derrick

Chasing Sanity originally took shape as a fictionalized memoir that I was writing immediately after college. I had an undergraduate degree in English, no real world work experience, and college debt.

author in mexico
Puerto Vallarta 2021

More than just reading classic literature, however, my English degree taught me to see the world through critical theory.

Critical Theory is a social theory that aims to critique and change society as a whole. Critical theories attempt to find the underlying assumptions in social life that keep people from fully and truly understanding how the world works.

These underlying assumptions, in the view of critical theories, create a “false consciousness” that actively undermines people’s progress toward a true democracy.


So, instead of reading Emile, or On Education as a simple book on education, I analyzed it from the lens of feminist theory. Instead of reading Heart of Darkness as a simple work of fiction, I analyzed it from the lens of critical race theory. It didn’t stop there. Other works were examined the structuralism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, and so on.

I began to question the world we live in and all the social norms we live by.

Unfortunately, that education did little to prepare me for any real job that could pay bills. Not only did I lack any specialized skills for modern jobs, I found most jobs to be alien and out of touch with what is real.

While struggling to pay bills, peers who graduated with more technical skills were enjoying the benefits of a decent salary, benefits, and job security.

This led to a mental and emotional tailspin. I was chasing sanity.

A lot of time has passed since then. Time changes your outlook. But time doesn’t change everything.

Once you escape Plato’s Cave, you can never go back. Ever.

I am still chasing.

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