I’ve been wondering a great deal lately about the intertwined concepts of time and happiness. I know folks who fill their schedules with all kinds of activity, work or classes, things they believe they need to do and, all too often, very little they want to do. Until a few months ago, I was in that rank. And believe me, it is pretty rank, that feeling of being trapped in your own life.
|"And who told you to screw over all your contributors? |
Could it be, I don't know...SATAN?"
Aw, fuck, you say: don’t tell me she went and became born-again!
HELL NO. However, my outlook has changed. I’ve written very little this summer, partly due to the lack of an air-conditioned, noncrowded environment (I am not one of those lucky souls who can write on a bus, or really anywhere populated by loud, moving distractions), but partly because I’ve been engrossed in other pursuits. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, this is the first time in my life that I haven’t sensed the Reaper standing behind me, looking at his watch and then at my (lack of) personal publication credits. I’ve done a little editing for others, some reading, some art...and this is the first time in years I’ve been inspired to DO and to MAKE stuff, and have done so. So, I haven’t been creatively idle, and I’m happy with that, even though my writing has lagged.
Also, much of my time has been involved in dreaming and planning for a future with my fiance. As he’s fantastically creative in ways I’ve never considered before, he’s a marvelous inspiration; we toss ideas back and forth like a deranged game of badminton every day. A great deal of time and creative effort has gone into our Indiegogo campaign (which, fingers crossed, launches later this week). So again: productive and enjoyable.
That’s nice, you say. Now what does that have to do with the price of slaves in corporate America? Well...everything. The point is, I’m not worried about meeting self-imposed deadlines anymore. I’ll get to it all. And I’ll enjoy it. Even if I never hit the bestseller lists, even if we have to scrounge for bill money, even if we hold several odd jobs simultaneously. Because the majority of my and my fiance’s time will be spent making art, exploring the world around us, and enjoying each other. And this is what life should be...for everyone.
Yeah, right, you say. That’s sweet and all. But some of us have to live in the REAL WORLD.
What makes you think the real world has to be full of Mostly Shit You Don’t Want to Do But Have To?
But...job security! Retirement! Bills! Success!
|The asshole of Success.|
Wait. Face of.
I get those confused.
Yeah...fuck that. I’m not saying some of that isn’t important. I’m saying people place far too much emphasis on things they honestly hate. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, we only have one shot at this life. So many years between gaining some education and watching our bodies decay. Decades are nothing. WHY ARE YOU WASTING SO MUCH TIME DOING THINGS YOU DISLIKE? Why take classes you don’t enjoy, just to “pad out” your schedule? Why toil at a job where your work isn’t appreciated – or worse, is largely meaningless? Why fill up a day with so many things that you have “no time” for stuff you actually enjoy? That’s madness. It’s a madness that sucks us all in. The great lie of our society, for centuries, has been driven like concrete pilings into the once-fertile swamps of our imaginations: DO WORK YOU HATE BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU WILL STARVE. (Variations: Work Hard No Matter What Because if You Don’t You’ll Go to Hell; and If You Don’t Have Tons of Money You’re a Failure.)
A truth, which I realize is far from new, but which only hit me recently: it’s far better to be happy than wealthy. I barely get by. But this is the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m able to let bullshit dealt by others mostly slide off, whereas before I would’ve brooded for weeks. I’m impatient to move, but not worried. It will happen, and soon. Oh sure, I’m in love; the endorphins in my brain blah blah yakety schmackety blah blah. You know what? That’s not what this newfound contentment is about. Love is certainly part of that, but the overarching theme here, guys, is possibility. My misanthropy, twisted imagination, and weirdness is of such a particular curve that I believed a “soulmate” impossible for me. Yet we found each other, and within two days of talking, knew we’d found The One. Odds were so against this, that it’s made me reevaluate my beliefs about everything.
It’s made me realize I don’t need to slave at anything I hate. I don’t need to get this creative project done like yesterday what the hell is wrong with you lazy cow. I have perhaps 30 years of health left to me. Why the fuck would I waste them doing things that don’t make me happy?
Why does anyone? What's that? You have REASONS, you say?
So, from a neophyte neoVictorian writer and happily creative weirdo, take this and chew on it a good long while, peoples: Stop thinking you HAVE to do ANYTHING. You ALWAYS have the option of not doing it. Are there consequences? Sure. Now weigh those against how fucking miserable you’re making yourself.
Is misery really the sane choice? How many years do you have left? Forty, twenty, ten? Tomorrow?
Stop that shit right now. Do what makes you happy.
Don’t make me turn this thing around.