Considering I spend a lot of time berating words and crying out their woeful inadequacy in expressing our true intentions and feelings, I’m not entirely sure what it is about writing that seems to captivate my attention. I mock labels and definitions to no end, but these are the very devices that facilitate something I’ve grown to love. Perhaps the fun is simply in playing around with them, and the endless opportunity to create either brilliance or stupidity. I dunno.
I began thinking about this earlier in the day when considering what exactly brings any degree of happiness into my life. Reflecting on what eventually became a successful mural painting business that I maintained for 15 plus years, I wondered why I hadn’t actually even bothered to complete at least one new painting in the last 2 years. And it dawned on me that because I turned something I was passionate about into a business, always focusing on getting a job finished as efficiently as possible in order to move on to the next gig, somewhere along the way I lost my joy for being immersed in the process.
Let’s try out a premise. Say you have the ability to manifest whatever adventure tickles your fancy. Say you can choose to experience whatever fantasy pops into your mind, and have it become reality the very next second. Say you’re all-powerful, and the entire universe you create on any whim will be your playland.
But what if you play this game for a hundred years, or a thousand, or a billion? What if you play so long that when an immediate thought is received by immediate gratification you start to feel bored or disappointed? What if the security of feeling immortal or unchallenged has lost its lustre in all the freaky shit you’ve experimented with?
I’m a person who puts a lot of pride in whatever I might be doing. This is not so much an egotistical, “look at how wonderful I am” kind of thing, it’s more a matter of deciding to do a kick-ass job when committing to something.
Pride might be the wrong word. The game is about self-improvement. When you push yourself to be better despite being surrounded by people who don’t give a shit, you’ll always end up a winner, even if no one else recognizes or acknowledges your awesomeness.
Issues arise when you spend too much time with people who have no desire to challenge themselves or push towards any degree of excellence. Frustration and anger begin rearing their ugly heads. Stress and grief follow closely behind. It’s easy to slide into a nasty funk when you’re plugging away at a job to make a couple bucks to pay for a crummy apartment and something to fill your belly, but not a single co-worker seems genuinely pleased or inspired to engage their toil.