I’m going to tell you the secret of life. Plain and simple. No climbing to the top of a wisdom mountain to hear it, either.
It’s this: Try to do the best you can, and make the best of every situation.
If you can do that, you can look back on your life and feel good about it.
The trick is to actually remember this and practice it daily. Because how often do we slip into a foul mood that we are unable to get out of? (Like last night’s post?) How often do we forget that we don’t have enough time on this Earth to hate anyone or anything? There isn’t enough time to do anything so time-consuming as hate, really. We can only live, love, and die.
For me, I’ll just live, pay back my loans, and then die. I’m kidding. (Sort of.) But while we shouldn’t have to feel that death is rollerskating behind us all the time, we should still be very aware that there is never enough time for us to dawdle when it comes to pursuing our dreams.
We just have to do the best we can, and make the best of it.
So, the question is no longer, what would you do if you could not fail. It’s what do you want to do right now? Because that’s all the time we have, folks. That’s it. And if you’re not going for it, then what are you doing?
(By the way, is it getting hot in here? My heart is racing, and I’m sweating…I’m giving myself my own third degree…)
And by the way, people are going to try to put this question to you in a lot of different ways. The worst way it has ever been put to me is in the following fashion: “Make art or make babies.” This assumes three things about you before the word “go.”
1. It assumes you want to make art.
2. It assumes you want to make babies.
3. It assumes that you can’t do both.
Which, for some people, is correct. But why do I have to choose? Why does anyone have to choose between their dream and their lifestyle?
“Oh yeah. Because we have to make money to eat because if we don’t we die,” says Logic.
“But…if we don’t make art? Don’t we ‘die,’ then too? Creativity has to have a symbolic host that it can flourish in. And raising a new generation can be equally rewarding. It literally needs a host it can flourish in,” says Bailey.
Hmmm, good point. So, scratch that last secret to life. Here’s my new theory:
Do whatever the hell you want to do.
Yup. Just remember that you don’t have a lot of time to do it in. So, er, speed it up. But don’t rush greatness…Uh…Okay, let me try this secret to life thing again…
Do whatever the hell you want to do and take however long you want to do it.
There. I think that about sums it up.
Because the point is, this is your life. I’m sorry, but no proverb or timely quote is going to tell you how you should live it. Of course, it would be absolutely amazing if you pursued your passion. But if you can’t do it full time or you can’t do it right now, then find some other way to do it. Just make sure you are happy. No one said you had to travel the world in your twenties, after all. Our youth-obsessed culture may make you feel that way, but they’re wrong. You’re at the actual helm of the ship, remember? So, you can decide how and when you live your life.
We put too much pressure on ourselves as it is, let alone factoring in when we will die and what we have to cross off the bucket list to get there. If we are going to leave this earth, there’s no stopping us.
So, make the best of it, then. Make the best of your art or your babies.
And read my poem on the topic below.
Make Art or Make Babies
Make art or make babies?
It’s never been put to me so
sharp and so blunt
at the same time. Now I know
my inspiration drips like
candle wax, slithering
emptying my tributaries
seeping down into
one final puddle,
leaving me arid.
But I don’t want to choose.
I want to believe that I have
enough stardust for both.
My children won’t be tabula rasas.
Their faces will be rife with blue swirls
ranging and stretching
like tree rings.
Starry night is on the folds of their brains;
on their cat scans.
And Guernica helps them breathe at night
their lungs shallow enough to take in
the disjointed pieces as one.
Their pastel smiles
and oil eyes
their paint brush lashes
and watercolor hearts
make me sigh with the craft
of the fifties housewife.
My motherly instinct croons in the moonlight
wailing that the world might
be excited to see them.
They are only
white canvasses on the inside
and will be exactly who the universe wants them to be.
Except for a few masterpieces, I hope to imbue
they have many gilded frames to hang.
I am only a conduit in
this world but if I get the
chance to create something
of my own instead of
letting the atmosphere wash and submerge me
I will paint this town red,
and my children even redder.
Thanks, as always, for reading.