Why being the next big thing shouldn’t matter.
Surely I can’t be the only person here (or anywhere) who starts to write something, only to have at least some portion of the brain shove this thought to the forefront: Is this going to be the next big article? The one that goes crazily viral, like, to Bubonic plague proportions (er, a modern day equivalent), and no offense to anyone who knows anybody who is a direct or indirect descendant of anyone who was a victim of the Black Death (and if you can trace your history back to the 14th century, mad props)? The one that somehow lands me an insane book deal and financial security for the rest of my life as well as the lives of my future offspring?
I’m not the only one who thinks that? Okay, cool.
I’ve acquired more knowledge than I’ve ever known up to this moment in my life, but I know not nearly as much in comparison to how much more I’ll know at the end of my life, whether that’s today or sixty years from now.
And the one big lesson whose gnawing has grown more irritatingly powerful with each passing year, each passing day, is that the ultimate goal = happiness (that, and living in the moment. oh, and being happy with living in the moment). “Irritatingly” because if I don’t listen and surrender, it’ll just get louder and stronger. It’s the only thing I should be “working” towards. It should be the main motivating factor for any decision I make.
But, that’s a bit of a toughie. See, theoretically and on deeper levels than that, I know it’s true. I know it’s true because my heart says so. Because I’ve practiced it a few times, and it’s some real shit. Because I know that when you do what you love, the universe makes it so that everything’s okay. It’s just that it’s kind of difficult to put into regular practice.
The mind, it gets in the way so damn much. But I’ve noticed that the only time a decision has ever felt truly good and made me truly happy is when I’ve made it from a place of love. Not from a place of tedious overthinking and Freudian psychoanalysis. Not from a place of freaking out about money, in particular paying off grad school debt, credit card debt, and having enough left over to live — like, travel and eat more than canned peas. Sure, the mind can have a minor say, but the heart should rule. When I let it lead, it’s never led me astray.
So. I’ll write because I love to write, because it feels good and it makes me happy. Not because I’m hoping a billion dollars falls into my lap in the form of book tours and pretty published hardcovers with my name embossed in gold on the spine. I’ll write for the same reason I pushed practicality to the side and took off to Europe for an indefinite amount of time this summer — to play it by heart. I’ll start with that.
So far, so good. (Ah, and I do feel happier.)