So here I am, a good forty-five minutes into the new year. For the first time, I’m not just getting home at this hour. I’m not exhausted from a party I half wanted to avoid altogether. I’m not dressed in uncomfortable clothes that I’ll be glad to get out of. I’m not dying to go to sleep.
For the first time, I am just awake as I would be on any other day past midnight. I’m snuggled in my warm blanket on my bed. I’ve enough juice in me to stay awake another hour or so. And I’ll tell you what, it feels great. I’m glad I didn’t go to any party. I stayed home instead. An introvert’s dream come true. Not that I can legitimately call myself an introvert. I can’t even call myself an extrovert. I’m something between those two narrow classifications.
Anyway, I wanted to take a moment (or hour) to write something here, on my unsaved new Sublime text document. I don’t really have any throwback, look-back, rewind of 2017 for myself. It’s just a few things I have began to notice, starting this new year.
I’ve always felt like I’ve been restricting myself. Psychologically. Like there is something in my head that stops me from doing things that I really want to do. Rarely, I allow myself to escape it’s grasps and go on an adventure. At that point, I do a little exploration, then settle on the thought that I’m not good enough at it, and retreat back to the prison that is my mind.
I noticed that I only go for something if I am certain of the perfection I can bring to it. I don’t take risks. I’m scared. ‘Of what?’ you may ask. I’m asking myself the same thing. Society? Status? Standard? Broken dreams? Shattered hopes? Regulations? Rules? Outrageous expectations?
In truth, it is all those things. Or maybe it is none. I don’t have it all figured out, obviously. Otherwise I would be doing something about it instead of tediously writing this vaguely detailed mess of an article. I don’t know why exactly I’m restrained. I can’t place my finger on it. It’s just something at the back of my head, warning me whenever I think of doing something out of the norm, or may not work out in a desired way. I’ve noticed that it consumes every shred that makes up my life, and casts a looming shadow over my individual, personal ambitions and inspirations.
My aspirations dwindle with time as the shadow grows thicker, darker over it, until they seem absurd and laughable, at the least. Over the years, I’ve trained myself to not dream too big, not hope for too much, not reach too far beyond the fence. I wasn’t like this as a child, was I? I can’t even tell. I don’t know anymore. My foundations have been warped by habit and my thoughts have been streamlined to use the most beaten path. There is no place for adventures, for discoveries, and that is the sad truth about adult life. As if that was not enough, I have also grown to be tremendously lazy. And I’m afraid, I’m all talk and no walk.
I’m trying to come up with a way to think freely again. To do what I want to do. To think absurd thoughts and to pursue ridiculous goals. That kind of action needs courage. It needs guts. Hell, it needs stupidity. But how? What chant do I read, what ritual do I complete, what god do I worship? Where is the path that will lead me back to where I should be? There is no answer to these questions.
There are many people who will tell you how to live your life. They will tell you ways to streamline it, to improvise it, to adapt it. All that is well and good, but what if the life you are living is not the one you want to live? None of those lectures and tips could help. And no one will know what kind of life is for you. Maybe not even yourself.
But that is the question, isn’t it? What kind of life do you want to live? How ironic that only by living further can you find the answer.
To all you people who have given me hope or even the tiniest bit of support, I want to thank you for sticking with me throughout. Because it seems to me like you have had more faith in me than I have had in myself.
I’ve recently come across marvelous works of art. I don’t mean Picasso or Da Vinci’s. I mean art much more modern, and in my opinion, often taken for granted, but not seriously enough. I’ve been listening to music. I don’t mean the repetitive drum beats or raging guitar solos. I mean the string of words put together so peculiarly to give such surprising meanings and revelations. The tone in the singer’s voice, the pitch, the volume. They give so much texture, they lay such emphasis and imbue definition into the syllables slipping off their tongues, like the steam rapidly escaping freshly cooked rice.
I’ve been reading books. Books that have the capacity to glue your imagination to them completely, isolating you from even your immediate surroundings. They are able to monopolize your attention and suck you into their vast worlds of fictitious characters and places that don’t exist.
I’ve been watching movies. Moving pictures on my screen that provide such expansive escape from the reality of this world, it’s a pity they don’t last longer than the typical couple hours tops. Videos so thought provoking that they make you question yourself at the foundation of your being, shaking your supposedly sturdy structure from it’s root.
There is so much great art in this world. So much insight and significance is hidden in such things that people nowadays have ridiculously easy access to. Yet, the creators of such art are not given enough regard as creators. They are thinkers, imagineers, they take scrap like random words and boring pictures and stray thumps and booms, and turn them into something of conceptual value, something that adds such powerful impact to the existence of humankind itself. Such art serves as more than just proof of sophistication. It is a reflective entity allowing us to reach within ourselves and uncover things we fear so that we can overcome them, and things we cherish so that we may remember them.
Artists these days are treated like dirt, everyone knows. But is anyone who claims to be an artist really one? An artist contributes to society, he uncovers ugly demons, buried and neglected. He puts in the spotlight beauty that’s been taken for granted and says “here is something you will miss when it is gone”. An artist is a maker of mirrors that allow retrospection. If you have not done any of these things, and have no intention of doing them, then you can not call yourself an artist. You are a mere somebody who is self-centered enough to delude yourself into thinking that you are capable to be referred to as one among the ranks of intellectual soldiers and fighters that have fought off dark evils of society. You, my friend, are an imposter. An artist would never claim to be an artist. He is deemed the title by those he has bettered through his work.