It’s insane how much i criticize and judge myself. how frequently i attempt to sail upwind by avoiding what i really feel is right for me. i constantly try to slap a framework onto the stream of life- to have some kind of pointless ironclad plan to succeed. But there’s one problem- what does success really mean? it’s defined differently by everyone i meet- and so it should be. success for me is not success for you. success for me was always this big blimp floating in the sky that i couldn’t reach until i built a rational plane and flew up to it. i never knew what it really was, because i was so focused on the ‘hard work’ and any other external thing that would guarantee my ability to be ‘elite’ or something like that. i never really knew what i was aiming for, and i always worried. i thought i would fall on my face and sink into the mud if i wasn’t doing incredibly well in school. at the same time, i could feel that i didn’t like school- and acted accordingly. i was deeply dissatisfied with the life i was living- a sensitive kid in a critical world. everyone had little pitch forks of judgment and i was the center of it all if i said or did anything that i really felt. so i hid. i imitated people and found a way to avoid judgment by making people laugh- by joking around. if everyone is laughing then no one is upset, right? if i’m making art and music, i can’t be called wrong, can i? you can disagree, but really what i make is what i make. time has proven that whether or not some critic out there ‘approves’ or ‘agrees’ with what you’re doing, it could still be golden- in some context or other. in fact, it’s always 100% appreciated and perfect the way it is if you believe it is. art is more than a hiding place- it’s a deeply personal way to smooth out the sharp and rough parts of life that affect you. it’s a door into your soul- your brain- anything you want it to be. it has most certainly saved me from more darkness than i’ll ever know i could have experienced. getting those feelings out somehow- or rather, creating a ‘pretty pile of sticks’ in which emotion can resonate is like attaching a string to something you want to keep track of- or remember- or explore.
i am learning these days to put feelings into words- to be as much of myself as i can be- for the first time in a very long time. i am accepting that success for me does not mean a lot of money, or a lot of posessions, or anything like that. success for me is love. feeling the love i put into the things i do come back to me in some form or another. though it will certainly be scoffed at (there’s that critical meta-mind telling me to pad my true feelings) all i want is to love, and be loved in return. there can be nothing greater than that. to have spent my time on this rock floating in space doing anything else would not necessarily be a waste, but it wouldn’t be as uniquely conscious an experience as having attempted to feel as great and happy as i can be. so there it is- i have no judgment about other people’s choices- only hope that they, too, experience true love without ego, without expectation, without strings. whether or not you believe in an after life, we’re only going to experience this particular life once (or so it seems). when i imagine these critics i’ve created in my head (they are quite few and far between in real life, if you’re confident and full of love) i try my best to imagine what kind of hardships they’ve faced that have brought them to believe that the world ought to conform to their expectations- it must be hard to be that big of an asshole all the time! Though they may desire love and acceptance, they seem to go about it in a way that is unlikely to return anything but more sludgy concrete edges slapped up against similar surfaces. it sounds like a difficult existence. So please- if a person criticizes you- or you criticize yourself- try to see where it’s coming from. is it a place of disbelief? a place of fear? a place of love? or worry? either way- their judgment cannot affect you more than you let it. remember that you are an individual, and only you can live your life. i suppose i say this mostly to myself- but if you agree, feel free to take it with you- if you disagree, i think you should ask yourself why- or talk to someone else about it. hell, talk to me about it. anyone. it’s a lonely thing to be a constant critic. ‘floating’ above the rest of us- in their rational helicopters, approaching the blimp of success. maybe some of them will get too close and pop the blimp- to find out that it was empty all along, since they made decisions based on something other than what they loved. but then, that’s a niche, i guess. not everyone fits in to it, and that goes for everything i say. my fear of absolute statements directly relates to my fear of criticism and judgment by others. what would really happen if someone disagreed? i would consider their opinion and question my own, and attempt to see if it fits, or if i’m wrong, etc. otherwise, nothing has to change. the more i remind myself of this the better i’ll be at being confident, and the more i’ll be able to put into the art i create- the art of life.
I grew up thinking that money was the way to be secure and happy- and certainly in some ways it is- but i had my priorities backwards. i thought i wouldn’t be able to survive on anything less than some kind of ‘big strong’ job like engineering, medicine, etc. it was never me- but i tried anyways to do it so i could ‘succeed’ and make lots of money, thereby ensuring my success. i mention sweet potatoes in the title because they are one of my favorite foods- so are eggs. i could eat nothing but that every day for a long time (and i intend to). Sweet potatoes are ridiculously cheap to buy, and probably very easy to cultivate. how hard can chickens be to take care of? anyway, my point is that you don’t need a lot of money to eat well. you don’t need a lot of money to be happy. you don’t need a lot of money unless you really want the things that all that money can bring- Houses, ipods, cameras, etc. these things are nice- but there is no substitute for reality being what you’ve really wanted (love and acceptance from people who are important to you- if those things are ‘unattainable’, work to empathize with those people, and find something you love doing- and do it). i used to want so much crap- material posessions and all that- and certainly i have a lot, but i feel differently now. i’d much rather find a way to make my own systems and use those instead. to avoid being results-based by enjoying processes, and tiny things. learning to weave baskets, make clothes or fabric, furniture, homes. what is life but a journey? we’re here for whatever reason, and we’ll be here until something happens to change that- like death. our choices determine what we do while we- the randomly conscious amazing creations of the universe (to our knowledge- we’re pretty hot shit)- are conscious. we are part of the universe- not separate from it. you’ve heard all the science-hippies and cosmonauts say we’re made of star stuff- well it’s true. what else could we be? we are special and unique- and i don’t care if there is something else out there that is somehow ‘superior’ to us- we are special. but shit, there i go, off to infinity with my ideas. we are humans, and we are together on this planet. the web of interaction we have is all there really is. we can build things and do things and go places and observe. we can affect what we choose to, for the most part- but at the top of the mountain/the end of your life all that will really have mattered is how much love you spread around, and how much you got back. What kind of world do you want to live in? do you want people to greedily gnash their teeth at you as you compete for resources? or do you want a global network of love and understanding? call it what you will- call anything what you will. but don’t forget to love something- someone- somehow. And do sensitive people like me a favor- be nicer. life is hard for everyone somehow. we all have problems. the more we help each other and spread the love around, the more likely we are to further our species and avoid destroying ourselves by ruining the parts of this planet that permit us to live on it.
Love you! let’s all be happy and listen to music and work together while we work hard. adios. also, sorry if i didn’t finish some of those thoughts up there- i’m crazy ADD.