Ugh! Life is so hard. Lately I have been thinking about happiness and life satisfaction. I’m totally over going for the things that other people want for me, and improving myself superficially and things like that. But now that I’m opening up to what I really want, I’ve found myself overwhelmed by a sea of noise that I just don’t know how to navigate. Which of these kickboards or surfer dudes or sharks or fucking drops of water or grains of salt is going to make me happy? Will I ever even find it?!? Am I close? How many things will I pick up and toss aside before something sticks? It’s depressing as fuck. I find that my lack of social skills no longer cripples me because I am not letting anxiety control me. Now fears are no obstacle, and I can learn whatever as I go. But what do I want to learn? Where do I want to go?
Luckily, the same things have always come back to the surface over and over throughout my life, ever since I was a toddler. Art, music, words, academia. Art, music, words, academia. Saving people and saving the world. Saving people and saving the world. These are the only things I care about. I really don’t love anyone or anything except as far as they can help me achieve a better world through pure intellect and creativity.
So my wants are simple then, but too broad. What do I do with that? If you think about it, I can pretty much do anything, because so many different lifestyles fit into these categories. And I also know what I want to avoid: EVERYTHING that does not relate to academia, words, art, music, or a better world. That rules out lots and lots of things, though the last one kind of gets me sometimes, because I start to do things that seem like they help the world but do not make me happy, and then I find that I was not doing anything for the world anyway. So perhaps I should only try to help the world in ways that would already otherwise make me happy. I recently heard a quote that seemed written for me: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Music really is the best thing for me. It never fails to make me happy. I was just thinking the other day, I could be anywhere in the world, in any situation, and music would solve my problems. I could be in some third world country, with a giant tumor and my internal organs popping out of my skin, and if you gave me the right soundtrack, I could be 100% serene and content. How can that fucking be? So I guess music is my calling, and I guess I spoke too soon when I said that fear doesn’t get in my way. It does, fear and uncertainty. Music isn’t a stable life, people tell me over and over and fucking over and over, something you can’t just drown out because it’s just too fucking loud. Well, play louder!
Huh. That voice in my head is getting stronger. I don’t know what I need. I mean, I don’t need much. I love this computer, and the ability to have other people’s vast oceans of words and art entertain me for as many hours as I want in an infinite number of ways. But I don’t need it, I know I don’t. No one believes me, and they wouldn’t unless they saw it. But I don’t care. I’ll give it up when the time comes that I have to. If I can’t have this, I’d like to have some paper and an acoustic guitar. Ugh. Fuck. I can’t tell you how calming it is when I close my eyes and see me, alone in a room with a guitar and a clean white piece of paper, and one pencil, and that’s it. I don’t know what’s outside, a thriving city or a peaceful meadow—who cares? I am not picky about that at all. I would find something to take my breath away, beautiful people, beautiful art, beautiful nature, everything in this world is so fucking beautiful. Why dwell so much on the ugly things? The people I spend time around are out of touch with their beautiful characteristics. I am too. But why is it that I want my beauty to shine through, and other people just don’t care about theirs? They care more about really fucking stupid shit like collecting stupid fucking shit they don’t need as if it were a stockpile of acorns for an impending desperate winter. No, I don’t care about that at all. I am not heading for a desperate winter. All I have is this one deceptively short life that I am supposed to navigate without a guide. There are billions upon billions of ways I could while away my numbered days, but I am left alone to choose which ones make the cut and which ones don’t. Ugh, so fucking scary. The irony is that it’s a kind of freedom that people dream about, fight for, do horrible things to achieve, and cry over. But we have so many freedoms that no one can take away. There are an infinite number of places you can be, people you can associate with, things you can say, creations you can make, and—the very last one that even the most wretchedly oppressed people still own—thoughts you can think. No matter what they are doing to you, you can think whatever the fuck you want, billions and billions of different words and thoughts and ideas, fantasies and dwellings-upon and dreams and daydreams. It’s fucking crazy. And it’s impossible for anyone truly to organize their freedom, because who can even organize that mass of possible thoughts, in order to make the more complex decisions up to, "what do I actually do with my life?" And because we will all always be disorganized, we are really just floating around hoping that serendipity puts us on the correct path. And maybe it does. Maybe there is an intelligent, benign fate that guides us all along. I feel that I have never been given more than I can handle, and I always get what I need somehow, but I find it hard to believe that to be true for some of the seriously unfortunate people I have seen.
I guess that’s why people meditate. They can quiet their thoughts and be free to move onto more important decisions. But I guess thoughts are my favorite; they are where I live and they are what energize me. In fact, the loss of physical freedoms might not bother me as much as it would bother others. However, I would be pretty devastated if I were no longer able to express the many thoughts and ideas I develop, whether through my mouth or my guitar, or a machine as complicated as this computer.
Ugh, I fucking love music. How can it not be my calling? If it's not--if my skills can’t catch up to my passion—then I know there is no real point to this life. Pretty gloomy, but it is true. And the weird thing is, I strongly believe that my skills can catch up, but there are definitely some poor saps on American Idol who truly love music more than anything else but will never be good at it. Do their lives have no meaning? Or did they miss something at some point along the way that would have given them their great life?
But I mean, I keep thinking, I did choir and this band and this and that, and it didn’t make me come alive, so music must not be my calling. But that’s not true at all. If certain musical pursuits make me come alive like a fucking beast of an automaton that’s been out of service for 100 years and gets fixed by some legend of a handyman… then there is something there. And if that feeling was the meaning of life, and I could make that feeling come upon me very often, I would be satisfied with life. I wouldn’t question that this world is a good one and that life has meaning. Yet so far it has been elusive—is it supposed to be? Is it natural that when you go after that feeling, it just disappears? And even when you try to move towards it systematically, separating out the elements of a beautiful moment and recreating them one by one… still, nothing happens? I have nobody to ask. I don’t know anyone who really believes their life is totally fulfilling. Most of the people I know are in fact totally miserable, and that’s humanity for the most part, at least modern humanity.
So I’ve been trying many things lately, being more sociable, trying to play music with others, working hard at improving my musical skills, throwing myself into school work. I fucking hate doing school work, why do I continue to do it? I just love learning. I love empiricism and science and observation. But why can’t we do these things independently? They make it so fucking hard, but it isn’t really that hard. Science doesn’t have to involve thousands of dollars and fancy equipment. Sometimes it’s nothing more than sitting in the grass and watching the ants for hours. What could be better? Ugh, the single WORST thing about modern civilization is how, this world as it is, it’s a parody of a utopia. Like, the stuff of life—the natural world, the relationships we form, the ideas and emotions we have—they will always be perfectly sculpted and ideal. So when you’re living your life, it seems like the world is perfect and you’re living in a utopia, but then you go to enjoy these things, and someone takes it away from you. It’s nothing forceful even, it’s as simple as, “If you waste your time on satisfying garbage like that, we will see to it that you can’t eat.” Satisfying garbage, what an oxymoron. And what a fucking choice they give us. It’s horrible. You’re born into this world and you see all this awesome, awesome stuff as a child that makes you feel so alive and lucky, and then you grow up and “mature” to realize that none of this stuff was ever yours for the taking. Someone owns it, and they bargain that you can have a stake in it if you do all these crazy things for them. But then at the end of your life, you never achieve it and you realize, too late, that whole time you were just a slave, and you wasted your time working a plantation when you could have just walked out and forcefully taken what was rightfully yours. Ugh, I just don’t know anymore. Right? How could something be garbage if it satisfies you? How can music be a waste of time when it can give us ANY FEELING WE WANT in the entire world?
I just don’t get it. I don’t get why we consent to this bullshit. Why do we let people tell us that we can’t live our lives for happiness or love or peace or vivacity? These are our lives. Ours. We have to live them and deal with the consequences, and in a way, it feels like a duty to make them go well. How can you let your life just end on a note where you were a slave and you never got to do those four or five things that your heart always yearned for? It brings me to tears because I am still so young, and I still believe that I’ll get to the point where I free myself and do everything I love. But there are so many people who die EVERY FUCKING DAY never having done ONE of the few things on their bucket list of absolute necessity. Their hearts just die never having been used. It’s like when you go to a graveyard and that sinking feeling you get when you read something like, “December 2, 1999-December 31, 1999.” That baby was born right before the dawn of a new millenium and that’s it, never got to experience any of it. In the end, everyone a month away from death outlived this baby. But in the end, if we all die without following our hearts, we are all just sad month-long lives. We are born and then at some point we die, but nothing has happened in between, nothing at all of significance. We’re all born with this immense potential and this immense opportunity… by that I mean, there is a world of amazing opportunities both within and without us. But then, you just die before you get to see any of it? See? Dead babies.
And me, I’m just an incompetent loser with a guitar on my knee, and I'm all right with that.