I like what I do.
It took a long time to get better at it (and I’m still only okay,) and during most of my life I have come across as a cynical, pessimistic person. I’ve usually played down whatever I was doing that was good or that I thought was awesome, just so as not to jinx things. I’ve jinxed stuff before and I don’t like it.
But through all of it I think I’ve always held deep inside a fundamental sense that things will eventually, somehow just be OK and that whatever I was doing at the time, as long as I enjoyed it, it made me happy, then all the rest would work itself out.
You have to decide what you like. That’s the hard part. I happen to like orange, so I painted my house orange inside. I mean, I rent, but fuck it, right? As long as it’s left how I got it… it can be orange as long as I live here. So bright orange, bright baboon-ass red, straight shock pink. All next to each other. I also like having tons of fun things laying around to pick up and make art or play with. So it’s kind of a haphazard mess of weird instruments, odd bits of plastic, paints. I live in Ville Villekula.
And why not? Who else spends as much time in my space as I do? Who else is paying for it? Nobody, that’s who. It’s home. It has to make me happy.
Work is the same way. You have to know what you like. Do a lot of that thing, like tons, everyday. Even if you’re tired the fuck out from geting up at 5 AM to sell newspapers to yuppies (true story from my own past) you still gotta drink another cup of coffee and go ahead and write, draw, paint, tattoo, ride a bike, cliff dive, cook. Whatever it is you like doing. Because that’s why you’re alive, that thing, whatever it is. If you get hurt and you can’t do it any more then you explain to other people the things you learned that made it something you liked. If you can still use your eyes and hands and legs you have no excuse, you just gotta do what you like and keep doing it. Tons of it.
Work might be how you pay rent and not something you love but if you do what you like hard enough and often enough and get really good at it, then it doesn’t matter if you earn your living that way or not, really. Because it becomes the center of your life either way. I mean it’s gtreat if you can end up quitting your day job and doing something rad for a living but honestly as long as you get to do tons of what you like that’s what matters.
And if you don’t know what you like you gotta just start trying crap out. Try everything even if it sounds stupid as hell. Go along with someone who knows how and ask stuff and try things. If you try about a hundred things you’ll probably find one thing you like, or at least one thing you’re ok at, and maybe even something that you like AND are ok at.
Life gets better after a while, then it sucks, then it’s awesome, then it’s torture, then it rocks, then it’s awful, then it’s bearable, then it’s ok, then it’s pretty good and then the next thing you know you’re dead anyway and everybody else just keeps on going. You may as well do what you like with your life. Nobody else owns it, after all. Nobody else spends as much time in it, or works hard to pay for it, but you.
(Mar 7, 2009)