What has been your passion in life?
When I was in college, literally all I did was write. I had some zines, I published some stuff in this little journal or that. But mostly: I wrote. I wrote simply as an act of existing, being in the Now and creating.
And then what happened was that I left the rarefied bubble of academia, went into corporate life, and spent the next 15-20 years having it hammered in my head that what I did in those 4 golden years of high creativity was naive at best, and had no connection in any way to the reality of the Entertainment Machine.
That in itself was a kind of startling and soul-killing realization, but here comes the kicker: I was also told over and over again (most especially by myself) that I might as well not even bother writing anymore. That simply the act of writing—of pretending to be this presumptively talented creative entity for a few stolen hours a day—was just a big waste of time.
And I saw Crap™ elevated to godlike status, mass-produced to the point of infinity and de facto worshiped—and Genius slaving away at minimum-wage jobs. I would buy the brilliant self-pubbed book of some great, raw talent who drifted in and out of my life like smoke; I bought their book, and never heard about them again. Then I had Dreck™ shoved into my face 24/7; and I would buy said Dreck™, just to know what was happening (or maybe I just got caught up in the hype). It was nice to feel a part of Something™.
But how many years, weeks, and days do any of us have left on this planet? Seriously, take out your Dayplanner, and figure this stuff out. Give yourself a reasonable estimate on how many Good Weeks you have left, given your age and overall health. Now subtract Possible World Catastrophe and Possible Sudden Accidental Death and Possible Onset Of Chronic-to-Fatal Illness from that total.
You see what I mean?
I just don’t think at the very End, that last time you cross “GO” on the Monopoly board, that what you did to just be “respectable” and fit in—following that “reasonable” advice you heard to “get with the program” and not waste your time on “naive” and offbeat creative and spiritual notions—is going to make a bit of difference. What’s going to matter is what you did from the heart—what you actually wrote or drew or created or composed, regardless if it’s mass-produced or confined to 15 limited edition hand-printed copies.
That’s it. Then you can drift to whatever heaven/DMT-induced momentary Afterlife that is waiting for you, knowing that you have no regrets. Knowing that in The Great Big Balance Sheet of existence, you put some extra scratch-marks in the Goodness/Creation/Evolution/Health column; rather than adding more Dreck™ to the other column, making it harder for other people, closing minds and trapping their attention within prefab memes and cynical idea-viruses.