You can do what you hate and be eaten alive doing that.
Or you can chase what you love and risk being eaten by that.
I have a friend and he’s looking for paradise.
Here are some of his guesses, where his paradise could be:
- French speaking Africa
- Madrid, Spain
- Kiev, Ukraine
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Bangkok, Thailand
But, no matter how hard he tries, paradise always comes with a catch.
In Africa people constantly ask him for money, because he is European, in Thailand there’s too much glitter and glamour, it’s a big tourist trap, Vietnam is too busy, the traffic is crazy, in general Asians have no empathy, because they are buddhists, personal stories are less important, karma rules all, sort of the same thing in Africa, because there, Dieu, God will always take care of everything, so why even bother? Madrid is sunny, but there’s a macho culture, and he doesn’t speak Spanish that well, Ukraine is too cold in winter and he doesn’t speak Russian.
Paradise does not exist.
The risk is not missing out on paradise, the risk is to always be looking for it.
Life kills us all, as Kurt Cobain said: ‘Nobody dies a virgin, life fucks us all’
Choose your poison.
What’s worth being screwed over for?
In my case I will almost certainly be annihilated, because
I choose to keep writing like a maniac, although no good ever seems to come from it, on the contrary.
I will keep ending up flirting with Slavic women, although they must be the deadliest women on earth and almost always get me in some kind of trouble, like the moth and the flame.
I will keep waking up with rather severe kidney pain because I drink truly insane amounts of coffee (4 liters is not an exception).
I will keep reading about politics, although I might as well ingest rat poison or anything else that is certain to cause internal bleeding at some point. It adds nothing to my life, whatsoever, and still I do it.
I keep being extremely receptive, eager, open, to listen to people’s darkest secrets. Theoretically I am at risk of being vicariously traumatized by all the tales of human misery I hear every day. If so, I don’t mind, because I love what I do, bring on some more. One of the ways I feel most alive is when I’m physically shaking after hearing a bunch of nightmarish experiences.
And so I go, from bleeding my heart on a page that almost nobody ever reads, to some sort of bittersweet interaction with a Slavic woman, to an other outrageous shot of caffeine that must be destroying the electric wires of my brain and putting strain on my kidneys , to an other kick in the stomach by listening to Israelis and their opinions about the Palestinians who they clearly seem to have listed as animals that barely allowed to live. If you don’t believe me, watch Abby Martin interview some people here. It’s one of the most sickening things I’ve seen lately, filled with the most outlandish statements.
And to top it off, I remain deeply fascinated by fellow human beings, although must of us totally suck at building and maintaining connections and even though inviting a person into your life, is almost always like letting an elephant loose in your porcelain shop. Some damage is guaranteed.
These are my loves and they WILL kill me.
So what now? I should look for stuff I don’t love and be killed by that?
Come on, a risk free life is no life at all.
If you don’t end up a little bit worn and torn by the time you drop down in bed in the evening, you’re not really living, you’re just surviving.
So what’s your poison?
Drop it in the comments below, if you like.
By the way, the friend was shocked at first, ‘you’re telling me to find what will kill me? That’s crazy!’ and then he finally said: ‘ok, I am going to Africa!’, after months of being stalemated.