Thursday, April 05, 2018

The Most Important Thing

I was watching an advertisement for Masterclass on YouTube with Spike Lee.  At the end of the piece, he said something which brought tears to my eyes:  "The majority of people live, work and die and hate every minute of it.  So if you can make a living doing what you love -- you've won."
And yet, why is it so difficult to do that very thing?  So many people strive to win and fail.  Or do they not try hard enough?  Or do they even know what it is they enjoy doing?
I've thought about this about my own life for many years.  No one wants to grow up to be a copier repairman.  It's a stressful and thankless job, not to mention an underpaid one.  Most Eastern philosophies such as Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism think one must accept their lot in life and make the best of it.  Basically, bullshitting yourself into thinking you like your job when, in fact, you don't. 
I think the only way to win this game of life is to get serious.  To blast out of your life all the various and sundry accoutrements that halt and hinder your progress toward doing what you love and making a living doing so.  How to do so?  One has to isolate and categorize the rungs of the ladder:

1)  What is it you love to do?

2)  How is one recognized for doing it?

3)  What careers are available for those who do it?

4)  How long will this take?

5)  What must you sacrifice in order to do it?

6)  Is it worth it?

7)  If you're serious about it, never give up.

I love writing.  This is the one thing I have done since I was a child and continue to do to some extent throughout my life.  But I could fill a warehouse with the failed attempts at novels and scattered poems that I've never even had the courage to submit.  But I think, now, I will submit those poems.  I did this once when I was in high school, but I was had.  It's called 'vanity publishing' and my vanity was certainly hooked.  I won a 'Silver Certificate' and had my poem published in an anthology called 'Poems of the Western World'...wha??  It only served to add importance and significance to those so-called poets who pined for such things.  I guess the fact I still have the ponderous tome in my library is evidence enough that my vanity has not waned in the interim.
But this time my submissions will be to actual poetry magazines and publications.  I want to know what the world thinks of them and how I can improve my craft.  Time will tell.  And I will keep whoever reads this blog appraised of the situation as it develops.
Until then, I am recalibrating my compass for a different pole... maybe I'll win.


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