To Hell With Swords and Garter


  • Did you feel that tug?

    Like a half-forgotten idea you can’t quite put out of your head — the escalating sensation in the center of your chest telling you it’s time to shift your life?

    Nothing outrageous — no come-to-God moment, this — but rather a soft yet persistent pull in another direction: an urge, sourced somewhere deep within, impelling you to do that thing for which you were born:

    Create.

    Admit it. You often feel it swelling up and pulsing inside you.

    And once you acknowledge it, it begins to intensify, struggling to take shape so that it might burst open at last, like a tarantula-firework, illuminating a dark world desperately in need.

    Yet, at the same time, an oppositional force tugs at you too: the uncertainty and fear of breaking away from the pack, of leaving your staid but secure position, of running out of money, not making your bills, evicted, hungry, homeless.

    And so you ignore the pull to create, and you do nothing about it.

    You bury yourself back in the safety of your soul-sucking job.

    Oh, you tinker with your passions, here and there. You become something of a hobbyist.

    But, in the end, you evade and ignore your dreams, and you meanwhile drown yourself in booze or food or drugs or sex or whathaveyou. And you tell yourself that staying in your current lifestyle is the right thing to do.

    Still, that irrepressible part of you can’t be completely suppressed. It’s like a little creative beastie pulsing with life and pushing and kicking to break open inside you, yearning to grow.

    Have you ever watched the slow, silent death of a thing?

    Have you witnessed the life-force leaking out of a living organism, bit-by-bit, and gradually draining that organism of all its beautiful vitality, until one day, one hour, one minute, one second, the organism is suddenly no longer alive?

    It is wrenching to see.

    It is also ominously familiar.

    And yet, and yet …

    And yet what you always hear about pursuing your dreams and if you do everything will work out — this is, to a certain extent, a lot of nonsense.

    You can run out of money.

    You can get evicted.

    You can go hungry.

    Your life, in short, can nose-dive.

    I’ve been there.

    It is not pleasant: showering at the beach, brushing your teeth in the bathrooms of all-night convenient stores or laundromats, unable to write because you can’t concentrate, because you’re so worried about what’s going to happen to you.

    And so knowing this is possible, what do you do?

    You tell yourself you’re being prudent after all. You’re being sensible, practical.

    You tell yourself that you need to first do this and then that and then you need to go back to college and then you need to do this other thing, and then, perhaps — perhaps — you’ll pursue your passion to become a creator, at last.

    The truth is that you’re stalling because you can’t muster the courage to take the plunge.

    You have the power within you right now to change everything for the better — and if you don’t try, do you know what will happen?

    You’ll die without ever knowing what you could have done.

    Am I telling you, then, to quit your life of safety and security?

    Yes, I am.

    I’m telling you that if the life you’re living is stultifying you and preventing you from bringing forth that which is most vital within you, you should indeed quit your safe secure life.

    I’m telling you to stop treating your passions as hobbies.

    I’m telling you to stop glutting yourself on the things that drown out your dreams.

    I’m telling you to start thinking of your passions and your dreams as your profession: your life-force, your reason for living.

    Start today.

    Start now.

    You just have to do it.

    Slash your expenses.

    Plan it.

    Map it out.

    Focus your brain.

    Find a freelance or part-time gig.

    Construct a fall-back plan for when everything goes straight to hell, which it might.

    Frightening?

    Inexpressibly.

    Difficult?

    You bet your fucking ass.

    Every great achievement is difficult, and every path leading to it frightening.

    We each live primarily inside of our own mind. Our lives are largely an attempt to give form to our psychological existence. We do that through what we create.

    It’s do or die: Life is do or die.

    So go and do.

    And to hell with swords and garter — and anything else that strangles the creative beastie so desperately yearning to hatch open and take shape inside of you.



    December 24th, 2017 | journalpulp | 4 Comments | Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning as the constant in my life.

4 Responses and Counting...

  • Dyane 12.24.2017

    I did that a couple years ago. What a trip!! Highly recommended move, for any fence-sitting observers out there.

  • And you should hear her play the piano, ladies and gentlemen.

  • Dy

    You’re so kind!

  • I speak from the heart.

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