We live, on average, 75 years. At best, 100. Right now, in the best case scenario, I am 1/4 done with my life. Probably closer to 1/3. What now? This question has been at the root of my "search" since I graduated from college in the spring of 2007.
So, with 2/3 left, what to aim for, what to pursue, and what to ultimately make of my life and leave as my legacy? This question is easily answered when kept in the philosophical realm: the goal is to help people, to make life better for yourself, your family, build connections with others, enjoy the great moments, experience happiness, and to share your personal experiences in order to better the human race in some way before you die.
Great, got that down. Now, how does one make this happen? This is what life is all about. There is no one answer. There is no one perfect thing/things that people can do in order to live perfectly good and fulfilled lives. Now, there are a number of general guidelines that people can use in order to treat others with respect that can help them live better, but our actions are uniquely ours, and thus we have the choice to make literally any impact that we want to have.
For years, I wanted to be a rockstar, but not sincerely. It was more of a "geez, that'd be awesome to do lots of drugs, have sex with tons of women/men, travel the world, drive cars into pools, and never answer to anyone" type of dream. For a lot of people, this is "living the dream".
As of late, I have explored what "living the dream" means. For most people, post college life involves getting a job, building a resume, finding a mate, having kids, raising them, spoiling grandchildren, and then sailing off into the sunset. Not a half bad life. Just not for everyone.
Living the dream means pursuing things that others either wouldn't, couldn't, or would choose not to do. The type of things that are usually included in the dream are heavily art-based: Singing, writing, painting, playing sports, and other such things are typically what people consider "living the dream". However, when one actually lives the dream, and goes after one of these life paths, a few things happen.
One, the craft this person practices has to be in the top 2% of their field, otherwise no one will pay attention, and thus they will not be able to live. (either that or have a famous older sister, read: Ashley Simpson)
Two, this person often times needs to isolate himself from mainstream society, take a step back if you will, in order to describe the human condition in their craft from an objective viewpoint. This process can be difficult, especially when sincere bonds have been formed with those who have decided on a more traditional route. When advice is then given to the artist, it comes from those who have gone a different way, and therefore is mostly irrelevant to the artist's life. This leads to the person taking on an entire new life filled with more supportive people who have the same aims and life goals as the artist.
Three, if a person decides to go down the path of the dream, the more extreme and intense their expressions are, tend to be congruous with how successful that person is in the field.
So, either the person goes extreme, loses his friends, and becomes an artistic genius, or they banished by society as "insane". (Yes, there may be some middle ground) Either way, it's a damn tough road.
But...you know what they say, "If it were easy, everyone would do it". I chose this road a long time ago, (then again, is it really a choice?(this is a whole nother blog)) because I believe that I will be able to make the greatest difference possible by creating beautiful things to fill this world with.
I'd encourage you to try the same.
4 years ago