Pagliacci

clown“Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.” ― Alan Moore

You know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?”

Well, it’s true.

Oftentimes there’s a big difference between what we’re able to decipher about a person, what we see at the surface, and what lies underneath it all. There’s a big difference between appearance and essence.

I’m going to do the obvious here and use me as an example.

There was a time when I was depressed. I had no money, no job… I felt lonely most times, in that bizarre way when you’re waiting for someone to enter your life and cure you of your loneliness. In a way, I’d spend my nights either writing or missing someone I had never even met.

I wrote mostly because I had nothing better to do with my time. I wasn’t expecting to publish anything, I wasn’t expecting anything actually. I just did stuff… built this big, big wall around me, and I never let anyone in.

Of course, at the same time, I was kind of funny. And I loved making people laugh or, at least, smile. And I talked about my dream of becoming a writer as if… it was there, as if I could almost touch it. I spoke with such confidence… it’s really sad, actually… because I wasn’t confident. Not even one bit.

Then things changed, of course. I had had enough, so I made things change. I wrote more, I tried my best, and I found the self-esteem and confidence I had lacked for most of my life. Through writing. That’s the truth.

I guess that what I’m really trying to say is that we need to experience the exact opposite of a thing in order to fully appreciate it. You need to get your heart broken a few times before you truly appreciate someone who’s clearly given the best they have to you. That way you’ll take better care. Spend enough time being all sad and depressed, and you’ll want to make people laugh and smile, so they never experience sadness.

Ever felt like you’re no good,; just stupid, ugly, uninteresting?

Well, you write a blog and try to inspire other artists. So they never lose hope entirely, the way you did. So they gain a bit of confidence, each time they read one of your blog posts. And this, strangely enough, gives you more confidence than any motivational video you’d ever watch.

I make someone smile, and I smile. I make someone laugh, and this makes me laugh too. I inspire someone, and their enthusiasm inspires me to write as well.

The truth is, you always get something back. Yes, you shouldn’t give because you want something back. You should give because it makes you happy.

I wrote about my dark period so many times… here or in my stories, that it no longer affects me. It actually made me stronger.

It made me who I am today.

***

If you want a bit more inspiration you can like my Facebook page here. I post quotes and cool pictures and stuff like that, so it’s something different from what I post on this blog.

Of course, you can always follow me on Twitter as well.

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33 comments on “Pagliacci

  1. A good joke and very wise words – I think we have all been there or at least know someone who has

  2. This is really simple but super profound. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. cocoblaq says:

    Not a bad principle to live by. Good post.

  4. christ0rama says:

    Well, you’ve inspired me, for one thing. Thank you for this.

  5. Such an inspiring story

  6. Maryn says:

    Writing has been a constant in my life too. It’s a dying art, so let’s keep at it!

    • I don’t think it’s a dying art. People will write for a long, long time. In one form or the other. We need to write, just so we feel like we’re leaving something behind. It’s as strong a urge as eating, breathing, or sleeping.

  7. Well done! I think it’s a human thing to have ups and downs…artists have more downs than ups :P

    • Artists simply feel everything in a more acute manner. When they’re down, it feels as if nothing could ever pick them up. And when they’re up… they experience a bliss like no other human being.

      • I think that is true. That is what enables us to put what we are feeling into our craft. If it wasn’t as acute, we would dismiss it as not worth sharing. We need to see the beauty in things more starkly and allow the pendulum to swing when it is time for our doubts and inhibitions.

        But, our salvation also lies in our art and therefore, we must be thankful.

  8. Aul says:

    Great post!
    Aul

  9. You spoke to me I by sharo g your experiences. Your words encourage me because I also like to make people lsugh

  10. callumdownes says:

    Very wise words. It’s true we need to experience the opposite to better appreciate the beauty of life.

  11. Rachel Danielle says:

    Lovely post. I agree we have all felt this way at one time or another and it is always motivating to hear about someone working through it

  12. drethe says:

    There are only two people in the world who inspire me but now it’s up to three. :)

  13. ellysnows says:

    Ya know I think we’ve all dealt with depression at one time or another, I know I have!

  14. Ankur Mithal says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. The way things are, are in themselves a change agent. Current success does not guarantee future success. And vice versa.

  15. I have felt that way a lot over the last few years and yes it is writing that gives me confidence. I am not writing anywhere near enough to fulfil my dream of becoming a writer, but I know that with every blog I post, and the more frequently I write, that people are paying attention. For years I have wanted to write a novel, but I know I don’t have the confidence to get past the first page. Posts like this remind me that it’s possible to get past this, and that if I just keep writing then maybe that will become the job I have always dreamed about. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    • We do tend to make things complicated for ourselves. It’s really simple, actually. You just write one word after another until you have something that looks like, reads like, and (when printed) feels like a novel. That’s all there is to it.

  16. Jules says:

    You seem like a nice enough chap so I wanted to say….but how to put it without using the imperative. Some old people say that they do not regret what they did but only what they did not do.

  17. Merci – Inspirational and powerful!

  18. munyez33 says:

    difficulties strengthen the mind as labor does the body! keep it up!

  19. lediabostic says:

    This is very good! You are very encouraging!

  20. Sometimes inspiration itself is the highest form of Art…the knowledge that we can and do inspire ourselves and others is to celebrate our humanity. Unless we are a piece of furniture, of course! ;)

  21. Tracey Stone says:

    Ah, that opening quote almost made me burst into tears.

  22. bhatiayash60 says:

    So simple, yet so refreshing and endearing! Beautiful post.

  23. Cristian said:
    I guess that what I’m really trying to say is that we need to experience the exact opposite of a thing in order to fully appreciate it. You need to get your heart broken a few times before you truly appreciate someone who’s clearly given the best they have to you. That way you’ll take better care. Spend enough time being all sad and depressed, and you’ll want to make people laugh and smile, so they never experience sadness.

    Jezzamine’s response: I loved it when you said that. Two thumbs up! So encouraging.

  24. nisanre says:

    Lovely thought. So many times we forget our purposes and reasons. This is a good reminder.

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