“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 myself 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.