“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.”
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.
You get up two and a half million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do: you get a house with a 25 year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shitbox, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life, at a level of fuck you. Somebody wants you to do something, fuck you. Boss pisses you off, fuck you! Own your house. Have a couple bucks in the bank. Don’t drink. That’s all I have to say to anybody on any social level.
John Goodman, The Gambler
Defined by some as being consumer-debt free and having at enough money in the bank to last you for at least six months with no money coming it, the notion of f#ck you money sounds quite appealing.
What’s the point of having f#ck you money? Well, besides the obvious, that you can say f#ck you whenever you feel like it, for any reason at all, there are a couple of added benefits to reaching this level of financial independence.
Last night, I was reading an article and stumbled upon an interesting statistic: the average woman kisses fifteen men during her life. I told my girlfriend that, and she asked me how many girls I had kissed.
To be honest, I’ve always thought it to be quite futile to count such things. Not that I find the pursuit of love to be trivial by any means. Quite the opposite. But what difference does it matter how many girls a man kisses? And if it does matter, why does it matter?
On Monday evening, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a forty-six-year-old black man named George Floyd died in a horrific and terrible way.
As it’s not my goal to detail the events, you can read more about what happened here.
I’m not in the business of passing judgement, or trying to explain who did what and why, but there’s one aspect that I’d like to write about: the fact that we often forget the most inalienable of human rights – human decency.
It feels like being afraid of heights and having to live at the top floor of a skyscraper.
It also feels like the building is on fire. Burning from the inside out, slowly consuming floor by floor until it reaches you.
It feels as if your only choices are to either jump or accept that you are going to burn. Either way, you’re pretty much out of control.
That’s how I felt for years and years; so long, actually, that it became my own emotional baseline, so I understand quite well the difference between the burning pain of suffering deeply and the general apathy and hopelessness of depression. The emptiness. The lack of interest, joy, passion. I understand the despair, the loneliness, the reluctance to discuss about it all, the very fatiguing job of hiding it all behind a smile, or an “I’m fine” delivered in the worst way possible.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
Ever felt like a failure? Odds are that you did. Maybe you still do. I know I did. I know there were days when I didn’t want to wake up, I didn’t want to confront reality, to fight for what I wanted.
I used to spend a lot of time imagining the future, I used to do everything I could to avoid doing what has always been most important to me: writing.
Because I was afraid I’d fail. I was afraid that things would never be as beautiful as they were inside my head. I was afraid of rejection, I was afraid that the day will come when I will know for sure that I’ll never be who I always dreamed of being. That I’ll never be who I’ve always wanted to be.
I started my first blog on the 22nd of April, 2012. A month or so later, after having published a bunch of mediocre blog posts, one of my articles went viral.
From then on out, it was all rather confusing. Yeah, Neil Gaiman mentioned one of my articles on Twitter. So did Random House. I was gaining anywhere between 500 to 800 new followers per day.
By November the same year I was earning around $100 per day.
I see everyone running around for success. And I wish that everyone could have their fair share of success and fame and glory and the respect and admiration of others, but the truth is that we do not enjoy the victory, but the struggle.