Being Realistic – No Thanks

Image by Kylli Sparre

“Be Realistic.”

Is there anything worse for a creative person to hear?

A wild vixen, or a blitzkrieg dynamo does not want to know your opinion. They want you to say “Fuck yeah!” and pump them up (or just shut up).

You know all those people who you admire, idolize, admire? Why? Cuz they’re realistic and normal day-to-day humans who just settle and go for the easy way out? Nah, you really respect their tenacity and ability to dig deep and follow the path they know will make them happy.

Telling artistic or adventurous people to be realistic can be extremely damaging, especially if they are very young. Creative types are SENSITIVE and, unless they have an iron will, may be affected at a deep level, which might not even register. I am one of these people. My nerve and confidence were vandalized as a teenager, with lingering comments floating in my subconscious ever since.

Young people are the most susceptible, too, because youth is the time when confidence is most cultivated. Even as an adult, when we are more inclined to worry about things like money, if your confidence is limited, the chances of following your dreams are likely going to be crushed by that anvil of doubt. You probably won’t go for it.

It’s scarier not to.

Think about all the people you really think are The Shit. Are they realists, or did they take risks? They said “Fuck you!” to everyone who might try and talk them out of their wild fantasies.

People who chase dreams and do what they want are just as human as you. The difference is that they actually keep going, despite people who might try and tell them they’re not realistic or that they are crazy.

CRAZY IS NECESSARY.

Can you imagine these situations?

“Hey JK Rowling! Just stay on welfare, no one makes money on fantasy books about wizards.”

“Hey Bethany Hamilton! No one can surf with one arm, just go work in an office or something.”

“HEY, Kurt Cobain, punk is dead, sit down.”

I could come up with a million of these, very famous or not. I know people personally who do what they want and make a living because they are determined. They aren’t rich – who said anything about rich? This is nothing to do with money. Everyone seems to equate realism with making money – you know, I am at a point where I would rather be living in my car or in a tent and living on potatoes and dandelions, doing what I want, than to be “realistic” and working in an office or bagging groceries.

The wild ones are the ones who make the world change. They are the ones who touch your hearts. They are the ones make the songs you listen to when you’re in love or in despair. They’re the ones who make the movies you watch to lift yourself up. They’re the ones who write the books that make you want to be a better person. They’re the ones who create the beautiful images that make your throat burn and your eyes water.

Why the FUCK would you want them to be realistic?!

The likely scenario is that the ones who are saying such things are jealous, or wish they had the balls to do it themselves. Why wouldn’t you want someone else to fucking try? The best people to look up to and to emulate are the people who are true to themselves and who don’t give a shit if people agree or not – they know who they are and what to do. That is a rare trait, and enviable. It doesn’t matter if they’re into painting, music, writing, or being an astronaut, they should all be supported to do what they’re passionate about.

What is reality anyway? Reality is what is happening, right now. Right now my reality is sitting on the couch with wet hair writing this because I am pissed someone told me to be realistic, someone 13 years younger than me who knows nothing about my life, someone who insinuated I do not use my head but only follow my heart. I do BOTH. Being realistic only means to be in the moment of what you are doing. I don’t know what is going to be my reality in several years. I don’t care. I care about now. I care about doing things I love to do. I care about myself, not what other people think, and so should you. If you have dependents, fine, but you can still make some income while doing what you love. You can give certain shit up that you don’t need. You don’t need to starve, there are WAYS.

I’d rather be hungry and happy than full and miserable.

Being “realistic” (in terms of “Get a normal job where you know you’ll make money”) may lead to a different reality than you may expect. Maybe you’ll do something like that and end up so depressed that you become a drug addict and end up in a gutter with a needle in your arm. Who KNOWS? I know that’s a crazy example, but there are no guarantees for ANYTHING, so you might as well do what you like.

You wanna end up dying (inevitable!) and being like “Daaaamn, I shoulda done that, I’m a stupid idiot.” Or do you wanna end up like “YEAH I fucking lived it up – I may have been broke but at least I’m ready to die!”

You get one life. ONE. Why waste it? You don’t get time to waste. There IS no time to waste. Don’t just exist, fuckin’ LIVE IT.

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2 thoughts on “Being Realistic – No Thanks

  1. I love you. And love everything you write. I quit my job 2 years ago and have been doing exactly what you’ve written. And there’s no other way. It isn’t even logical to try to function as an “adult” in society today. It’s too.. Pathetic?? Maybe I’ll run into you some day and we can do something crazy like pretend to mug someone in the dark and really hand them some money and tell them about how that could have been the last day of their life.. or something. πŸ˜€

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