I do my best to share my struggles as well as my successes. Right now, for example, I’m like – man, did I go too far with this upcoming single? Is it too experimental? I think, ah, why haven’t I made music videos? I think, I need to post on social media more. Whatever growth I achieve isn’t enough. Whatever song I made could’ve been better. And on it goes.
I often think about Anthony Bourdain. He was the host of the show ‘Parts Unknown’. He got to travel the world and taste food from all different cultures. He chipped away at his first book while working his 9-5 and ultimately achieved the improbable. And yet, in the end, he hanged himself. The successful author, Ernest Hemmingway, shot himself. Kurt Cobain, same. And I could go on. There is no level of success, or number of external achievements, that protect us from ourselves. We’re always tucked behind our own armor, so we can’t be protected by it. Behind the walls we put up, there we are, already inside, always. And if all of our work to ‘build ourselves’ is external – our jobs, our homes, the stuff we buy – then, I think, at one point or another, gone unaddressed, the internal world that we’ve ignored will eat us from the inside.
I think about that when I’m confronted with the intensity of my own perfectionism, say, or the not-good-enough-ness of any achievement. Or even here, writing this, posting a picture of myself; the amount of internal friction I feel when posting on social media is ridiculous. I’m a far cry from wandering my hometown, Fairfield, drunk at 3AM, but what caused me to do that is probably still within me, in a lesser form, expressing itself in subtler ways. If I ignore it, who knows how it’d ending up expressing itself in five years, ten years, twenty years. I’ve got to put in the work. I need to watch for weeds growing in my internal garden.
I say all that to say, to all those with a laundry list of external goals, write down some internal goals as well. I’m suggesting that to you, and to myself. Our struggles gain a greater hold on us in the dark. Shine a light on ‘em. It’s cool. We all struggle. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something. 💀 ☀️