I ain’t gotta get a plaque, I ain’t gotta get awards
I just walk up out the door all the girls will applaud.
All the girls will come in as long as they understand
That I’m fighting for the girls that never thought they could win.
Cause before they could begin you told them it was the end
But I am here to reverse the curse that they live in.
Got two bones to pick I’m a only choose one,
You might get addressed on the second album
Which means you can breathe until I mothafucking say so.
To all my bad bitches I can see your halo.
-Nicki Minaj, “I’m the Best“
I love this song, and I’m posting the version with the lyrics because I think they are priceless.
How many times in life have you simply not spoken up for yourself? When you’re hurt, sick, tired or lonely, say so. And if you’re in love, overjoyed, and overwhelmed with excitement about what’s to come, say it!
Would you just watch this guy dance? Get it, buddy! I love that he’s out there laughing, doing his thing, and rocking the fuck out. This is the way life was meant to be lived, in my not so humble opinion. Go out there and get down with your bad self.
When I was a little kid, I wanted to write books. I don’t know how I got the idea, but I think it had to do with feeling that I was strange and other people didn’t understand me, therefore I was bound to be some kind of artist. Also, I won some silly little writing contest in the first grade, so I thought, “There we go! I’ve figured it out. I’m a writer.” It was handy for all those tedious years when adults incessantly ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“A writer,” I would say, thinking it made me sound quite smart. I never did get the awed response I hoped for, but I did start to believe in this idea of being a writer.
Unfortunately, it hadn’t occurred to me that a writer is not a thing you can just be because it doesn’t mean anything. You have to write something. And before you can write something, you have to care about something. When I tried to write fiction, I was completely unable to care about the characters. Sometimes it happened with essays, too. I’d realize after 200 or maybe 500 words that I was rambling on about nothing in particular, just thinking out loud. I feared this was a sign that I should give up because I obviously didn’t have anything to say, but I couldn’t just quit writing.
When I had strong feelings about anything, I needed to write it down in order to figure it out. For a while, I only wrote when I felt strongly about something, and I avoided cultivating any one topic for too long. Most of my ideas and projects would eventually bore me or prove to require more effort than I could to give. To be perfectly honest, I flaked out a lot because I didn’t care as much as I thought I should about my writing. Journalism was the worst for me because most of my assignments felt pointless, and I didn’t feel equipped to handle big stories without prior reporting experience. Writing in and of itself, done purely for its own sake, didn’t interest me at all.
I gradually accepted the truth: My childhood dream of being a “great writer” was based on a complete misunderstanding.
That’s when I realized I needed to tap into what I was most passionate about — not writing for its own sake or books in particular, but the things that mean the most to me. I experimented with a lot of different topics, but it took a while to find something that consistently inspired me. When I started talking about creativity, spirituality, yoga, and meditation, I knew I’d struck a nerve.
Now, I don’t know if what I’m doing is “good” writing. I don’t know if it’s entertaining or interesting. I have no clue if anyone besides me laughs at my cheesy jokes. But I’m noticing that I haven’t gotten bored with it, either. I haven’t stopped caring or run out of material. And the fun part is, now I get to trust my training and leap into the wind. All those years spent trying to shape perfect metaphors and construct clear sentences aren’t going to waste because I finally have something to say that’s worth the effort. At the same time, I have so much to say that I can’t obsess over every sentence, nor do I want to. If I’m trying to express a difficult idea, I pick the best metaphor I can and run with it and just cross my fingers that I’m getting it right. This work feels like riding my bike down a big hill — it’s exhilarating, and little risky, not the tortured process I put myself through in the past.
The other day I asked myself: Am I still a writer?
And do you know what the answer was? I don’t care.
I really enjoy Halcyon’s Hug Nation videos. He’s one of the people I watched religiously when I was trying to work up the nerve to change my life. If I got a quiet moment at the office, I would go to Youtube and find one of his videos and enjoy the feeling that someone out there was on my side, someone else out there saw the world as this brilliant and gorgeous experience that I hoped it could be. In this video, he shares his guidelines for how to find meaning in your life. It’s a long video but totally worth the watch. I am so grateful for him being out in the world and sharing his love of life. I hope you’ll be able to take some of his ideas to heart.
I know my hippy stuff might not resonate with everyone, but whatever. I find this guy inspiring, especially when he talks about all the ways in which joy is a choice. Most of us in the Western world live with a great luxury of choice. We have so many options spread before us at all times, yet we often think of all these options as nothing more than a hassle. When we start changing our minds about how we want to view the world, we start to change everything.
Thanks, Halcyon, for being a voice for awareness, choice, and transformation.