You Are Your Main Obligation

The only constant in life is change. As soon as you think you've got something figured out, here comes a variable you never expected. You can plot, and plan as much as you like, but something is going to catch you off guard. I used to never be late to things, and I'd always do everything I said I was going to do regardless of how difficult, or time-consuming. Lately, I've noticed that I go back on my word far more than I ever intended. Not because I've suddenly become flaky, but because the unexpected arrives grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

The fabled monkey wrench grinding into the gears that comprise your life. The sound of steel, and iron scraping together to cause an unholy uproar inside your head. The fury, and fervor combining to generate a grand distraction, keeping you from the things you truly want to do with your days. Work, school, relationships, and everything else keeps chipping away at your sanity until one day you either breakdown, or begin cutting things out.

Of course you don't want to neglect your loved ones, but there's always that thought that you'll see them later. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Sometimes goodbye becomes permanent, and you're left to pick up the pieces of your shattered reality. I wish I could tell you that things get back to normal after a while, but once a significant change is made, it can't be undone. Adaptation is the cornerstone of an effective life.

Over the past few months I've experienced things that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. In fact, I've given up on having enemies altogether. Sure, I still get irritated with people sometimes, but the rage I've held for people who've wronged me in the past is gone. We all suffer to some degree, and we can never be certain of another person's motivation. People tend to project their own pain onto others, and our first instinct is to react defensively. It might be natural, but that doesn't make it beneficial.

Some people can afford to talk out their problems with someone who has a degree in listening, and asking the right questions. I'm fortunate enough to have everything I need to be my own therapist. For a long time, I neglected my greatest asset in order to keep myself numbed to the world. When I was younger, I threw myself into music when I was struggling. Once alcohol became readily available to me, it became my go-to problem solver. Counter-productivity at it's finest.

I can't say that I'd be doing any better in life if I stayed as obsessed with creating music as I have been lately, but I know I could've avoided a lot of heartache. Then again, some of the greatest art is inspired by the worst moments. One funny thing about life is that the hardest times often bring out the best in you. Sink or swim, as they say. Some birds are taught to fly by being pushed out of their nest. Trying times are indeed a part of nature, and can't be avoided. The key is figuring out what gets you through those rough spots, and that's a question only you can answer.

Today I want you to do that one thing that really brings you joy. I know you've got obligations, and you feel like you don't have enough time, but you owe it to yourself to make the time. You may be so tired you just want to binge-watch television when you get home, or you might have kids that won't leave you alone, but you need to connect with your passion. Don't do it because I asked, or because you think it might get you some sort of fame, do it for that part of you that's still unscathed by the world. Do it because your spirit needs it. Even if you're only working on your pet project for twenty minutes at a time, that twenty minutes can mean the difference between peace, and madness.

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