13 July 2016

64 – Hate What You Love

I love writing. It makes me happy. Most of the time.

But some mornings writing simply gets my piss hot. And on one such morning that made me happy. And this essay’s about that.

Certain aspects of writing just fucking drive me. Editing and formatting get me right wound up. I’d rather sit out on the back deck watching the grass grow while the neighbour’s poodle barks at me. Trust me, he’s relentless.

And some mornings I’m just not a good writer. Some mornings I can’t string two words together and need to spellcheck ‘the.’ And typing’s a pain in the arse when you’ve sliced open your middle finger at work and can’t type with it. But that's alright, ma. It's just a flesh wound

None shall pass. Limbs or no. 

On those mornings I don’t want to look at a computer screen or page. I’d rather punch the keyboard or snap off a pencil instead. Thankfully I resist the urges to concede to the lesser genetic angels of my nature. Most of the time.

I had a moment like this last week. After yelling ‘fuck!’ several times I got up, walked away, and took a breath. And in doing so I reminded myself of two very important things.

First, that I love writing. And that every time I chose to write I was choosing to do something I enjoy in my own time. Even when I’m writing a literary clusterfuck I’m still letting the Real Me breathe.

Second, I realized where my writer’s rage came from. I was getting pissed over struggling to find the right words for what I thought and felt. Writing had me drove because I gave a genuine shit about doing it well.

My frustration almost caused me to forget those two things. But when I remembered them I felt happy again. I was still pissed about writing. But I was content to understand why I was pissed.

Take the small victories when you can get them, boys and girls.

Everybody’s got a thing, says my boss, DJ Serious. Something they’re passionate about and enjoy doing in their own time. That’s the stuff that matters. Those are the things that really make us tick.

They mean everything when zombies send the world to shit.

Finding and doing your thing is essential to your being in life. It doesn’t matter if you pursue it as a career or as a pastime in your own time. It’s your way of letting the Real You breathe. That’s what matters most.

But there’s something that we all need to realize. Even if we’re doing that thing we’ve always dreamed of, there’s a truth we can never escape.

Actively pursuing your passion doesn’t guarantee lifelong bliss and it will occasionally piss you off.

Perhaps you find this disarming. Tough. Go lie down until the feeling passes.

Even if you're living your dream you'll still have to deal with moments and people straight out of a nightmare. Some days you just won’t be very good at it. Some days that thing that keeps you sane will drive you fucking nuts. Some days you’ll just want to say ‘fuck it’ and tear it to shreds.

And that’s OK. This is the real world, boys and girls. And it’s full of hot air, white noise, and bullshit. It’s impossible to avoid all of it, and when it does hit us it stinks and makes a fucking mess. And that doesn’t change when we're’re doing what we love every single day. Such is life when you choose to get out of bed every morning.

Doing that thing you love can’t save you from all The World’s bullshit. But it does offer an outlet for relieving some of that daily stress we all deal with. It’s your own little escape from the garbage that The World will never stop hurling at you. It’s a means of finding some peace when you’re breathing fire and ready to pay in blood.

He pays in blood. But not his own.

And those days when the thing we love’s got us hungry for a box of nails offer us a greater lesson again. They remind us that anger and frustration are essential to being fully immersed in life. Those moments when we hate what we love remind us that we experience life through the whole spectrum of emotion. We can’t appreciate happiness without dealing with some anger, hate, and bullshit along the way.

It’s OK to get pissed off doing what you love. Things will never be perfect because there is no Happily Ever After. We’re not going to be able to nail it and drop the mic every single time out. Some days we’re just going to suck doing what we love.

It’s on those shitty days that we need to keep going most. Taking imperfect action is always better than doing nothing. Small steps in the right direction are always steps in the right direction. 

So don’t fret too much when you’re doing a shitty job of doing what you love. Try not to beat yourself up over it when it’s already left you feeling beaten up. Sometimes letting yourself hate the thing you love is a good thing.

Sometimes a little hate can remind you why you love it again.  

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The House Newf is from a rugged and beautiful island on the eastern edge of Canada called Newfoundland. He was first identified by a potter with a naturalist's flair, and he does in fact live in a house under the watchful eye of a cat that seems bewildered by the universe at large. That house is in Halifax, Nova Scotia and that's where the House Newf writes fiction and essays on things that add value to his life that may add some value to yours. You can contact him at bobharding80@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @theHouseNewf, on Instagram @thehousenewf, and like him on Facebook. The House Newf is a unique specimen. Every home should have one.