The Devils on Our Shoulders

If there is anything worth worrying about, it is time.

Being mortals with a finite amount of it, how and why we spend our time is one of the best questions we could ask ourselves, over and over again, as we change.

For those who have ambitious plans for their life, this question poses an additional problem.

Not only is it imperative to ensure that we’re spending our time wisely, such that we feel we are not wasting it, that we are living with as few regrets as possible, and juggling our daily responsibilities, etc., it comes with the problem of passion.

Once you have tasted a life lived with passion and ambition, it becomes difficult to imagine it any other way. And yet, any artist will tell you that it doesn’t necessarily make life easier. In fact, this desire to be more, to create more, often invites more responsibilities and demands than we’d normally deal with.

So, we come back to our initial question. This time, we ask:

Is it worth it?

More often than we think, scores of people find themselves slumped against walls of exhaustion, depression, and anxiety after giving life their best and finding it is not returning the outcome they wanted. And, after posing this question … they decided

No.

If life really is so short, why would we take on any demands that are outside our obligatory sphere of responsibility? Making a living, supporting our family members, maintaining relationships, all of that is quite easy once you break it down. So why add on this extra portion? This world of ideals, consequences, achievements, and disappointments?

Then we must ask another question:

What would my life be like if I did not create? What would my life be like without passion?

Can we face a reality in which we are not creating? Without the magic of our passion and ideals, will we find life worth living? Perhaps, if we simplified our daily tasks down and took nothing for granted, we could enjoy life. But would we be fulfilled?

Would there always be that itch to be someone … more?

My theory is that whether we choose a life of self-imposed challenge or one of relaxed, carefree living, we will suffer devils in either world. In one, the pressure of deadlines, improvement, introspection, and more and more tasks. On the other, a nightmare of unanswered questions. The dread of perpetual mediocrity.

What could I have been? Who could I have inspired? Why did I give up on my passion?

What seems evident is that we are doomed (or destined) to face existential problems no matter what path we choose. Quest or quietude, we are bound to stumble every now and then into the shadow of the demon we invited into our life. The only difference being, of course, its origin.

By fire or ashes, it seems. How would we like to watch our flame go out?