今日推荐英文原文：《Why Do We Hate What We Love?》
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今日推荐英文原文：《Why Do We Hate What We Love?》作者：Emily Wilcox
Why Do We Hate What We Love?
To do something you love is to know that you won’t always like it.The other day I made like a corkscrew and began spiralling down a narrow hole. Except not a wine bottle (because wine sucks, Nesquik is the future), but a Google search (the internet also sucks, but if you know what to type in then there’s a much higher likelihood of it at least being Robert Pattinson that you find).
I looked up: “why do artists hate what they make?”
Seventeen minutes later, plus an interlude filled with custard creams and a quick wee, it finally occurred to me. Loving what you do is not at all the same as liking what you do.
And that, that is a tricky concept to accept.
Love and Happiness are Not the SameFirst of all, this doesn’t just regard artists.
This extends to everybody, all people, any human with the capacity for self-awareness (so not a certain American president then). We’ve all evolved alongside the notion that life is about doing what you love; which it is. About being happy; which it is. It is those that balance out your very existential purpose.
But I think we have a tendency to get them misconstrued. We merge them together in places they are not meant to bisect.
Loving something does not mean it will always make you happy. A musician often suffers for hours pouring their soul out through their fingertips and across the piano keys. Boxers are put through brutal, seemingly endless days of training only to potentially come out as the loser of their fight. Parents want to launch their kids out of many third storey windows more often than not. Teachers don’t get appreciated. Doctors get underpaid. Gillian McKeith deals with crap, daily. We suffer for what we love.
It doesn’t, it won’t, it shouldn’t always make us happy — because to love something so wholly means to love all the darkness too. The shadows, the doubt, the thin line in which you teeter so precariously, toes hanging over the edge towards hate. It’s in knowing this that we find meaning and purpose. And it’s in knowing this that our happiness, ultimately, arises.
When we love something, we don’t necessarily like each integral component that falls within that bracket. Football fans love football, but there’s still the odd penalty shot that drives them to hold up a specific finger, yelling out a specific naughty word as though the players can hear him, and only him, specifically. Writers love writing, but there’s still a few sentences (and the rest) that make them physically nauseous. Competitive eaters love competitive eating, but there will come a point where that one additional mouthful will be one mouthful too far (can’t relate. I haven’t stopped snacking since 2005 and that was only because I had the chicken pox and my hands were too busy scratchin’).
Because love is this intrinsic connection we have with something, rooted deep inside our soul and extending out towards it. Happiness, too, is sourced directly from within us, it is not a product of any external activity or person. You can’t buy it online. You won’t find it printed onto the inside of a yoghurt lid. It’s not something that you have to outwardly seek out, scouring through charity shops and market stalls and the back of your sisters wardrobe. It’s not a thing that you find, it’s the way that you are. It’s a mindset. A style of living. You already carry it all within you.
Ultimate happiness comes from introspection. From our ability to realise that doing what we love, dedicating our lives to the craft and persevering through the pain, that’s what makes it all worthwhile. To procure happiness, we have to accept that love comes in layers in which, sure, happiness is the surface level, but sometimes we have to dig deeper and wade through the darkness below before we can emerge into the light again. Doing what you love will sometimes suck. A lot. And then maybe a little. And then perhaps somewhere in between. We just have to remember that, to be happy overall, we have to accept that we won’t be happy for every all.
That’s why it’s called a labour of love.
Because sometimes it’ll feel like you’re tearing open your very flesh and this slimy, bald creature will emerge. It’ll stink, you’ll cry, it’ll cry, you might have even crapped yourself upon it’s birth. But look! You made this! This tiny thing that you turded out, you made it! You brought it to life. And even during the hours when its incessant wailing keeps you awake, when you’re about ready to peel off your own skin and use it as a parachute to sky-dive out your bathroom window, you’ll know somewhere inside yourself that you wouldn’t have it any other way. Because this lump of your DNA — whether that’s a child or a project or a skill — you can’t help but love it.
Even when you hate it a little bit.
But Why Do We Suffer Through It?Why does this even happen at all?
Back to my earlier internet search: why do artists not like their art? Why do we dislike, even hate, the things we make?
Because whatever we have created, it doesn’t match our expectations, it doesn’t live up to what we had imagined (ask anybody. Carry out some personal research. Quiz yourself as to why you’ve disliked something that you’ve made. Whether that’s a sculpture or a cuppa or a tattoo design. You’ll see). Whether that’s comparison to somebody else’s work, to an existing piece of our own, or even comparing ourselves to what we know we can achieve even if we haven’t yet — this is where we stumble.
The Solution:STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. The person we are right here in this moment is not that famous violinist on Instagram. We are not your best friend’s nephew who has his watercolour canvases curated in the Louvre. We are not Shakespeare or Thomas Edison or Mr Singh, my GCSE biology teacher who was one of the world’s leading experts on sneezing. We are ourselves. We are who we are right now. Nobody else. Only us. We cannot be them, the same way they cannot be us. Our talent is our existence. That’s all that matters.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO YOURSELF. If we are who we are right now, this also means we are not who we were yesterday — we’re an accumulation of every moment of ourselves, sure, but with the addition of everything that has happened since then, too. Every passing thought, every loo break, every spoonful of Coco Pops floating in dark chocolate almond milk. So it stands to reason that the circumstances surrounding us when we made our Great Thing the other week, they do not apply here. It’s a different day, a different time, our bowels might be at a different capacity of fullness, our hair a little more unruly, perhaps we’ve even gained an extra limb (oh wait no, don’t worry, it’s just a spot. Friggin’ huge one at that). So we can’t expect ourselves to produce something identical to before.
Our abilities might have rusted a little depending on our practise since then. Or they might have improved tenfold. All that potential for greatness still resides within us, because it is us, we just need to observe it in the context of where we’re at right now. What we’re thinking. What we’re feeling. Then go from there. What we make now is just as important as what we made before; in different ways, in similar ways, but no matter what, in every way.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO THIS IMAGINARY, HYPOTHETICAL, PARALLEL UNIVERSE VERSION OF YOURSELF. We need to realise that what we had imagined and what we have right there before us, they’re two separate beings. Both beautiful, both unique, both not at all the same thing. What we picture in our mind is exactly that, a collection of thoughts merged into an image, residing in our brain. What we hold in our hands is exactly that, a collection of paints or sounds or words, merged into art, residing in our palms. They are two completely different manifestations, even if they do happen to appear identical. See them as such. Do not compare them. Appreciate them both for what they are — pieces of us. We need to go easy on ourselves. The image in our head is just as worthwhile as the product in our grasp. We can love both equally, you know? Just a shame we can’t gift wrap the one in our brains and send it to Aunt Lilah for her 60th.
The point is, guys: we tend to dislike what we make because it either does not live up to the standard we have savagely set for ourselves, derived from our perceptions of other’s, or it did not quite turn out the way we’d thought it would. But you know what? That doesn’t make it any less great — this is just us expressing our innate tendency to never be happy with what we’ve got. We’re just human beings, being human. But just for a moment, be more than that.
Transcend your humanity and return back to our very origins; the universe itself (we are starmade miracles, my friend). Be the cosmos looking in on itself and admiring what it has made. See your creation as an independent entity, this standalone spellbinding something, derived completely from you, right here, right now. Stop comparing it. Let it be what it is.
And what it is is a masterpiece.
You Know HowNo, really. You know how. To do anything. To be anyone. To live and love and be happy.
Self-awareness. That’s all you need.
Look inside yourself. Wade past all that dusty crap stored in boxes labelled “Adult Responsibilities” (trust me, it’s a trap. The cardboard is flimsy, rotten, mouldy and everything inside is just a mess) and dig deep for the good stuff. Find your inner kid.
Because no kid hates what they’ve made — they are not comparing it to others, they are not limiting themselves to predetermined criteria. They are simply using their minds, all corners of it, to bring to life a piece of themselves. That’s the only difference you see. In the years that we’ve grown we’ve been exposed to comparison and self-doubt. We’ve witnessed others evolve in ways we have yet to, sprouting out in all different directions whilst we remain rooted in the soil. But not children. They are simply raw and ready and reaching up towards the sunlight. They don’t care what flower they blossom into. They only care that they do.
So just remember: you can’t get a tattoo without first being stabbed.
You can’t love something so wholeheartedly without suffering for it, somehow. Love, by definition, is the very deepest of feelings. The most potent, the most powerful, the most real. Which means you have to feel it all.