You can. There’s no question about it. The only one who can stop you is, well, you. I know – everyone says that. But there’s something particularly true in what is timelessly repeated.
It’s very easy to find excuses. I don’t want to hurt him. She will be mad at me. I will disappoint them. I will be judged for it. They won’t understand. I don’t know how. What if I fail?
They’re all excuses. Stop this, right now. You can. And you should.
There’s a song that highlights this a little bit. Red Violins, by The Gaslight Anthem. Have you heard it? If you haven’t, it’s ok. Here it is:
I love this song for a very particular reason. On the chorus, he says a surprisingly simple -and kind of obvious- phrase that hits me every time.
What he says is: “If you want it, then you want it”.
But it’s not just the phrase; it’s the way he says it. I visualize someone raising his shoulders with acceptance, a small smile and a facial expression that clearly says: Well, if you really want it, who the hell can go against you? If you want it, then there’s nothing anyone can do. You want it, and that’s that.
So, are you feeling inspired?
There’s another song that I think illustrates very well what I am trying to say. If you’re into indie alternative, you might have heard it already: Invincible, from Muse. The whole song is amazing and very uplifting, but my favorite part is a particular phrase.
He says: “Do it on your own / It makes no difference to me / What you leave behind / What you choose to be”. What I realized is that, good God, he’s right. It makes no difference to others what we make with ourselves and our lives.
Here’s the song:
I mean, yes. I suppose it does make a difference to the people who love us. My mother wants me to be happy, and if I suddenly decide that what will make me truly happy is to live among lions in the middle of the African savanna, she will probably be mad; at first, anyway. She will think I am not doing the right choice and will be distressed about it (and be sure that I know how distressed she is).
So, yes, it makes a difference to some. But what I am saying is that, deep down, deep deep deeeeeeep down, at the end of the day, during the sunset of the last day of our lives, while the planet is its last rotation – ok, that’s too far ahead (let’s hope). Basically, at the end -or deep deep deeeeep down- others will not think about what we did with our lives; they will be too busy thinking about what they did with their lives.
Please note: this is not selfish. Think about it for a second. Before you sleep tonight, or in a week, or in a month, or in a year, or in a – you get it. In a while, think back about a choice that someone decided to do; like, travel to India for three months. Do you care about that? Of course not. It has nothing to do with you, anyway.
So, what I am saying is that, at the end (or deep deep deeeep down), you don’t care if another person that you know is a biologist or an artist. If he or she dropped out of school, abandoned his partner out of the blue, cheated on someone, left everything to travel the world. Sure, you feel satisfied and happy if you know the outcomes were good, and maybe you’ll feel sad for them if they weren’t.
But at the end (or deep deep deeeep down), it doesn’t matter.
So, if it doesn’t matter, what are you waiting for to do whatever it is that you want to do?
Go on. Do it. Right now.
Just do it, for God’s sake.
Enjoy the anticipation. It’s the best part. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, let your body and mind absorb the sensations and feelings that are flooding your cells, running through your blood, electrifying your synapses. Feel everything.
Then open your eyes. And just do it.
Remember: if you want it, then you want it.
And no one can do a damn thing about it.