When it goes down, the words enter your mind but you say nothing.
There are actions you could take, but the voices in your head tell you they are reckless.
You want to be angry, but you have been told that is wrong.
You stand off to the side and let it happen, convincing yourself to “let it go.” The events and opportunities pass by and you remind yourself it is crazy to care so much. You ought to be more normal. You convince yourself that it doesn’t matter in the end. Nothing matters. That’s that. You walk away, trying to forget about it.
…does it still bother you?
Does it still eat at you every night, in the silent moments when your lack of action comes back to haunt you? What you passed up, what you lost, because you didn’t speak up. You pretended like you should be quiet and be nice, to be reasonable.
You pretended to hold back out of sense and self-control, but nothing would have given you greater pleasure than to lose it.
You convince yourself you did the right thing. No matter how you felt at the time.
But the sickness of repressed thoughts and feelings leaves a bad taste in you still. Every moment you lingered there, unable to speak, unable to act upon your convictions–it only pronounced your self-doubt. You longed in that moment to be courageous and DO SOMETHING NEW despite the paralyzing apathy, but you stuffed it down and then pretended like, since nothing really matters, that it was okay.
What you suppressed that day, what you buried, had lasting consequences more than you know.
Like a cancer, it builds up, into a fiery rage, but every time you pass up your ambitions it becomes easier. You suppress that fire under the mountain of what you pretend is your reason. You were just being “patient.” You were were “taking the high road,” the voices in your head convince yourself.
But it still bothers you.
One day, you imagine, you will have left behind your dreams and will be walking along in ninny bliss, and that fire will have quieted down inside you. You will be faced with another window of opportunity.
You will let it shut before you because that is what you trained yourself to do.
Does that not terrify you?
The open window, lingering there, that once upon a time would have been the sole focus of your desire and purpose. The open window that would have taken guts to jump out of, but it would’ve been unthinkable to avoid it?
And now you have become so lost on your path that you walk right by it, telling yourself that it’s not the path for you anymore.
Over the time the windows disappear.
You walk along in complacency, the dreams have faded, and you are shut up in your library, reading many books, but always secretly, wistfully trying to remember what it was that compelled you to jump out windows once upon a time. It seems like a distant dream.
You can’t remember what you were fighting for. You can barely remember what you lost.
But you still remember how much better it was than your current existence.
Do not let it drift away–do not let the guilt, the shame at your inaction slip away and seep into you like a cancer. Embrace it. Embrace that LIFE IS SUFFERING.
It is only when you learn to love the pain that it will work to serve you.
Have you any self-respect for your desires? When you long to cry out and when something bothers you, do you simply let it be? Do you pretend on the surface it is the right thing to do, but on the inside you are boiling as you become a sheep, a pawn of others?
You have fit into the mold long enough.
Come alive and embrace your desires. Throw your caution to the wind if you are so inclined! Real wisdom is founded not on apathy but on experience, and you will NEVER learn if you cast all opportunity to the side and live a lie, a shadow of your former ambition.
Wasting away, convincing yourself the life you wanted never mattered…is that still you?
Are you still on the path? Still really on it? Or have you been defeated?
HAVE YOU BEEN DEFEATED BY FAILURE?
Let me tell you the terrible truth.
There is no such thing as failure. There is only the way things are. You may not always get what you want, but if you do your best then you will never have any regrets.
The only real regret is doing nothing at all.
Holding back is the only TRUE FAILURE.
It will resonate and resound within your soul. It will bother you. There will be PAIN.
That is the Cost of Ambition. The price is high.
But ask yourself this question:
Which would you prefer to haunt you for the rest of your earthly days: