To see a marriage so bubbling and intimate and alive, to see a business with its interlocking efficiency, to see a work of art filled with splashing colors and the smallest of lines — none of these things happened out of whimsy.
We can look at a picture of life in motion and assume that it was instant magic. We’re tickled by “love at first sight” because it stirs our easy-button of convenience. And it looks like luck falls out of the sky for everyone else. But: dreams take sweat and scars and apologies. Hopes are stitched with false starts and valleys of failure. The ease of intimacy you see in a single conversation took many, many turns through the desert. Romance is not romantic. A building begins with the smashing of elbows and hammers. Our art, whether song or dance or writing or film or poetry, takes months of anxious labor. The band you see on stage rocking the stadium spent directionless weekends in pubs in front of disinterested strangers. Art is never born from safety and stillness.
Please don’t be fooled by the seduction of bite-sized daydreams. Real dreams begin with dirt, with intensity. Don’t be taken in by the highlights of social media. They may fuel you: but life needs you to be all there. And when you’ve pushed past the initial illusion of lake-shallow emotions: you will find an ocean of richness and depth that was worth the pain, worth the risk, worth your tears and busted seams. There, you will find the deepest laughter. There is a joy that hurts.