Friends, let's not talk about sewing today.
I've been thinking a lot about the Alexander McQueen exhibit I saw on Tuesday, and why certain professions seem to create so much apparent unhappiness -- or attract those with a strong propensity for it.
It does seem that there's something about fame -- and grasping for it -- that creates misery. The list of celebrity drug addicts, early deaths, and public breakdowns is a long one, and not just in the performing arts.
Wasn't it Nietschze who said that nobody who understands fame would want to be famous?
Certain fields attract those who are prodigiously talented, and their talent becomes the primary way they're valued. People can't see beyond it (or beneath it). Yet we all want to be accepted for who we are, not how well we perform or how much money we earn -- or can make for someone else.
Do you think -- based on what you've read or what you've experienced yourself -- that the field of fashion has more than its fair share of miserable people?
I think any industry where competition is cut-throat and pressure to produce (artistically or financially) is tremendous, is bound to make people unhappy. Fields that are focused on appearances, moreover, are apt to attract people who share those values. Since aging is a part of life, professions that focus on chasing youth are not going to be healthy ones to grow old in.
It all comes down to learning how to love oneself, not for our talent, but for our simple existence. We have to be OK as we are -- which doesn't mean we don't want more for ourselves, but rather that we don't need more to feel worthy.
I think we love our pets more easily than we love ourselves. We don't withhold love because our child is short, or fat, or not extraordinary as defined by the outside world. We love our children unconditionally, at least until they start talking back to us.
Wise readers, how do you make your lives life meaningful and fun? I know many people struggle with health or relationship problems and all sorts of personal setbacks, and yet still cherish life.
Is celebrity a recipe for misery -- or are those who seek the spotlight the most emotionally needy to begin with, and therefore likely to be unhappy regardless of what they do?
A balanced life can be difficult to achieve today without consciously creating it. I know many people whose professional ambitions have swallowed up their personal lives to the point where they have no time to pursue other interests or even cook for themselves.
The people I know, primarily from my past, who were the most achievement oriented have not turned into particularly loving people, alas.
Please share your recipe for a happy life with us today. Take all the space you need.