Because one day you will die and all the petty fuck ups will vanish, or be turned into delightful funny stories.
And the moment the meaning of this hits you, you realize how to live. You become more complex, interesting, fun, dynamic, not to mention, human. And people around you aren’t afraid to practice living themselves, because they don’t feel you will judge them.
I am realizing that my time here in Milwaukee is and should be just a preparation for later. I already live in the future, in another place (New York) I’m just physically here. Its like practice for wherever I go next. Nothing to lose. Nothing needs to be taken seriously. (I still take art pretty seriously because it’s more permanent than other activities that I do, and I have to pay for my studio.) Come fall I will surrender many Milwaukee based things, perhaps even parts of my personality, and either be in grad school or another city, if not China. I’m not sure when I’ll leave, and my plan to leave might disintegrate. And some people will not care for me now, knowing they won’t see me in 6 months. But actually it’s what life is always like. People get offered jobs in other places and move in three weeks. Others get bombed by terrorists and die.
Sometimes I feel like I take life very seriously. Last time I tried to buy underwear (which is a tough choice when you seriously get into it) I spent over two hours choosing, and ended up returning what I bought because I made the wrong choice. When you take something seriously you put pressure on yourself to perform—you are afraid to fuck up, be wrong. You end up not being yourself, you act, and you suppress certain thoughts, etc. You shape your self to comply with people’s perceptions and judgments. And, somehow most people have learned to take everyone seriously rather than assume the person is practicing or experimenting. But failure is as necessary as success, I learned this from soccer. Not failing can be a sign of not taking risks. If you are afraid to lose, fail, you are afraid to live. Some of the greatest human achievements, the greatest art has come out of a playful environment and mentality.
Once I called customer support and argued with them on the phone knowing I was wrong and I won’t get my way. I did this to practice arguing, to practice aggressive communication skills, because one day I’ll really need to yell at someone who fucks me over, and I’m really bad at that.
What frightens me is that most of my life feels like a preparation for something, a preparation for life. My fear is I will never stop preparing. That and I will lose my hair.
PS. I’m not saying I’m going to make people who know me wish they never met me. Hopefully.
A: Did you seriously just get her number?
B: Shhhh… yes..
A: Haha OMG Boris! Boris… Why!?
(At Star Bar)
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You should take practice seriously. The point is to not take life so seriously that you begin to care whether you are this or that or a loser.
There are soccer player who do extremely well in practice, but when you put them in a game, they suck. They suck because they are under pressure, and they are playing in a cloud of seriousness.
When you fuck up, embarrass yourself, and someone asks you, “now what do you have to say for yourself?” “You just say, my bad, I was just practicing.”
The images are by an amazing contemporary photographer, Ryan McGinley, and everyone under 30 should know who he is.