The negative connotation attached to the word ‘obession’ does not go unnoticed by the obsessed. Much in the same way ‘luck’ is brushed off by the spectator as being a passive thing that the owner has no control over. Where mental faculties are not in question, ‘obsession’ is often a choice.
Being told that you are so lucky is an insult. Now, before I sound unappreciative of my status in life, let me say that I truly am lucky in many ways. Lucky to have been born in a free country. Lucky to have such a loving family. Lucky for the education and opportunities that followed. Lucky for full stomachs and warm beds. But these are not what I am talking about. I am talking about other people on the same playing field commenting how lucky I am to have an athletic build, or a hobby to pursue, or other accomplishments. These are not things that I was born with. They did not come automatically. Having a decent body is not due to luck, but to thousands of hours in the gym. Writing books is not due to my natural skill with words. So when I am told that I am lucky for these things, as if it was something that simply fell into my arms, unexpected and unearned, I understand that the person speaking to me has attributed their bad habits and laziness to mere bad luck.
Obsession often precedes good luck. One cannot accomplish really great things in life without a bit of obsession. Look at many historical figures. Their daily schedules often revolve around an obsession or two. Waking early to read, putting off pleasures to paint, or staying awake late, writing by candle light.
The obsessed are not foolish any more than they are blind. They know the pleasures they are missing out on. The Netflix marathons. The weekends spent watching football games. The evening spent drinking with friends at the pub. The newest game console. The extra hours of sleep. All of these are choices. For the obsessed, the choices may be easier, but they are still their. The easier, lazier alternatives are always tempting, calling out to take a break, to fall into the shadows with the rest of the entertained masses.
Anyone can be obsessed. All it takes is a goal that you will not lose sight of. A prize that glimmers as brightly as the moment you fall asleep as it does in the early morning twilight. You must pursue it, chasing it every day. Planning. Achieving mini milestones. Improving slowly, achingly, painfully slowly, until that golden orb is just within reach.
The race may drain you. Parts of your life will rot and fall away. But the end is so glorious that it doesn’t matter. All is left to dust in the pursuit of the gold.
Find what you love and let it kill you.
Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness.
Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.
~ Falsely yours
So says Charles Bukowski.