You know those creeps who never drink any water and you're all, “BUT YOUR CELLS! YOUR CELLS ARE SHRIVELING LIKE LITTLE CALIFORNIA RAISINS!” (Unless this is the kind of thing that only goes through my brain, in which case, welcome to my inner landscape, ya'll.)
I feel the same way about time. There are so many people who aren't drinking enough time; they're spending it, they're bleeding it dry, they're “making the most of every moment,” but they aren't retaining any of it for themselves. Time, like water, is a nutrient. It is sustenance. It is motherfucking health food for your brain. And we're so damn depleted.
A couple of years ago I was having a conversation with a girl in a hotel who wanted to give up her current life, switch careers, and start fresh. She didn't know what she wanted to do, so I asked her a simple question:
Well, what do you like?
She stared blankly. Sadly, she didn't know. She could not answer this one simple, fundamental question of the human experience. She hadn't had time to really think about it, she said. She'd been so busy trying to get ahead, all these years, that she'd left herself behind.
This is the greatest tragedy of our time.
WE ARE WASTING OUR BRAINS. We're using them as storage units, there to process practical day-to-day tasks, but never something that nourishes us from the inside. Instead, we run our brains as if they were a factory, with thoughts rolling by on conveyor belts in order to be as productive as possible. Forget idle hands—our generation is terrified of idle brains.
But the idle brain is sorely underrated—and in fact, it's fucking fundamental when it comes to creating a creative, pleasurable, meaningful life.
How else will you engage in the deep thought necessary to understand yourself on more than a superficial level? (Likes: the color red, pizza pie, and board shorts, durrrrrr…) How else will you reflect on what you really want from your life? (Because you're allowed to want things from life, you know.) And furthermore, how else will you ever be able to give your brain the space to roam? To wander? To contemplate the array of beautiful, endless options this world affords us?
To my future artists, and writers, and creatives, and travelers, and dreamers, and big thinkers:
Guilt is a hologram.
Make space for yourself.
The only thing that matters is not what you did with your days, but that you deeply enjoyed living them.