Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stop Trying to Justify Yourself

If I could go back and say one thing to my 25-year-old self, it would be this: stop worrying about what people think of you. Everyone else is not you. You have needs that the vast majority of them don't. You need to fill yourself up with words and then write them out. You need the ocean. You need the open sky and you need people to be nice to you. You need to feel the brush gliding across the canvas. Stop worrying about what other people think you need.

And for cripes sake, stop trying to justify your life to everyone!

Because they'll never get it. They're not you. All they need to be happy is a job that makes them feel special. A nice car. An XBOX and golf every other Sunday. A big title; a fat raise.

Your needs are important, despite what they may say. They'll call you flaky. They'll say you have no drive, no plan for life. How wrong they are. You know exactly what you need, and you must banish any guilt you feel for needing it. You need to express yourself. Why? Who the hell cares why? You need it, OK? Stop trying to explain the unexplainable. Just do.


  1. I love this. I need to print it out and read it to myself every morning. Or something like that. Because I need to hear it repeatedly. The sad thing for me is - the people who 'will never get it...theyre not you...stop trying to justify yourself...' are my own extended family. I need to stop letting it bother me so much.

    Thank you for an insightful post.

  2. I know, it's usually the ones closest to us whose disapproval hurts the most. I went through that for a long time. But as artists, we have to be strong. What's the alternative? To not produce art? That's not practical. And anyway, I finally realized that often times, those people who don't approve of what I do are only trying to help save me from the pain of failure. Their intentions are often good.

    I think I'm at a point where I'm tired of trying to justify myself to everyone, including myself. We only have so much energy, and it needs to be focused in positive directions.

    At any rate, easier said than done, eh? Keep up the good work. And thanks for your comment.

  3. I like that perspective - 'theyre only trying to save me from the pain of failure...their intentions are often good." A refreshing and insightful way to look at it. And when I think of my own children and how I feel about them...possibly falling on their faces in failure one day and how much i would want to spare them that - then yes, I can defn relate. The ones who love us, can tend to try to save us from failure by discouraging us! so ok, good intentions.

  4. That's a good point -- whenever I'm getting frustrated with someone older who's discouraging me, I try to take a step back and ask, "Are these people trying to help me or to hurt me?" Usually it's the former, but it sucks all the same.

    That's interesting what you say about worrying about discouraging your kids the same way others discouraged you in the past. We're all so fallible. Thanks for the perspective.

  5. *My friends just about beat me up (lol) - forgot that bit

  6. I love this - I'm copying it, printing it and putting it on my bedroom wall. Just what I need. I have no confidence and my friends just about me up for always comparing myself to others when I should just sit my butt down and do what I want. Which is WRITE. Thank you Chris.

  7. I'm so glad I could help. Yes, at a certain point, we just have to push what others want for us aside and do what we know we must. I wish you all the luck in the world!