This weekend I watched a cartoon video of Janice Joplin’s last interview. The gist of the interview (from people all over the web, anyway) is “you are what you settle for.”
But the quote that gets me the most from this video is where she is talking about being a woman in Rock and Roll and the rejection she gets from other women:
“If they don’t have it within them to need more . . .”
This rejection does not only apply to women. It can apply to anyone who wants to be more than others expect of them.
When you try to do more than others think you should, people tell you to be happy with what you have. I agree with this, you should be happy with what you have. But you should never stop pushing. You should never expect what you have to be your final resting place.
It is easy to feel selfish for wanting to be more than you are (or should be). The expectations of others should not have as much sway over us as we allow it, but it does. The opinions of others keeps us second guessing. They keep us stationary. If I had done what others expected of me, I’d still be in the Army (or teaching, or working as a permanent coder in the IT job I took, or whatever).
It takes small acts of courage to change and it never gets easier.
No matter where you are in life, you will be surrounded by people telling you that this is where you should be. This is your final resting place. It is always almost impossible to explain (to them or ourselves) that “This is great, but I need more than this.”
Do you ever have enough? I don’t think so. It will never be enough. Who can say, “this is enough”? Who can say “I’m happy to stay like this while I wait for death”?
We have to need more.
TLC said “Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to”. But where is the fun in that? Chase the waterfalls.