The human brain is a fickle beast.
It didn’t take long after I moved from Canada to the United States to decide there was enough misinformation that I desired to have a voice. Each project I’ve been a part of has, more or less, had a brighter peak than the last. The New Truth was a weekly news show that, at its height, had a video with 80 views. A solo project, The Daily Merge, landed a few videos with several hundred views, before I got my first “big break”.
My favorite internet news show, The Young Turks, featured one of my graphics. Featured like showed MY logo, announced the source as MY “The Daily Merge”, and even had Cenk holding up MY handiwork. My news heroes, if there were such a thing, mentioned me, in prime time, live, on air, and the video has a quarter of a million views to date. Not bad for a dude filming out his bedroom.
The thrill was surreal. It spiked me with a passionate motivation, which lasted about 36 hours. How can that be? Imagine the feeling of seeing something you thought would never happen, followed by writing a blog post seen by 21 people, and spending an hour on a 3 minute video seen by 12 people. The “norm” I was comfortable excepting suddenly felt like a crater of a low point.
In just 36 hours, the excitement of the moment was replaced by the despair of seeing how far I had to go.
I continued the show for a while, but the videos didn’t get much traction. My blog posts, hosted on my own website, garnered a few dozen views at best. I grew tired. If only I could be getting a few hundred views, I’d feel like I was reaching people. Like I had an audience. If only that happened, then SURELY I’d be motivated to grow beyond that, dedicated to build off of a foundation of hundreds of eyes.
Fast forward three years, and I find Medium, and start blogging about random musings (so nice to see you here). In a little over a month, and just a few haphazard articles, I have spiked over 1000 views, and even made $29.
If you would have told me three years ago, or three months ago, that I’d have more views that I’ve ever had, and earned actual dollars that were deposited into my account from writing blog posts, I’d be over the moon with my future self. Instead, I feel much the same as I did two days after my graphic aired — apathetic.
I can only speculate, but here’s what I think is at least a great approximation. The human mind is not meant to be comfortable. Save for the last few centuries, to be comfortable was to be ignorant and vulnerable. Comfortable gets one eaten by lions, slaughtered by opposing tribes, clubbed by invaders, or eliminated by pandemics. Comfortable, as a matter of genetics, has been filtered out. We have evolved, perfectly and imperfectly all at once, to be uncomfortable.
But now the discomfort is different. For those of us lucky enough to live in the modern world, our survival through a normal life expectancy is all but guaranteed. But you can’t reason that fact with the modern ape brains we carry around. It will find a reason to be uncomfortable, and it will make you feel like its a matter of survival.
To be human is to suffer through being human. The sooner I learn to accept that, the better off I’ll be.
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