The Dilettante's Dilemma
In a world where you are constantly being asked to be ‘committed’ it is liberating to give yourself the license to be a dilettante. Commit to nothing. Try everything. -- Tom Hodgkinson
Liberating. Yeah right. I’m currently sitting in LAX waiting for a flight to Vegas dissecting ten magazines that have all been in circulation longer than I have been alive. The pages of the iconic publications are a mess. The ink blurred with a fading highlighter. The margins covered with indecipherable script. My eyes itch from the combination of stale air and small font. A forgotten cup of now very cold green tea balances precariously on the edge of the wobbly table. Taking the mug in hand, I sit back and despondently sip on my frigid tea before noticing the crusty remnants of duty-free tester lipstick on the opposite end of the mug. I put the mug down, close my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose.
God dammit, a little voice inside my head says to me. Why the fuck do you want to make this magazine anyways? Just forget it. Nobody's gonna read it. Nobody cares. Besides it's not even a magazine.
So, what the hell am I going for anyways. My fantasy magazine is a smorgasbord of knowledge designed for those of us who deign to know everything, but refuse to learn anything. With my ADD I don’t possess the spiritual fortitude required to master everything that interests me. I am a product of the 21st century. A snorkeler in the sea of information, taking photos with an underwater disposable camera that no one will ever see because it doesn’t directly link to my Instagram account. I might have a couple of minutes, but no more than that. And neither do you. So my goal is to have fun and pump out badly edited knowledge that you can impress your tinder date with.
I mean let’s be honest. People like dope shit. Whenever I strike up a conversation with a stranger it inevitably leads to them sharing a powerful interest of theirs be it art, culture, travel, whatever. As a dilettante, this is a world that I would like to contribute to because I understand it. In fact, it’s probably the only role that truly suits me. But now I am sitting here wondering what the fuck I have to add to this oversaturated world of clichés and clickbait, fluff pieces and food porn. My dreams just seem like a drop in the ocean. There are an infinite number sources for the information I am going to provide that are overflowing with works by knowledgeable accomplished individuals. The mountain seems insurmountable. And the truth is that it is. I will probably never produce something that is as good as Harper’s Bazaar or GQ.
Ugh. I don't want to make another blog. Not me. I want to make a magazine. I didn't spend four years in Paris almost getting a finance degree so that I could write a fucking blog on my mother's couch. If I wanted to do that I could have just pretended to get a college education and majored in communications. I would still be writing on my mother’s couch, but in that case at least I would be properly qualified to pollute the internet with my mellifluous prose. Someday, dear reader, you will be reading these words on the glossy 80lb print that you deserve. That’s a promise. Besides, throwing something in the trash is much more poetic than closing a tab, isn’t it?
It was disheartening until I realized how I feel doesn’t make a difference. The limits that we set for ourselves are all in our heads. I mean who cares if I am not gonna break the Watergate Story. My goal is to be an advocate of dilettantism and inspire other dilettantes to just do. Take risks and believe in yourself. It’s the only option that we have. The clock is ticking on our meaningless existence. I have come to terms with the fact that no matter what I accomplish the best possible outcome is dying a slow, painful and lonely death, tucked away in a sweltering closet on the coast of Florida, with a tube shoved down my throat, wishing I had signed the fucking DNR before arthritis had turned my fingers into flippers. Fuck the degrees. Fuck the experience. Fuck the resume. Fuck the outcome. Just do something.
It’s time for my flight and I gotta take off folks. If you made it this far then I’ve already succeeded. Thank you. Seriously. It means more than you can possibly imagine that you read this.