Forever

I think a lot about how we as a culture have turned “forever” into the only acceptable definition of success.

Like… if you open a coffee shop and run it for a while and it makes you happy but then stuff gets too expensive and stressful and you want to do something else so you close it, it’s a “failed” business. If you write a book or two, then decide that you don’t actually want to keep doing that, you’re a “failed” writer. If you marry someone, and that marriage is good for a while, and then stops working and you get divorced, it’s a “failed” marriage.

The only acceptable “win condition” is “you keep doing that thing forever”. A friendship that lasts for a few years but then its time is done and you move on is considered less valuable or not a “real” friendship. A hobby that you do for a while and then are done with is a “phase” – or, alternatively, a “pity” that you don’t do that thing any more. A fandom is “dying” because people have had a lot of fun with it but are now moving on to other things.

I just think that something can be good, and also end, and that thing was still good. And it’s okay to be sad that it ended, too. But the idea that anything that ends is automatically less than this hypothetical eternal state of success… I don’t think that’s doing us any good at all.

Helen Bright (brightwanderer)

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I read it a few days ago. As a divorcee and serial hobbyist it really hits home.

category: something deeper.