My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man
That function is smother’d in surmise,
and nothing is but what is not.
~Macbeth, Act I, Scene 3



Sometimes, you look around and realize that you are content. You have a good family, a job, friends, “golden opinions from all sorts of people”. You see that the other good things, the ones you don’t have, don’t matter. You count yourself happy.

But then a time comes—a time that shatters your logical life—when you feel drawn to something more. It might be talent, the ability to do something beautiful for thousands of people, the good opinion of others. A burning desire consumes you for some time, a day, a week, months. You can hardly think of anything else, no matter how much you want to.

After your previous contentment, you might find that you are ashamed to have that desire. Why would you want those things? You can be happy without; you have been happy without. Besides, wanting is embarrassing, whether you want a good thing or bad; you try not to admit that you want it, even to yourself—which is pretty silly, because you can’t think of anything else. But wanting and not getting is even more embarrassing.

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