Guilt, Happiness and Honesty

I feel guilty. A lot. Like, in place of emotion. I get a pit in my stomach sort of like the butterflies before you get up in front of a crowd or on the first day of something new. It’s a sinking feeling, a deep and churning anxiety. I have no idea why.

I’m reading Tacitus on Robert’s recommendation. All I can feel for Tiberius is pity. His father forced him to divorce a woman he loved to consolidate power. He married Julia who cheated on him so often and so flagrantly that he exiled her to Rhodes in poverty just to stop it. Augustus banned him from ever seeing his first wife because he’d break down and weep whenever he saw her. And he was so miserable that he left Rome to rule itself. Heath Ledger fucking killed himself.

Some people are ok with distractions. You can tell yourself that you get high because it’s fun–by all means, maybe it is–but you still can’t escape that reckoning. If you’re like me, you want to address it now. Before it gets bad, before you wake up one day and have no idea what you’re doing. You’ll never be able to outrun the things you try so hard to outrun. They will always be right there, growing as you ignore them. No one wants to be that guy, but somehow, so many people are.

Whatever success you’re after, keep in mind that someone has already had it, hated it and deluded themselves into thinking that just a little more would solve their problems. Me, I’ve got to figure this guilt thing out. Tiberius should have realized that a lot of other people would have gladly traded with him, had he the courage not to waste his life. You–who knows. Ultimate, this is going to be way more important than how many books you read, how magnificent an emperor you become, how close you come to achieving the things you set out to do or how great a person you end up with. Because without that, the rest is worthless.

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