Arzu

Australia

a 14 yr old Aussie girl passionate about writing and climate change

Current fav book/series is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (aaaaaa there's no book that has hilarious and meaningless plot twists like this one)

Message from Writer

Writing is an art, and I think that the best writing shares stories directly from your mind, your heart, your soul, or wherever else you get your ideas from. As a general rule, I try not to have any gap between the words in my head and the words that I write.
Love to read ur stories and learn from them :)))

Living Without Ambition

October 19, 2020

Stop. Breathe in this moment. This precise moment. Not the pride from yesterday, or the pain from tomorrow, or even the thoughts from five minutes ago. Break it down to this very moment. Now tell me, what is making you happy right now? 

Writers of WriteTheWorld, we have all been driven by something. With every twist, turn or fork in the road it's been there, calling us and redirecting us like a roadmap. It was in us when we were five year olds, waving our arms because we knew the answer, and it’s here now, making our passions burn so bright that everything else is dim. We have been driven by ambition.

Back to my question: What is making you happy right now? The birds? The trees? Loved ones? Or is there nothing making you happy right now, and it’s the prospect of future happiness that you dream of?

The pursuit of happiness is a path that so many of us follow. In fact, we are so willing to find this distant, glowing happiness, that we sacrifice our current happiness for it. This is called ambition. As young writers, we are fueled by it. Young people in general are already very ambitious, with the future being so tantalisingly close, but still undefined and full of potential. Writers are even more so- after all, making a living from writing alone is a beautiful but ambitious dream. But while ambition is great for the glory, it will never bring you happiness. Ambition will take you places, but are those places really worth that much?

From the age of six, my dreams were BIG. The moment I fell in love with reading, that was it. I decided I was going to be a writer. And not just ANY writer, but the biggest, the brightest and the best. The next 90 years of my life were determined six years into it. 

I changed continuously as I grew up, but one thought has been persistent. I was going to be special. The very best. Of all time. It was like a prayer that went on in my head. The smartest, the nicest, the bravest, the prettiest. Last year, at thirteen years old, was probably my most ambitious year. I had it all planned out- I was going to be a writer, the Prime Minister, an astronaut, and maybe, just for fun, a neurologist. It was kind of a joke, but also not really. I saw no bounds to my potential. And yes, that's a wonderful thing to have. The trouble comes when we see fulfilling our potential as the  only way to achieve happiness.

Earlier this year, I had completely fulfilled my purpose, at least for the time being. I was acing my tests, being an all-rounder, and was generally well on my way to reaching the end of my pursuit for happiness. But. I wasn’t happy. Why?

It was one line of dialogue in a book by Louisa May Alcott that helped me see it. It’s spoken by a girl on her deathbed talking to her sister (who also happens to be a writer).  “You must take my place and be everything to Mother and Father when I’m gone.” she said. “They will turn to you, don’t fail them, and if it’s hard to work alone, remember that I don’t forget you, and that you’ll be happier in doing that than writing splendid books or seeing all the world, for love is the only thing that we carry with us when we go, and it makes the end oh so easy.”

This line of dialogue is so interesting because it’s delivered from the deathbed. The deathbed: a place where you might be wise or dumb, good or evil- it doesn’t matter. It all comes down to the same thing- are you dying with a full heart or an empty one? A full hospital room or an empty one? Are you reliving a montage full of memories or empty of them? Everything comes into perspective.

You see, my fellow writers, my entire life, I have so desperately feared not becoming a writer, and I’m sure you have too. I’ve been torn from my sleep, sweaty and breathless, contemplating the horrors of reaching my deathbed without a story out there with my name on it. And you know why? You know the reason why? It’s because I believed that writing published stories was my purpose in my life, and that it was the only way I could depart this life with peace. 

So it all comes down to that basic point, that question that every human for the last 100,000 years has asked themselves. Is there a point to it all? For us, this would mean, is there a point to becoming a renowned author? Is there a point to a legacy?

Well, we only have to look at the troubled lives of those big, successful famous people to know that achievement is not everything. As for a legacy- this is something that exists in the minds of people that we don’t even know, after we have died. How can this matter so much to us?

Writers of WriteTheWorld, ambition is our issue. We are plagued with striving for more and more, with no end. Happiness is not something to be achieved at the end of a pursuit, but instead something to be found in small moments. Happiness is contentedness, not euphoria. Being a writer does not mean being published or known by the world- being a writer is simply writing. And fame and money is something you may or may not get- but it’s always temporary and won’t be the thing that makes you happy.

What is making you happy, in this moment, right now? 

That’s the thing that will make your life happy.

Because life is not a roller coaster or a montage. Life is just moments,  added together, and it’s moments like these that become your life.

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1 Comment
  • Chloe :) <3

    Wow!! I loved this piece it's amazing and also made me think about so much!


    3 months ago