Let Go of My Ego

I could see it from a mile away. I use that phrase literally for potentially the first time. It was a traffic jam and I knew it was coming. I wanted to take any other road, but when it's on the major highway you drive, you can't really avoid it. I turned onto the entrance ramp knowing I'd hate myself for it. I was right.

It took me about 20 minutes to get 3 miles. I don't want to do the math, but I can go ahead and tell you that's not very fast to be traveling. This wasn't the part that bugged me though. No, not even close.

It was the idiot in the Silver Audi.

So I'm trying to merge onto the highway. You know, as one does when entering the highway. Since it's required. I see this open spot, conveniently left for me by the oh so wonderful text-and-driver in the Silver Audi. But surprisingly, this isn't the idiotic part.

By now, you might be asking what this has to do with writing. Stick with me. It'll come.

When the driver of this car, unfortunately a woman, sees that she's left this open spot in front of her and that I'm about to enter into it, once again, as I'm required to do to continue driving on the highway, she speeds up and blocks me from entering.

Wow. What a exemplary human being we've got going here. Once again, still not the idiotic part.

It was after she cut me off and left me stranded in between two lanes. It was the gentleman in the passenger seat who looked at me after all of this happened, chewing on his toothpick. He made direct eye contact with me, nodded his head, and mouthed "Yeah, that's right."

Yeah, that's right? The woman you love or like or who just drives you around managed to accelerate quickly enough to not allow me entrance to a public road? Great. Good for her. I hope she's happy. I hope you're happy. Maybe you'll sleep good at night knowing that you managed to not do the decent thing.

"But Michael, that still has nothing to do with writing." Sure it does. It has everything to do with writing.

We do everything with our ego. Think about it. When don't you have to be the best? To be first in line? To have your way or, pun intended, the highway?

It's part of our survival instincts. Be the best or die. That's how it works. It's when we try to make our art this way that we suffer.

That's more of a "have to be the best and die" sort of thing. All the best artists think they suck. Seriously, check it out. The suicide rates are pretty high.

I know that was a roundabout to get there. I just thought it was worth saying. Your ego doesn't help your art. Your passion does. Your heart does.

You do. And your ego is not you.