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Do what you Love . . . Just not Always

Growing up, I often heard the phrase “do what you love” thrown around a lot. It’s a perfectly understandable saying, if you had the choice between doing something you enjoy and something you didn’t, why wouldn’t you choose to do what they enjoy. I can personally say that the biggest reason why I make art is simply because it’s something I take joy in making, and it’s something I wish to continue doing. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that simply “do[ing] what you love” isn’t as perfect and easy as it’s made out to be.

When I started making art, it was with the intention that I wanted to be a video game designer, who designed characters, monsters, and places the two could battle in. I wanted to do that because I loved all the different video games I grew up with, and I wanted to be a part of that industry. However, I later got into comics, and my desire to make video games became a desire to make comics. Now, if I had simply stuck with what I had first loved I likely would've never even started making the art that I do today. So my first point is; if you never step out of the things you love you'll never have the chance to find something you'll love even more. It's scary, I know, but despite all the bad things that could happen, the benefits make it all well worth it.

The other point I want to make against "do what you love" has to do with desensitization. Desensitization is when someone is exposed to something so often that the effect diminishes over time. Like if a pre-pubescent teen is starting to develop their own body odor. at first they'll probably be able to smell themselves, but after a while they won't, and their parents will have to yell at them for not putting on deodorant. The teen not being able to smell themselves is a result of desensitization, and it can be applied to virtually anything, even the things you enjoy. In some extreme cases, a person can start out really enjoying something like a song or movie, but may eventually grow to dislike it, ironically because they enjoyed it so much they couldn't stop listening to/watching it.

So my point in all this is; do what you love . . . just not always. Give the things you enjoy some breathing space, and give yourself the opportunity to go out and find other things to enjoy. Sure, it's daunting and uncomfortable, but whoever said that there was no risk in finding rewards, sure beats losing your enjoyment of your favorite song.

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Well said, Alex!

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