“If you ask me what I came in this life to do, I, an artist, will tell you: I came to live out loud.” – Emile Zola, French writer
Living out loud can mean many things. I choose to interpret this quote as having many interests and trying and learning as much as possible in the brief time we call our life. It also means embracing who you are; what you think and feel, your experiences whether sadness, happiness, travails and overcoming them, or victories. To go through them, not around them. Pain and happiness mean we are alive. And whether you consider yourself an artist or not, sharing your experiences with others. From my religious youth, I chose to embrace the concept of witnessing what it is like to be human and eschew shame in doing so. Perhaps to the chagrin of my family and friends. It means being interested in many things. Life should be a fertile endless field where you can plant as much as you want of anything you choose. But I suppose the challenge is to tend the field, to maintain some sort of balance which is easier said than done. We all cannot or will not be recognized for our creative endeavors. But maybe the true value lies not in the accolades from outside but the insights we absorb on the inside. And whether we can use those insights and experiences to comfort and reassure to others that they are not alone. Because ultimately, this is what we fear the most. To me, this is living out loud.