High on Life

Song One

While watching a 2015 indie film starring Anne Hathaway, some of my previous ideas were reawakened. Something about the slow pace, the music, the plot, and just the general passion of the characters in the roles got me to thinking. In high school, and in every other grade before that, it is drilled into your head that drugs are horrible. Not only are drugs horrible, but a majority of the famous artists and writers we studied were under some type of influence while creating their now priceless works. If those statements don’t contradict each other I don’t know what does. While being told both that drugs are bad and that yet they lead to creative epiphanies, kids are given a choice- don’t do drugs and be clean or do drugs and be successful and happy by making art from your suddenly extra creative visions. It is all very dramatic.

This is where my philosophy picks up. Schools shouldn’t be drilling it into our children’s heads that drugs are bad and then teach us the drug and alcohol filled history of the people we look up to. We should all be taught how to turn our brilliant ideas into something great without the help of a hallucinatory drug. I mean, great for those people that their stupid choices brought them to fame and fortune, but is that what we should be taught? Success comes from pills and potions?

I have never once felt inclined to try any drugs. For one, I am not willing to risk any consequences that may occur further in the future, but I also have never needed any assistance when it comes to creativity. Every one has an imagination whether they believe it or not. When I have gone on rants discussing how we could fix so many problems in this world with one crazy out there idea or when I’m just discussing the what ifs of the world, I have had many people ask me “are you high?” I never was.

While some people may feel they could never come up with a far out enough idea to write a whole book I think I’m crazy enough to write a few series. I not only want to High On LIfebe a journalist but an author of fiction. I want people to know what is going on in the world, but I also want people to enjoy the little bit of the fantasy in my head that gets me through the horrid reality we live in. There were a few times in school where we had ‘high on life’ assemblies.

These assemblies were filled with cheesy videos of people being interviewed with some inspirational music playing in the background and the excessive use of some colorful overlays. The interviews would be of famous skateboarders and athletes- people stereo-typically known for abusing drugs to enhance their skills- and never people of more general studies such as literature, science, or art. Whoever was being interviewed would say “I’m high on life and I don’t need any help with that from any evil drugs.” When the assemblies finally came to an end students leaving the auditorium would be saying one of two things 1.) That was ridiculous. Those people obviously had scripts or 2.) That’s not going to stop me from doing it.

No more! If we are going to have gatherings of students missing classes for a philosophical get together then we need to make it real. Interview people who have really never done drugs and don’t give them scripts. Interview authors of grand fantastical intricate schemes and ask them how they manage to have such fruitful creative outcomes without assistance. Ask artists and scientists how they come up with paintings and theories. Ask us how we concentrate our creative energies.

For me, it is the music and surroundings. The way I think in a classroom during a boring lecture is much different from the way I think with a caffeinated drink, an indie mix tape, and Microsoft Word open on my computer screen. Concentrate your creative energy. I’m high on life because I appreciate the small things. I look at everything with perspective in mind. Yeah, you may see geometric shapes slabbed onto canvas, but I see it like clouds in the sky or a Where’s Waldo book. You have to find the beauty in everything.

Senior Pic Hanging from Wall
Be you. Be crazy.

If school’s taught us that it is okay to be wild and live in our imaginations every once in a while then maybe fewer people would search for an illegal-in-every-state-accept-Colorado excuse to be “happy”. Put your head in the clouds. Just remember to come down every now and then. Don’t be scared to ask questions. Don’t be scared to talk to new people. Don’t fear what others are thinking. Face the judgments and go above them. The other day I was at a local concert. The singer was awful, and whether she knew it or not, she was still singing. About halfway through the performance she looked out into the crowd and said, “are you not dancing because you are scared of what others are going to think of you? We all put our pants on one leg at a time in the morning.” While I see what she was saying- don’t be scared- I’m here to say that if you jump into your pants, both legs at once, that’s okay too.

2 thoughts on “High on Life

  1. Emma Sue, this is truly over the top. Love what you have written. Would you mind if I send this to my niece?


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