The Highest High of All

The moment someone says ‘Hey, that’s great!’ or ‘This is something special.’ or ‘You’ve got what it takes.’ Any form of praise for the work you’ve created, the thing you’ve worked on for so long, bled over and into, researched and rewritten until it’s not half bad – that thing. Your/my creative product.

It elevates the soul, gives a high nothing else can match. No drug can boost you like that, no alcohol or chocolate or caffeine or narcotic – it’s a self-induced drug created by a few simple words – and if they’re aimed at me for my product, I’m the happiest person in the world.

Okay, it only lasts a minute, but – and here’s the catch – there’s another one coming! Well, there is, isn’t there? You know you have to get that feeling back, re-experience that high because once the first one has levelled off, it’s never quite as good after that, even when a different person says something about the same product.

It’s only ever the first time, the first person, and only if you have a high level of respect for that person. It’s the thing that makes it all worthwhile.

As little kids, we worked hard to get that moment from our parents, from our family, from our friends – and then we grew up.

It’s like kids who once did the walk-n-talk in their sleep, the ones who did the flying dreams and could recall vivid nightscapes in the morning when they retold of their life beyond the one outside the window.

We lose it, slowly, but we never stop craving the high that comes from the moment when a special person says it to us and means it from the bottom of their heart.

Yes, we also learned the hard lesson of falseness. When people say something just so they can get the interaction over with and move on to someone, something, somewhere more interesting. It’s cruel.

Why? Why be false like that? What does it get you? The dishonesty in the world is so big now; we hear the false drama of a documentary and roll our eyes. We recognise it in our pollies (and others), and yet, when we look to sell our product, instead of looking for a genuine person who will say the honest words, we turn to the marketing and advertising guru/platform. We do the thing we hate the most. We put on the false persona hat. And we pretend to be …

We create the antithesis to the drug we crave.

I say, be honest in your interactions with the world, and see what you get back. Let go of the anger and righteousness and need, and simply be. That’s not saying be in-the-face rude with comments – consider how you would want to hear those words, and how it would affect you.

I met a person who told me a cruel truth once (in honest and straightforward words, with no anger), and she said it in such a way that I had to listen while she explained what her words meant. I took it to heart, of course I did, because she was honest and cared enough to show me through the whole discourse to where I was aiming, and why I was off-course, and what I could do to change things.

If she hadn’t done that, I would’ve given up, long ago.

Why? Because if I continued the way I was going, I would get exactly what I had and no more. Because I would’ve bored myself silly with trying to understand what went wrong, rather than trying to find a new direction or even being able to look up at the road-signs. I would’ve been blind to the need to continue the search.


Well, that’s the writing exercise finished – now I get back to the real job – storytelling (my drug of choice).