While I slept last night, I dreamt that I'd had a baby while I was unconscious. When I awoke, she was starving and no one was feeding her. I asked my family members what her name was and she didn't have one; Her birth certificate was blank. To say that she had been neglected was an understatement. She was invisible to everyone around her, except me; Passers by almost stepped on her.
The only one who seemed to see that she was in need was me. Everyone else treated her like she didn't matter and just went about their regular lives. I scooped her up, tried desperately to tame her wild wailing and instantly found a connection; That bond that made me feel like maybe, just maybe, I could be her savior.
And as she thrived and grew, I finally stepped back and saw that my nourishment had been enough. She was visible and people no longer ignored her presence, but paid deference to her as a life form of her own. She was not only acknowledged, but appreciated and praised by others. I was proud of her; I was proud of myself and the effort and love I'd invested. All of the years of sacrifice, despite the apathy of others, paid off. She had started as something weak, something that could have easily died, but I took ownership of her and made her matter. I raised her up and showed that it'd be impossible to ignore her and the impact she'd have on the world.
When you have a passion, the only one who can nourish it is you. Other people aren't going to give a single shit about the thing that fuels YOU. When you have a talent, a baby, you have to feed it. No one's gonna do that for you. You have to give your projects, your talents, your ideas, the respect that they deserve. You are going to have to defend your passion and the amount of effort you put in, but you have to put that effort in or your dreams are going to die, stagnant and ignored; Invisible to anyone but you, and it will eat you up.
Respect your art. Respect the process. It's fucking IMPORTANT. It matters. Your passions matter. Maybe right now, it's only important to you, but eventually, if you work hard enough, other people will take notice and respect what you've done. And who knows, maybe you'll inspire someone else to pick up their screaming baby, take ownership and push themselves to nurture a passion that would die without discipline and hard work.