"I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really -- I was alive." - Walter White, final episode of Breaking Bad
I got to the end of Breaking Bad, savoring the episodes, eager but taking my time. (If you haven't watched yet, there may be inadvertent spoilers below).
Brief synopsis -- Walter White is jolted by a terminal cancer diagnosis to come to terms with the all he hasn't done. Underinsured, cheated out of his share of the returns from a business innovation, his passion for chemistry unappreciated by his high school students, a part-time job at the car wash adding humiliation, he seeks a better way to make money for his family after he's gone. He cooks meth and becomes a drug lord.
For Walt, cooking meth is just chemistry -- he's really good at it and folks are crazy about what he does. He takes pride in doing something well and being appreciated for it (the money's good, too).
After ruining countless lives and piling up all those bodies, Walt finds out his expertise, love for materials, pride in craft, and finding an audience are what his life is really all about. Walt figures out what some of us realize at age 10.
He's an artist.
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