I've be thinking about the Don DeLillo quote: "Talent is more erotic when wasted." What's the difference between living a hollow or full existence, really? Talent could arguably be subjective, just as what people choose to do with their lives is. It's all the matter of someone else's opinion--whether a person has true talent, and whether it is being neglected or abused.
If one truly possesses a gift for something, I'm talking someone who is born with it and burns for it, then wouldn't it take as much exertion on their part to not gravitate toward their instinctual aptitude, as it would to pursue it whole-heartedly?
Talent is unlike a skill one's learned or mastered--talent is a natural inclination, an ingrained sensitivity--which is why DeLillo's observation reverberates in my brain and stimulates an area of discomfort. It is erotic because it is what shouldn't happen--someone consciously making the decision to not exploit their capacities, but instead, maintain a level of mediocrity that is deemed unsettling. Even self-destruction is an intoxicating contemplation--going against the grain, and rousing a sense of wrong.