What would I be doing now if I had followed my first “life”? Or my second or third or fourth idea of what life would become. I changed my major/concentration in college more than most other people I know, not to mention the fact I’ve been to three Universities – yes, I changed my schools almost like I changed my major!
Thinking of the big stuff, I probably would never have gone overseas to study. There would have been no “time” to – or I may have been pressured into thinking it would have been impractical at best. And had I never traveled like I do regularly, I would be a completely different person, I’m fairly certain.
It is this pressure that frustrates me sometimes. And it is not necessarily a pressure in my own life, but the pressure that other people feel that guides them to be something they’re not. I MUST go to college! I must finish college in four years and no more! I must find a girl and get married and have my 2.4 children and white picket fence so I can have my 50th wedding anniversary having just paid off the mortgage. Oh, then maybe when the 2 or 3 kids are out of college, then we can go travel a little…
…hopefully by then the European cities you want to go to will be wheelchair/walker friendly.
I have friends who freak out over the idea of graduating a single semester behind. Here’s the logic: “Graduating in December instead of May will put me behind in taking the MCAT’s and then, that will delay me applying and getting accepted into medical school and then that will mean I…” blah blah blah blah. Where’s the perspective?
It makes me sad that people who live like that now might just forget to ever live at all.
I’m beginning to believe the problem is that they think they need to out-run something. I will be the first to tell you, that yes, life is short. But why not make it as good as it can be while you’re living it? And in no way am I talking about monetarily…
Now, at 25, I do not drive a Porsche, but that’s what I thought I wanted when I was 17 or 18. I actually live in an apartment complex, too, which means I don’t have to mow a single blade of grass but I don’t own any of my furniture and I can’t really play music after 11pm because of how thin the walls are. And, as weird as this might sound, I’m pretty sure I could get pretty close to fitting all of my worldly possessions in my truck.
But here’s the thing: I love what I do, I have fun doing it, I meet amazing people, my job is constantly changing and different every single day and it challenges me… and the list could go on. I don’t make a mint, but I don’t feel like I need to. Maybe it is the way I was raised or the type of people I now associate with, but if one day I did not like this job, I wouldn’t do it anymore and I’d do something else.
I am in no way bragging or being pretentious or implying that I have something figured out more than anyone else. In fact, I’m quite the mess more often than not, I assure you. But I just tend to ask questions of myself and my world, examine the what and the why and if something needs to be adjusted… then I adjust it. Why does life have to be some sort of schedule? Why does it have to be exactly one way with one outcome? The only thing that is certain is that someday everyone who lives will someday no longer be living…
…but not every man truly has lived. (William Wallace said something similar.)
But these are the reasons why I do things the way I do things. For whatever they are worth, I have reasons. It is the reason I work the way I work, vote the way I vote, believe the way I believe and interact with life in just such a way.
So I travel. I explore. I teach and I learn. I push myself, but not because I have anything to prove to anybody, but because I actually want to do the best I can: I only feel I truly have to answer to myself in the end anyways.
Its all a matter of security, isn’t it? It all comes down to a balance of how much security you are willing to give up… or the amount you are going to have to sacrifice to attain the amount you feel you need. All of these “things” with which we insulate ourselves from the outside world, to make life “comfortable” or less scary… isn’t it all just for a sense of security?
I would never say, “Live without it!” because that would be unwise for anyone on all counts. How much, though, are you sacrificing for the sake of “security”… why would anyone want to gain the world and all the “security” it tries to provide but, in the process, completely lose your soul? (Pretty sure Jesus said that one, and I’m not convinced he was exclusively talking about getting into heaven or not.)
Anyways, 800 words later, my espresso is getting cold and there sits my diatribe, for better or worse. First world problems, my dear friends. Perspective is everything: I guarantee you are in the richest 5% of the population of the entire planet if you’re even reading this blog post right now… I dare challenge that perspective is everything; security is not.