31 August, 2017

Dorm You Remember Me

When I look back on my college days, I have to remember that it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. I'm no stranger to the manipulative effects of nostalgia. I specifically remember standing in my dorm at one point, senior year, and thinking to myself, "I'm going to miss this. The bad parts will fade into obscurity, and the good parts are the ones my mind will keep coming back to. But there were bad parts. I had the worst depression of my life during these years. I'm still not completely over it. Yet, overall, I enjoyed it. I had fun."

And I still look back on those years fondly. For better and worse, I was on my own. For the most part. It may have been a bubble. But I could lead my own life. I decided when to get up, when and what to eat. It was my own responsibility to get to class. I alone would suffer if I didn't make it. It felt like having my destiny in my own hands, and that if things went wrong, it was my fault, and my fault only, and within my control to change. No parents shepherding me around.

And I was surrounded by peers. People who, generally speaking, were not poor. Were not dumb. They had dreams and aspirations, and they had the potential to achieve them. And I had friends. True friends. Although not many of them, but it only takes one or two. I had friends that came and went during my earlier school years. But it was different then. We were just kids. Hanging out at school. Occasionally at our parents' houses. In college, it was my life. My choices.

I suppose I could have that now, out in the real world, now that I'm an adult. But it's different. This world is different from a college campus. People working the daily grind, not expanding their consciousness on a daily basis. You don't have all your basic necessities huddled together within walking distance, in a pristine, groomed landscape. You have to drive around places. Through the urban decay. Among people who are not the cream of the crop, the best and the brightest. Among people who aren't making it very well in life. People who are sick, poor, dumb, and without passion.

And you've become one of them, just struggling to get by. Wasting your time and your talents searching for an opiate to dull the pain and the boredom - regardless of whether that's illicit drugs, or something less physically destructive, like absorbing yourself into a world of fantasy, under the guise of an alternate identity. The results may look different, but the reason is the same. And they both take you away from that ideal utopia that was drilled into your head by your parents as you were growing up. You're so smart. You're so attractive. You can accomplish anything, if you put your mind to it.

Well, I suppose two out of three ain't bad. Except nowadays it seems like being smart and attractive in a sick, sad world is just another form of torture exacted by a cruel and indifferent god. Well, maybe the smart part. Being attractive still and always has been a nice life hack to getting things you don't deserve. And maybe my principles are being dulled by the wisdom that comes from life experience, but I'm not bothered by that, because I favor pretty things myself. Maybe that makes me superficial, but there's nothing superficial about being happy, and if that's what makes you happy, well...then why the hell are you so sad?

28 August, 2017

The Pursuit

The one thing I just can't understand about life is that, within all of this misery - some of it self-inflicted, much of it not - when we find something good, something we like, something we enjoy, and that makes us happy, we always come up with reasons why we can't have it. We don't have enough money, there aren't enough resources to go around, our health won't permit it, it's not "appropriate", it's not compatible with what the other people in your life want or need...

Happiness is so hard to come by. When we happen upon it, why can't we let ourselves enjoy it? I mean, I know there's a balance to life. Even the very laws of physics impose certain restrictions, and human emotions are not logical. You have to work, you have to take care of your body, and your mind. You have to treat other people with respect, too. But beyond that, life is something we construct for ourselves. (I mean, this thing you call "society"? It's just a bunch of hairless apes playing house. Money is so important, and yet it only has as much meaning as we collectively agree to ascribe to it). And it's so short. And there are bad parts to it that we just can't avoid. So why can't we structure it so that we can at least capitalize on the good parts?

I honestly can't say whether the fact that I seem unable to live the life I truly want to lead is more because I'm trapped in the prison of my own mind, or if it's more the result of society imposing its laws and regulations (designed to subjugate the many for the benefit of the few). No doubt both forces are involved. Life is just a long series of compromises.