Which is the more noble path: to follow duty and obligations, or to chase the freedom that is the gift we rarely take advantage of?
We do not have to do anything. “Have to.” No one really “has to” do anything, and yet we are each of us propelled by some sense of responsibility, either for our own well-being, or for loved ones, or even for the whole of humanity itself.
I have learned many things during 2007. Most of these revelations concern matters that chiefly pertain to my own wellness, particularly on my mental and emotional planes. I discussed a few of these in an earlier blog.
But what still isn’t clear to me is this: why don’t I feel a sense of duty toward the things in my life that I ought to feel something for? Regardless of circumstance, I don’t truly feel those ties that bind most to family and home.
And to be quite honest, I think that makes me radically selfish.
Doctor Manhattan: Thermo-dynamic miracles… events with odds against so astronomical they’re effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing.
And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter… Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold… that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermo-dynamic miracle.
Laurie Juspeczyk: But…if me, my birth, if that’s a thermo-dynamic miracle… I mean, you could say that about anybody in the world!.
Dr. Manhattan: Yes. Anybody in the world. ..But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget… I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another’s vantage point. As if new, it may still take our breath away. Come…dry your eyes. For you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly.
Life is itself a miracle; it is an act of faith in itself. This is perhaps one of the most valuable things that I have learned this year. I have been struggling with the concept for the better part of the last three years, and occasionally I still forget, but this past year I was finally able to put this into simple words. It is why I feel organized religions, specifically the institutions, are almost wholly unnecessary in the grand path toward enlightenment. Peace of mind and heart comes from the knowledge gained from struggles, won or lost. Inner tranquility comes from introspection and the desire to better one’s life on a deeper, spiritual level. Living well is a completely satisfying gift that requires actual thought and care.
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.
– Carl Gustav Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflection
There is more to life than what we typically see. We can make the everyday become extraordinary simply by taking pleasure or gratification in the knowledge that the meaning of life is life itself.
I’m saying that we should awake each morning with a sense of gratitude for the new day. There may be no particular reason why we are alive, but making the most of the time we do have is something worth doing.
I believe in individuals. Humanity as a whole, no. I believe in the people I love, the people I am yet to love, and those who are now gone from my life.
The way I see things now, as its own entity, humanity has not accomplished much. The toils and ideas of the few have moved us forward, and in some cases backward.
Believing in humanity is a lost cause. Believing in the people around me and encouraging them to do the things they truly desire, may spark some amazing actions.
The year 2007 passed in a mighty flurry. But my, was it marked with significant events.
The usual things happened: I made new friends, became closer to old ones, and lost a few. There were more good times than bad for once, and I had no major heart aches.
What makes this last year unusual is how much I have changed. I will always remember 2007 to be the year I finally stepped up to the challenge of living my own life. I am more in charge now than I have ever been in my whole 21 years.
Here’s the rundown of a few key events.
Dec. 29, 2006: I finally broke up with Oz. (I know it wasn’t 2007 but it set the tone for the rest of the year. Believe me.)
Jan. 2-4, 2007: I went to Vegas with Noel. David kidnapped Emily and came to see me. A year later, and we’re doing dandy.
Spring 2007 semester: I was co-news editor with Nancy for the EC Union. Tough cookies, that was. I started feeling a bit more confident in my abilities at this point. It was also during these months that I got into my first pretty major car accident, started becoming closer to Mare, got my cashier position at Borders, and stopped hanging out with Donna as much. Damo was in school all the time, and it isn’t a secret that I am not a fan of her boyfriend.
Summer 2007: Yeowzah. This summer was amazing. I must say, it tops most summers, besides 2005. I visited MOCA, the Getty, hosted a couple of bonfires, got crazy drunk for the first time, and pretty much just had a blast. I became closer to Matt during this time too, I think, as most people had to go to work immediately after our summer anthropology class, leaving the two of us to find random stuff to entertain us. I tagged along while he shopped for a truck, and we also visited one of the 7-11s that was transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart during the Simpsons movie hype.
Fall 2007 semester: News editor again, but this time I was all on my own. Sort of had to bring the big guns out, but at the end of the spring semester I had already promised myself that I would do everything possible to improve my efforts a thousandfold. Did I? You bet. I’m made of ice. We lost people early on, but meh. Those who stuck around dug deep and we’ve produced a damn fine set of papers. We also finally got the online edition of the Union up and running, after the staff a couple of years ago failed to follow through with it. In October some of us went to Washington, D.C. for the national ACP convention, where one of our issues one second place in Best of Show. That’s second place in the nation. I didn’t play it up much, but ah, I was so damn happy. And the trip was fantastic, despite an altercation between me and a person I thought was a good friend. Saw the typical sights, such as the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. I was finally able to walk the halls of the Smithsonian. It was something I’ve wanted to do since I was about 5 years old. In terms of my bachelor’s degree, I was accepted at San Francisco State for the Spring 2008 semester.
That was some tremendous fast-forwarding. ^^^
I know I left a number of things out, but I hope it is obvious that the year was fantastic. It has left an indelible impression on my whole being.
This brings us to the present day. Yesterday, family and friends celebrated my little brother’s 20th birthday at Medieval Times. Afterward, David and I built Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter out of 1,212 LEGO pieces. It took us almost six hours, and we managed to watch all three of the original Star Wars movies while putting the damn thing together.
In two weeks David and I will be moving to San Francisco. In two weeks a new chapter of my life will begin, one that promises to be vastly different from the ones I have thus far lived.
It’s a bit scary. But more than that, it is terribly exciting. And though I have a few valid reasons for being wary of moving in with David, I have to be honest and write that I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather make this transition with.
While he may be the only guy I’ve dated who hasn’t fallen head-over-heels in love with me and proclaimed that he wants to marry me already (Hah, thank GOD. What a distinction for him, eh?), there is something about him that makes me want to stick out our relationship to its natural end, whatever that may be. He’s worth the occasional frustration, the cyclical debates, and the random scares when he’s already outside my house when I think he’s miles away in the South Bay.
Tomorrow marks our one-year anniversary. Absurd, isn’t it?
And that was 2007 in a nutshell for me. Full of good times and good people. That is how life is supposed to be.