Monday, February 23, 2009

Simple Kind of Life

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be satisfied. I like to think that all people live their lives trying to move in a steady forward-direction. But I can only really speak for myself when I say my primary goal in life is to continually be better.

But "better" is completely subjective. I've learned from knowing other people that being "better" might simply mean settling for what's comfortable and familiar. In other cases, "better" might just mean earning a lot of money, being mom of the year or becoming the foremost expert in some random academic field. Maybe "better" is numbing yourself with drugs until you've reached insanity or complaining about everything you DON'T have until everyone in the world can hear you. Maybe "better" is just losing 10 pounds. Like I said, it's completely subjective.

"Better" for me has become much less quantifiable in recent months. As a kid, it's so much easier to see everything in the short term - to set easily attainable goals like earning a place on the dean's list or saving enough allowance to buy a new gameboy.

Adults have it much harder - especially living in a culture like this one, where virtually everything is measured by financial wealth... and the constant accumulation of new material desires just gives way to a parallel accumulation of new frustrations.
We go to school longer to get better jobs, to get paid more money, to have the ability to consume more - whether it be for a new wardrobe, a new house, or new "comforts" for our children. It doesn't matter what it is - in the end, everything that motivates us these days can be broken down to a distorted view of happiness and reality.

I've been thinking about my life experiences a lot lately. And I'm starting to wonder if all these things that I do - my constant need to excel and my continual desire for experiencing NEW things - are nothing but cultural abstractions. And if that's the case, is there anything really WRONG with that? Or is it just a fact of life to be accepted? Is my goal to be "better" just a way for me to run away from reality?

I don't really where all of this is coming from. Maybe it's just a part of growing older. I don't know what I'm going to want when this whole London thing is over, because this WAS precisely what I've wanted for years. And now that I'm living it, I'm starting to feel another existential crisis coming on. Not right now... but soon, I'm sure.

1 comment:

Kimberly said... it coming from Second Life? LOL! I think a ROFL-fest/life epiphany under the stars is a necessity in the next few months!