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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Other Side Imagined

Last week I opened up about some big uncertainties I have, and in doing, so I've realized I'm grappling with these questions on a philosophical and spiritual scale.

I referred to a proverbial other side, which I can best describe as a place in which these questions no longer shake you to your core. I don't know if it exists, and I think that's why we associate so strongly with the tangible aspects of life, namely our place of employment, life partner, and other relationships and activities. It seems that when we reach a point of feeling fulfilled by these things - when we are invested in them and feel they are truly a part of us, and sources of support in looking at the big picture - that we've reached the other side.

My greatest source of fulfillment is literature, art, reflection. At this point, it's the work of others that makes me feel safe and supported.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where Am I Going?

Look familiar? (From the movie Cast Away, 2000.)
I've thought thoroughly for a while about where I want to proceed with this blog and beyond. I've always viewed it as a metaphor for my own life. Working through my thoughts on paper (or screen, more often), I've hoped would help me work my way through what I've felt can be a challenging world. 

What I've come to find is that it isn't easy to move forward, either in writing or life. I've felt like I've gone around in circles, a frustrating catch-22. I can't articulate what I'm looking for in words, so I don't know how to find it. I don't know what I want in life, so my writing lacks focus.

Those adults who claim to have been in my shoes and and seem to have made it to the proverbial other side say everything will work out. The burgeoning genre of "Gen Y" literature provides some assurance that others are going through similar experiences. Still, I find myself coming to question everything I've learned and expected in the past 25 years.

The only road map I have is what other people have done, what the social norms are. Finish school, get a job, move out, make friends, find a soulmate, buy a house, have a child, and encourage that child to follow the same road. That's what the adults - the ones I describe as having made it - did. There are the people who seem to naturally follow this progression and those that thrive off skewing from it. And then there's me, and all I really want is to find my way home.

Fiction doesn't necessarily help. My expectations of life in my 20s were shaped by shows like Friends and countless others that made me think these were going to be the best years of my life. In a lot of ways, they have been - but not for the reasons I thought. I feel happiest in the solitude of my own apartment, seeking refuge from the world in which I'm supposed to lose myself. My relationships are as rewarding as I imagine they can be. Yet knowing how I feel, and keeping my life thus far in mind, I wonder why I fight so hard for a life that may never be more than this.

I realize this worldview is rather depressing, and if it isn't one that resonates with you, I appreciate your at least taking a moment to listen to me. But if this picture does seem familiar, maybe my story will make you feel less alone. And maybe, just maybe, we can help each other get home.