Tuesday, November 17, 2009


How do we make our choices? Do we logically think them through? Where do our instincts and gut reactions come into play? How about those decisions made in total confidence that fate will intervene in the best way possible?

I feel that as of late, I've been waging a bit of a war with my life, the way I live it and how I understand it. It's not so much that I have choices to make that would tangibly affect my life (no new workplaces, new majors, or new houses) but rather, I feel that I've started a mini-revolution of the mind. At first glance, it sounds like an opportunity to challenge myself and to "think outside the box" however, I don't seem to be taking it as well as I hoped.

I've been presented with endless possibilities that have the potential to change my thought structure and in so doing, the way I comprehend my existence. Although I am elated at times at this prospect, I feel crippled by the doubts and fears that creep through the depths of my mind. I also can't get over the cost associated with this mini-reinvention of self.

I am extremely uncomfortable with the thought of hurting people just to pursue what I feel is best for myself. The risk is acceptable if I am the only one who stands to lose but it rarely is the case that, as Simon and Garfunkel once put it, I am a rock, I am an island.

Walking into the unknown worries me most when I am choosing to affect the lives of people around me by making a change in my life. What if my reasons for change turn out to be misinformed? What if this path leads me nowhere? Just because I strive for more, does that mean that I drop everything that can't give that to me? I can't help but feel upset about the possibility of making a mistake and consequently hurting people unnecessarily.

Nothing is assured and however heartbreaking it is, I feel that I'm walking blindly just hoping that someone would throw me a lifeline. It is absolutely terrifying to think that I can play all my cards right, agonize and plan but still be subject to the million other factors that will ultimately decide whether or not the outcome would be as I wished and hoped. I emphasize it again: terrifying.

On a more positive note, I turn to one of my favourite poets for words of inspiration:

"You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…."
- Rainer Maria Rilke
I'm trying...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Importance of Being Earnest

However devious you might consider Jack Worthing to be , I think he was on to something.

Oscar Wilde's character had an incredible amount of responsibility in addition to a grand reputation to uphold. With all that to deal with, I wouldn't be surprised if he slumped in his large leather chair at night wondering what the hell he got himself into.

In response to these overwhelming pressures, Jack had decided to fabricate himself a brother named Earnest who was constantly finding himself in situations that Jack needed to get him out of. What an intelligent way of creating a way out - a much needed vacation.

Para Quitarse el Sombrero...

To an extent we all give ourselves these excuses to escape from the reality of our lives. I'm not talking about reasons for procrastination though. I'm referring mainly to that tendency that we have to create a justification for whatever wrong/irresponsible act we all claim to fall victim to.

A person handicapping their ability to perform at a sporting event by not practicing might sound absurd but it happens. It is usually the case that the individual fears failure and is under immense pressure to succeed.The twisted logic here is that, although they will indeed fail, they would have created themselves an excuse such as, "I was too busy to practice the way I would have liked and had my life been less hectic, I surely would have excelled in the match". This, of course, will bring about some sympathy from others and from the person that tends to judge you the most: you.

Don't think you do this? Consider:

Recently, I didn't feel like doing an assignment so I made the excuse that it was unfair. In reality, I thought it was actually a fair albeit challenging test of knowledge. By allowing myself to believe in the assignments "unfairness", I didn't feel as irresponsible when I continuously put it off.

Sound familiar??

In any case, the more symbolic side of this play lies behind the word earnest and it is this feeling of doing something whole-heartedly that I wish to discuss.

I have always tried to live my life with passion and feeling. Although I do find this difficult and futile at times, I feel that this is a necessary part of my self-concept and an indication of how successful and happy I am at the moment.

I could have written the last few months but I would not have done so earnestly and the thought of doing something half-heartedly feels like defeat to me.

By making a point of being thoughtful about the events of my life, I usually manage to find something that sparks my interest and develops my passions. What normally follows is that I find myself making less excuses about having to get things done. Everything turns into challenge in which I have the opportunity to test my capabilities, stretch my intellectual limits and add to my achievements.

What's not exciting about that?

Maybe Jack needed some passion...

(photo credit: thebigTopHat)