Escaping The Past

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Running away and starting fresh often has a romantic connotation to it. Many forms of media including television, and novels express this idea. Some keep the romantic notion alive throughout the entirety of the piece. Others show how the past always catches up.

You can forget the past, and change as a person. Hopefully we all change for the better, but that is only up to us. However, when you run away from longstanding problems, or stuff them in a lockbox, they will come back when you least expect. Sometimes this works out in a great way since we mature…and stuff.

This got me thinking about one of my favorite pieces of media; Cowboy Bebop. If you haven’t watched it, it’s a great series. Also noteworthy is it’s short, and sweet length. (Hundred hour tv dramas be damned.). Oh yeah, there may be spoilers ahead.

One of the themes in Cowboy Bebop is existence. The series features a cast of characters who are all somehow divorced from their individual pasts. Slowly, layer by layer, each character simultaneously develops, and reveals their past. Consequently, they must deal with their issues and tie up the loose ends of the plot. Each character’s arc winds up feeling a bit different, but the real treat is watching the cast grow.

Why I bring up this series is that it captures our romantic fascination of starting over, and then deconstructs our romanticization. But the uncertainty of the past nags at each character similarly to how our own pasts nag at us . Viewers then watch characters who simply must deal with their stuff. Much like life, every character has a different set of results. What will happen when you are forced to deal with the past?

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Just Keep Digging

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Perseverance is a weird subject. Everything from self-help, to cynical media has their rationale on perseverance. Furthermore, everyone has their own individual goals. Some people put in numerous, unpaid hours in industries they love in belief that the end goal will justify the means. What if that end goal can’t satisfy your life’s needs? This is something that occurs on almost every reality television show, and frequently occurs for plenty of interns.

Are you a poor schlub for doing an internship just to get a below-average-salary job, because you’re young? Not to say that money buys happiness, or fulfillment, but necessities are necessities. What happens when the goal is achieved and the results are unsatisfactory? There isn’t just one definable path from intern, to worker, to middle management. Also, there are plenty of people who are at the bottom rung of the ladder for their entire lifetimes.¬†Just getting by is not a fun way to live.¬†Whether that is making just enough money, or simply getting nowhere at work.

Sometimes we are told to chase our dreams. It’s a great sentiment, and one I believe everyone should try at least once, but no one has the master plan. Many people make a living telling your how to achieve. Depending on what you want to do, some of them may be correct. Hell, everyone in the United States could use a financial guru.

Maybe no one has the answers and those who found them just kept digging. They just kept doing what they did and life worked out. Some people find achievement easily. For others it’s a lifelong process. Which one will you be? We must all dig our own gardens so it seems.

All In This Together

Narcissism is like a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Media analysts, and pundits will argue that we live in a narcissistic time unrivaled by any other. Ironically, these analysts, news-writers, and pundits are just doling out their own narcissistic opinions. Hell, speaking from experience, news-writers are barely even a tertiary source anymore. Their job at this point is to frame conjecture as fact.

However, that is a major digression. It seems to me that the older we get, and inevitably more susceptible we become to what talking heads say, the more narcissistic we become.We also become less likely to stick out our necks. With great fallacy, many of us see that our life is best way to live. Trust no one, and don’t expect people to trust you.

Is being so trusting such an awful thing? Despite my nature of being a godless heathen, it’s hard to ignore that Jesus trusted and loved everyone. Sure it’s easy for a smart-ass to say, “He died being crucified by people whom he loved,” but whether or not he truly saved us from sin, he did die for his beliefs.

Every successful person knows that they gained success through the help of many and through having great relationships. Perhaps it’s a naive thought, but wouldn’t life be greater if we built these relationships less grudgingly? Just forget the stupid thing someone said on Twitter, or for once not rant about something on Facebook, neglect the divisiveness of politics, get rid of our social stigmatizations, and so on. We are all going to end up in the same place after all.

State Of Happiness

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When you are in your twenties/late teens trying to figure life out, the word happiness gets juggled around often. Many say you should do what makes you happy. Others say happiness is the key to life. It is hard to say whether anyone’s advice, given that it is genuine and heartfelt, is objectively great or awful. All advice is dependent on the recipient, no?

An individual may not even be ready for life-changing advice. Furthermore, the path to walk down is determined quite often on one’s outlook. In choosing a life, or a life’s goal, the only two things that matter are fear and bravery. The brave have a more difficult time, but reap the greatest rewards. Whereas the fearful have the easiest path, but few if any rewards towards the end. What got me thinking of all the conflicting messages, and our collective future as human beings, is the current state of everyone around me. In other words, my friends are all going to grad school.

A great decision if founded in great beliefs and genuine goals. With this decision, much like college or getting a job, many people are doing it because they have to, not because they want to. Many of these people are intelligent enough to trick themselves into believing whatever they want. Herein lies the flaw with our perception of happiness.

If the “real world” lacks your hearts desires, can grad school be much better? Money does not, and will not buy happiness. Achieving ones goals will not either, but it will bring fulfillment. Is chasing grades, goals, and money really going to bring happiness? It sounds cliche, but happiness comes before the goals, before the money, and before most everything else. It won’t come from a piece of paper, it may not come from your current beliefs, and it won’t necessarily come from achievement.The only place happiness can come from is a sound mind guided by a sound heart.

Perhaps that is the flaw with our logic of happiness. We chase the affirmations of our beliefs, and too often ignore the truth. Happiness should not be a result, but rather the core that energizes our being.