I'm getting old. I saw it when I looked at the car mirror last night, preparing to grab some Japanese BBQ with my big bro - now 29 years old. I'm only 22, yes. But when I go to Starbucks and the workers are my age and younger, it's a strange feeling. As you get older, instead of having peers and adults, you just become a person among others. Just lots of people of varying ages who all used to be the age of the younger people around them, at one time (not another, you can only be one age once after all). It's weird, just now I'm remembering that I always wanted to be older. I wanted to have the independence to move across the state, or even country, if I wanted to! I always wanted to start a new, exciting life. And yes, I am doing some pretty cool things now! I went abroad my freshman year to aid a medical mission and then the next year, I went to provide child-care to a government-run orphanage for a couple weeks. Okay, these things might appear like "cool" activities to a lot of people. But they each broke my heart in different ways. Seeing the educational gap that exists not only in country, but in the world? Seeing really miserable kids who are forced into a strangely uncomfortable living environment after being taken away from their drug-addicted/violent parents? Not gonna lie, these things broke my heart and I don't think I'll ever see happiness in exactly the same way. But, yes, lots of people think that I am "cool" for committing my time and money to such things. This summer, I'm teaching English in a low-income school abroad for a month. In doing so, I'm teaching myself Mongolian. The thing is, I didn't know what I was planning to write this post about. I just thought that I need to write more. And this is working in reliving some stress for me. I've had such UN-practical interests my whole life - reading interesting books, writing personal letters to the internet here, watching movies for the sake of clinging onto compelling plots and characters that I (honestly) lived through while growing up. I am naturally CHILL- ie., I want to have sex with my boyfriends, watch movies with them, go to a party/rave/concert and get fucked up for the night, while also meeting nice people, try new food places (though I'm not a foodie, so it's much more about the experience for me), write, read, laugh.
But at the same time, that's not the lifestyle I want for myself. Some people think that both asserting that you want something and also not believing that you want something is signs of insanity. So I'm trying to show that those things individually are what I enjoy, but collectively I want to grow as a person. It's hard. Because yes, I want to become cultured and know about things like geography, wine, architecture, and politics. But I also don't want to be one of those cultured assholes who know more about art and the nicer things in life that other people don't have time to delve their personal time studying into.
I've become practical. So, I want to write for pleasure, but I know that the real life applicability of this won't get me far. I'm not doing this professionally and if I did, I wouldn't want my face and name associated with my words. It's funny because I consider myself an extrovert, but my true feelings about most things I end up keeping to myself and mulling over just inside my head. Like, I'm always down to meet people and I like being around people most of the time. But the conclusions that I come to? I feel like my intellectual pursuits can't be matched by most of my friends and family, not in terms of their aptitude but in terms of their conversational preferences. Anyway, this is why I don't post as much as I used to, or read books for fun as much as I used to.
You get older, and you feel like you have more important things to do than personal, anonymous hobbies of personal pleasure. At least for me. Because I value bettering the lives of others and becoming smarter with my academic studies/ interacting with real people. I think that this is largely, or at least partially, due to social media. You know - how people post about their achievements and cool places they visit, how many people they are socializing with. It's like a digital popularity/competition to keep up with cooler things than the next person. Not only that, you can tell if you aren't keeping up with what everyone else is doing.
I study philosophy and my studies tell me that I should live an ethical life, outside of myself and towards valuing the world around me. It sucks, but I accept those ideals and it makes me want to do less things that I think are just fun and silly. We only have one life to live and I want mine to positively impact people who aren't just myself. Jonas Salk is my hero, the polio vaccine inventor and all-around altruistic motherf****** - he didn't just want fame and fortune (I mean, realistically, maybe he did. But wanted to be known as the guy that chose otherwise. Either way, it doesn't matter what the mean was to the end that enormously benefited hella people + children). And if he is my hero, I should just keep moving forward with my dedication to improving lives. [yes, I just came to a realization].
A friend of mine told me that she gives me the advice that in making my own life decisions, I should give myself the advice that I would give my own best friend. If I wouldn't recommend my best friend, lover, or own sister to do something, then why would I go ahead and do it anyway?