After reading this entry, my friend Devin recommended listening to this while reading. I’m not sure if he suggesting that I’m sounding like a Negative Nancy or that my writing has finally become similar to the Russian authors I idolize. Who knows. Give it a try
The past week and a half I have felt more inspired and self-aware than I have been for a while, and it is thanks to the company I keep. Reuniting with friends that have been gone for so long and having those first “grown up business career” discussions have strengthened my belief that the company I keep, like-minded creative and intelligent individuals, are more prepared to face life’s challenges than they think. Our generation has seen disasters that have hit too close to home at an early age: Oklahoma City Bombing, Columbine, 9/11, Iraq War, Katrina, Tsunami, Haiti. I remember doing bomb and sniper drills in grade school. The digitalization of information and its accessibility has created a crowd of passionate individuals who could discuss politics as readily as they would discuss their favorite sub genre from the early 2000’s . Most of my friends, whether awaiting graduation or become acclimated to life after it, had the foresight to have the experience and skills to land the 9 to 5 gig that will support their moonlighting activities in music, art, writing, design, etc.
Passing an initial judgement or stereotyping at first glance is absurd in this day in age. Even now, upon first glance at some one, there is a chance I could be wrong about their upbringing and personal beliefs. The thrifty bohemian actually is a trust fund baby whose parents pay the rent, the body building fraternity bro quotes Kafka, and so on and so forth.
But it’s time to take oneself seriously and speculate whether all one’s experience will lead them to the goal they have been working for. I’m currently rereading Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being for my Honors College seminar and there’s a beautiful line (among many) that reads “The goals we pursue are always veiled. A girl who longs for marriage longs for something she knows nothing about. The boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is. The thing that gives our every move meaning is always totally unknown to us.” No one wants failure, yet we all fear it.
It’s the apprehension and fear of ending an educational era. There are two perspectives that students have during school. The first is viewing a course as a subject to comprehend and understand just to receive a decent grade. It could possibly be a stepping stone into a higher level course or finishing up a minor. Then the realization kicks in – you find yourself applying concepts from one course to another and what you do in the last few months of school is a final chance to prove yourself worthy of all the hard work and decisions you’ve made. After graduation, it’s an abyss. I like schedules and starts and endings and feeling that life is comprised of cycles, from one school year to the next. For 2o odd years we get used to a comforting pattern of centrifugal force every year since starting school. At a certain point, the cycle is disrupted and we are flung into the universe. Life into working adulthood appears linear to me, ascending but not infinite.
That was my fear, of not understanding what new perspective I will gain and how I will view my daily activities. How will I manage the passage of time? This fear is disguised; it’s the same realization of your own mortality.
It is a transition from perceiving time, a constant, in an entirely different way.