Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Experience of Being Alive

Today, I came across a quote by Joseph Campbell:

"People say what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we are seeking is an experience of being alive"

That gave me a sudden jolt while I was stretching on the gym's matted area after an intense hour of working out (Yes, Taka is getting big). It's amazing how sometimes you come across these moments when things fall in place and the world starts to look differently. Then out of this jolt, from the depths of my being came a roar of liberation:

Fuck being a lawyer!

Am I going to spend a few months re-studying that meaningless and frustrating test called the LSATs just so that I can get into a law school and spend three years studying something that I'm not wholly interested in just so that I can slave away and wallow in the tedium of legal agreements and proofreading and wrangle over legal niceties all to pay off student loans?

Yeah, but listen Taka, you'll have a law degree! You can do anything with it! And you'll be free to do whatever you want after you pay off your debt. Let's be realistic. It's a backup plan. Plan B. Safety net when you fall! Ain't that great? I mean what happens when you don't succeed at whatever you decide to do? You'll be poor, miserable, unhappy, and people will look down at you! Get a stable job, play safe, man.

Fuck you. I will do what I want. Hear me? I will do what I want to do and live my life the way I want. Fuck 9 to 5, fuck playing safe, fuck socially respectable jobs, fuck doing something you don't enjoy, fuck comfort, fuck the "Money = Success" mentality, fuck crowding out your days with meaningless routines whose SOLE purpose is to make you forget about the experience of being alive. Fuck all that. I will do what I want and I will have everything I want in my life. I will not compromise. I will be relentless.

Life is a challenge. Not a comfortable car to get a ride in. Life is a fucking mudflow of challenges. To weather through it, all you need is a bit of courage to step off that deadly treadmill of 9 to forever of the daily grind and eternal procrastination that gets you NOWHERE because all it does is produce NOTHING BUT INCORRIGIBLE INERTIA.

You live your life once.


Are you gonna get off that treadmill? Or stay and regret not having seized the day when you retire and find yourself without anything to do?

Nothing great can be achieved without taking risks.

We're all risk-averse. Every educated person knows this. But knowing/thinking is WORLDS apart from actually doing.

I've done enough thinking in college (yeah, philosophy and paralysis of analysis). It's about time that I acted. I'm gonna be a doer and enjoy the experience of being alive. I will double my life experience and have a blast.

I will enjoy my life.

1 comment:

ANgoLikeMango said...

Ha. I love 'paralysis of analysis,' so applicable to grad school. But it is giving me the tools to think deeply about the experience of being alive. I appreciate that. The very concept is something anthropologist Michael Jackson takes seriously in his work. I took a class with him last semester. Check out his collection of essays (the Benjamin one is fantastic) in Excursions or his more theoretical Minima Ethnographica.