||[Oct. 25th, 2012|02:25 pm]
I'll be 27 years old on Oct. 30.|
I have gotten better at acceptance, and stopped feeling like I constantly need to strive for some kind of life improvement, or for the "meaning of life." Everything is fine and I am free to do whatever I feel like, regardless of how "productive" I might be. Additionally, I have been in a relationship for the last two years or so, and that is probably a major reason for this contentment. I no longer think to myself "what am I going to do with the rest of my life" but instead have narrowed my views to "what am I going to do today," or at most, "this week." My life is too spontaneous to make long term plans, and that's cool with me.
In the past, I felt bound to societal rules, constantly concerned that I was doing everything "correctly." I worried about everyone liking me, being careful never to offend anyone, even those I didn't agree with. I have since learned that social norms are subjective. Hell, even morality is subjective, although I still try to maintain fairly high moral standards, however subjective they may be. This has been quite a freeing realization.
Another realization that I find particularly liberating is the lack of impact that my life will ultimately have. I take great comfort in knowing that there are no goals I'm obligated to achieve, no particular series of actions that make me into a "real man" or anything like that. You can take this idea and magnify it to a cosmic scale, that there's no goal that the entire planet is obligated to achieve, within the context of the broader universe. I also consider this a very liberating notion.
I am constantly aware of people's opinions, whether in blogs, the news, social media, or in person. So many people have these ideas of what constitutes the right way to live, and they will not hesitate to force those ideas on others. That's all it is though, one person's idea of how things should be. In particular, the idea of "if you do [blank] even once, you become a [blank]-er" is very common. I am not sure how many things I missed out on for fear of being labeled unfavorably, but I am glad to have figured out that my individual actions don't each necessarily define me as a person.
I looked back at some of my writing during the 2008 road trip, and found I was far too concerned with external validation back then. I wrote something like "I met some hot chicks! DERP" and it reminded me how much time I spent on that trip trying to socialize, be accepted, and all that. I suppose that's typical for a 23 year old. I hadn't yet studied philosophy, and I hadn't really thought about what was important to me, and why. I think I'd get a lot more out of that kind of trip now that I'm four years more mature, and not so dependent on others' approval.
I could take a trip like that again - I have a lot more money in the bank now than I did in 2008. However, I don't think it'd improve my quality of life like it did back then. Things are good now, and I'll just maintain the status quo for a while.
So yeah, in closing, everything from "if your balls touch another dude's, you're gay" to "those shoes are for old people" to the idea of an all-powerful humanoid god, are all just things that someone thought up one day, and there is no particular reason for me or anyone else to believe those kinds of things. Because really, everything will eventually be forgotten, and it doesn't make sense for me to do anything other than what I find fulfilling.
I feel like it took me too long to fully understand all this.