Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

Priorities: the post turned into an unrelated impromptu rant

I always feel a little confused when I speak to someone who has no direction in life. Direction is different from a plan; anyone who seems like they know what the hell they’re doing is either a skilled enough actor to block out any projections of their instability or they’ve surrounded themselves with enough predictable monotony that they’re more or less dead. People with direction in life might not know what they want to do, where they want to grow old, or who they want to become, but goddammit they’ll find out if it kills them. They go to parties not to get drunk and revel in nostalgia, but to meet new faces and swap new stories. They learn not just because someone told them to, but because they have a burning desire to know. They don’t follow the status quo because everyone else is doing it, they take make stupid decisions and risk ostracization because it was their best chance at figuring it all out.

A lot of people to be completely unaware of their direction in life. You can’t stand your job, but you’ve been there for a year or so and there’s no sense throwing away that seniority. You’re driving yourself towards a nervous breakdown, but if you just study a bit harder you can really bump up your GPA, and that’s what you heard was important. You’ve always dreamed of being an astronaut, but everyone has that dream – it’s a stupid dream, and it’s a lot easier to just settle. You’re just not happy in life, but it’s because of a bunch of uncontrollable factors, so there’s no sense in trying anyways.

That’s bullshit. There’s no way you’re going to live to 150, most of us will be lucky to see 100 at the rate modern medicine is progressing, which means that most of my readers have used up more than a fifth of their time here, and some a lot more. Every day that passes by is a day you’re never getting back, and there’s absolutely no excuse for not using each one to the fullest. The only purpose that I can find in life is the pursuit of happiness. If you’re not actively working to make your life better, then you’re stagnating. I’ve known far too many people who wake up each morning and bitch about how terrible their life is, and then seemingly refuse to do a thing to change it. They’ll dance the same dance day after day, and I honestly don’t know if they’re too afraid to change things or if the thought just never occurred to them. Yes, life sucks, and everyone needs to let off some steam every once and a while, but you’re the only one who can make it better. Quit the job, reinvent yourself, move to another country, go on medication, whatever. Just do it, and never stop doing it. Wake up each morning ready to do what it takes and embrace risks, and go to bed each night exhausted, drained, and utterly satisfied with how you changed a little corner of the world.

“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move” – Ben Franklin

That rant just came out of nowhere. Weird.


2 Comments so far

  1. Grandma October 26th, 2006 9:07 am

    O.K. so in which direction ae you going? I know that I have arrived.

  2. Alex October 26th, 2006 3:04 pm

    I’m going “out there”. Also, NNW.

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