a quiet life.
October 27, 2010 § 2 Comments
a heart that’s full up like a landfill.
a job that slowly kills you.
bruises that won’t heal.
you look so tired, unhappy.
bring down the government; they don’t speak for us.
i’ll take the quiet life, a handshake of carbon monoxide.
no alarms and no surprises.
such a pretty house,
such a pretty garden.
no alarms, and no surprises, please.
do you ever imagine living a life that’s bigger than yourself?
when i take a step back, and i try to examine why i so easily become disillusioned with going to school, i realize that i don’t want to go to school simply to learn, but more so to understand. i want to learn about and understand the middle east. i want to learn about and understand africa. i want to better understand american politics and what is keeping large-scale positive change from happening.
in thinking about my life and thinking about my goals, it’s always about me: where i want to go. what i want to do. what i want to see. which is fine, right? it is my life, right?
i spent another weekend at home, and on monday, i was driving back to portland when this thought crept up out of nowhere: “i don’t want to go to school… i don’t want to work, either… i just want to travel.” my stomach sank with such deep longing when i thought of the word “travel”… i’m sure i’m not unique in thinking these kinds of thoughts; i was tired and alone on a long, rainy drive back to a place now only synonymous with stress and loneliness. and i’m sure i’m not the only one who wants to escape from the monotony of school or work to go and explore and experience different parts of the world.
but it got me thinking about what i’m now calling my “me” goals… how many goals do i have in place that only benefit me and my pleasure or my happiness? what am i using my life for, then?
i’m investing (at least) the next four years of my life to go to school… why? uh, i suppose… to be educated so that hopefully, someday i can get a good job. from there, i’ll hopefully make decent money and will be able to afford a nice apartment and cute clothes and delicious lattes.
okay, great! i’m sure it could be fun being able to go to ikea and world market and to finally be able to decorate a modern apartment the way i want i’ve always dreamed. i’m sure it could be nice to go every once in a while and splurge on the latest trends.
OR: will i find that working hard to get what i want will leave me feeling completely unfulfilled and empty?
it reminds me of a scene in fight club where edward norton is venting to tyler about his apartment recently lost in an explosion, and how his wardrobe had been becoming so “respectable” but, in an instant, it was all gone.
tyler: do you know what a duvet is?
narrator: it’s a comforter…
tyler: it’s a blanket. just a blanket. now why do guys like you and me know what a duvet is? is this essential to our survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? no. what are we then?
tyler: right. we are consumers. we’re the bi-products of a lifestyle obsession.
“how embarrassing: a house full of condiments and no food.”
the Christian in me answers one of my bigger questions like this: the meaning of life is to glorify God. now, obviously, i can’t go to school and earn a bachelor’s degree in “glorifying God” so… what?
why can’t i spend these thousands of dollars to go to school and take classes that could prepare and equip me for living a life that’s bigger than myself? because… that’s ultimately what i want. why should i waste anymore time?
for example: i could to turn a longing to travel and see the world into an opportunity to volunteer or educate in needy places. bottom line, i want to turn an understanding or a passion for something into an action; a mobilization for change, for progress, for positivity.
and i don’t want to plan for a life that would amount to anything less.
yet, here i am… tomorrow morning, i will wake up, and i will do math homework.
i hate math. i hate math. why do i have to keep doing math?!
for now, maybe what i need the most is patience. patience that, in pushing through and doing my best to not fall into my patterns of apathy and disillusion when it comes to school and being forced to sit in classes that are irrelevant, that greater things are coming, that there is time…
“let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – galatians 6:9.
at the proper time… if we do not give up.
humbled by change. waiting patiently for harvest.