Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Feeling Stupid? I know I am!

Damn it you're right Mr. Homer Simpson, sometimes you got to take stupid risks (Lost Our Lisa), either that or smart risks, whichever floats your boat.

Least that's how I felt about Friday-ish. (Four days of the week, she thinks I'm the enemy... (Days of the Week by Stone Temple Pilots, an under-appreciated gem.)) (For those of you who may have noticed the stark change in tone between Friday's post and Monday's post, this explains things somewhat but there's also the matter of the random and eclectic nature of this blog.) And so I took a risk which I was assured was reasonable, though I thought it would be stupid, and as it turned out... well, the results don't actual tell whether or not the risk itself is stupid, that has more to do with the probability. But in the end, the risk ended in failure and violent emotional stirrings, etc. It was a painful moment.

Here's a nice song that part-matches how I feel. The ambiguity of the narrator and the addressed makes it a bit difficult to align with my feelings, but anyways: One Headlight by the Wallflowers.

Now that line: "So long ago I don't remember when/that's when they say I lost my only friend."

That always gets to me.

But another lines that particularly resounded with me Friday were:

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
Theres got to be something better than
In the middle

(Here are the full lyrics for the song)

Little flashback (I'm always ambivalent about getting particular with times on this blog, because on the one hand it makes things easier to explain, more accurate, and more personal, on the other hand it might lead people to certain wrong conclusions about events and it may be too self-centered/diary-ish. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained). Last week, I invented a new phrase to capture how I was feeling (because I'm just that awesome): half-blooded. And if I could give a try to explicate why, perhaps it was because I was in a sort of middlish-place. I was looking at the prospects of very little risk calculated or otherwise, and I found myself envisioning a future somewhat like that.

It's hard to say for sure, since all memories of the past are tainted in hindsight, but I think I had sort of focused myself on a certain course for the future. Essentially it was a simple step-by-step process for my life:

  • graduate with a decent though not immensely great grade point average (my assumption was around 3.6 which may still be the case, but now I'm a little bit more worried grade-wise).

  • find a job with decent pay, non-high stress, moderate hours, any job really fitting those criteria (I'm still pretty open in my job search which is kind of bugging me and perhaps I should focus things more).

  • get involved with whichever community and church I settle in and join hobby groups and make friends and such

  • get a wife and kids

  • the rest should probably take care of itself from there...

That's not a bad plan for life. It covers security, family, and some fun (of course it is an immensely vague plan which may explain how much it covers). Yet it is a plan that I was looking at because it essentially gave no risk. Basically after the ups and downs of recent years, a part of me wanted to just fall into some rut, nestle into there and never emerge, and that's why I liked this path. That's not to say it's a bad path or that others shouldn't choose it or that even I might not end up on it. I may end up on this path. But if that's the case I'd like it to be because I find the family+friends+community+church+ok job life and I've become enamored with it, not because I went to it through inertia or through fleeing from risk.

So when Friday I took a stupid (or maybe reasonable) risk that was only tangentially related to the whole "what's my future going to be?" question and it filled me with such full and vibrant emotions, even if they were savagely sad ones (here's a song for that: Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots), it made me feel alive again. Really alive.

The thing with feeling half-blooded as I defined it, is it's a lot of emotion with no direction, but after taking that risk I felt alive again, and the emotions now had directions, they went up, down, sideways, etc., but they were real and full.

And suddenly I felt like I was part of the real world again, an active person, a dynamic, changing person once again, whose future is not set in stone and may end in disaster but might end in glory. Maybe I do need to keep fail-safes and checks and safety-nets, etc. for my life, but that doesn't mean I can't take risks. Indeed, I do all that so that I can take risks. So that I can aim for the stars, in my own little ways. All and always though, in the service of the Lord.

My problems aren't gone. Indeed some are worse now that I've taken once more this active (and thus time-consuming) attitude toward life. But it's better than in the middle.

And I think I can make it home, with one headlight.

So anywho, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

And God Bless.

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