A little something from the late great Michael Jackson - Scream
I've been mapping out my past, a common enough task I think, and I've found there are many benefits. You gain a degree of self-learning, a clarification of your understanding of the past, an improvement of your appreciation of good memories and good poeple, and a great story.
There are dangers though: wallowing in self-pity, obsession on the past, renewed bitterness, over-attachment to this life, etc.
But perhaps the most repeated lesson I've found looking over my past is that things were never as bad as I thought they were, nor are they ever as good.
Looking at the past also helps put the present in perspective. I can say that my current life has been a bit rough at times (though not nearly as rough as the life of others mind you), but looking back I find it's amazing that my life is at least better than this period or that period, and so it's not that bad, and I ought to thank God that I got past those past crises because they were pretty damn bad.
Take for example my crisis of April/May 2008 - where I was almost certain I was going to fail a number of classes and need to take another semester (although in retrospect it may have been a good idea to take another semester and get a CS double-major, although who knows how that would have reshaped who I am today?)
Compared to that crisis, my feelings today are light and fluffy, and while I should not take my feelings to lightly (after all, like speed they can kill), it is a bit comforting that I got over that, it chastises my self-pity a bit, and it reminds me - life can suck sometimes, but it is still worth it. I look at that period and there's no way I can reconcile it with the idea I was secretly happy, no I was miserable, but there was still a beauty in that period of life, because I strove to live and live rightly and serve God in my life. Screw the misery, even the crises are beautiful.
And I got a little Facebook posting from that period to prove my point. As miserable and self-pitying that the posting is, I like to think it's a good piece of writing, and well worth looking back upon, or for those who have not read it, for the first time upon. Especially as the most major of the points are still valid, you can always trust God to get you through the bad times, and even when the thrill of life is gone, you still got to go on (and indeed move along):
So here's the posting which I after the fact labeled "Scream":
Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone
Little bit of Jack and Diane
Of course the best thing that John Cougar Mellencamp has given us is this line from How I Met Your Mother (Aldrin Justice):
Barney: Tonight, just like John Mellencamp, I am going to get rid of the cougar once and for all.
If you don't get it watch the episode.
Anywho, I'd like to thank everyone who gave me birthday messages, it was a nice gesture. If it seems odd to not write this till now, well, my life has been a little bit of a crapstorm this last couple weeks. And now that I come to the end of this semester it seems everything is coming up failure, partial or completely, and even my successes seem to be interspliced with failure. And this has all left me pretty miserable.
If I had some time to relax and move away from that mindset, maybe that wouldn't matter so much, but I have more work to do, I have to clean up the mess I've been dealing with lately, I have to deal with potentially failing one or more classes, and this sucks. So life's not going to be enjoyable for a while now.
But life goes on. And one day, really one day, maybe in a month, maybe in two, someday probably not too far from now, I will be getting out of this crapstorm, or I will learn to deal with it. I have great faith that God will get me through all this, but I'm having trouble finding enjoyment in life anyways, and in worse case senario, and I need to deal with the aftermath of these failures and the reactions of my family to these matters, which will likely be as uncomfortable as the problems themselves, I might be living in a crapstorm till the end of the summer or beyond. But still life goes on, I'll have moments of happiness now and then, and someday life will get better. So life goes on.
Even if for now, the thrill of living is gone.
-- Fin --
So how thrilling is living now?
At times very much so, at times terrible. Are things getting better? Off and on, yes. Do I trust God for the future, I am trying to, and I think for the most part succeeding. And looking back, I can say all and all, things are not so bad, maybe not great, but, to paraphrase Hamlet:
In this sleep of life, what dreams may come?
And then in death too, what dreams might appear?
Anywho, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!
And God Bless.
6 months ago