Tuesday, February 13, 2007

on life, but not profound, at all

The random philosophical-esque intro to last week's Grey's Anatomy happened to be about something that's been bugging me for months--the idea that not everyone is destined for greatness. In fact, most people aren't. But we assume we are.

Does everyone assume their life will work out great, or is just the lucky ones like me who grew up with no need unfulfilled and limitless encouragement? While it's great that I spent my entire life knowing that I could do whatever I wanted, I went through a bizarre panic a few months ago.

It finally hit me that my life isn't going to turn out how I want. That isn't to presume that it's going to turn out badly, or even that looking back from my deathbed I won't be happy with it. But it's not going to turn out how I want, looking forward, right now. It also won't turn out how I expect. And, even more disturbingly, there's a significant chance I won't be happy with how it turns out.

Maybe this sounds obvious to most people, but I found it rather shocking. It's also somewhat amusing that right now, while my life is more "on track" than ever before, I would be plagued by such thoughts. But, I think maybe that's it. Now that I'm here, thrilled that I'm at a great law school and feeling more privileged than ever before, I realize more than ever that life doesn't simple "work out." I think I've spent a lot of the past many years looking at life as reaching "life markers": turning 18, then 21, graduating college, etc. It seems like the further you go, the less clear the markers become. Where do I want to be in 5 years? It's no longer so simple. (Taking 7 years to graduate college gives you a long time with one goal, maybe that's why I'm a bit disoriented!)

Anyway, that's pretty much what I'm lying here thinking about. Life doesn't turn out how you want. Also, there's a hell of a lot of sadness and pain in life. I've spent most of my life being terrified of pain I haven't yet encountered, under the strange semi-karmic (long before I'd ever heard the word karma or it's incorrect usage) belief that I'm overdue for serious pain. Severe hurt or sadness or something. I'm still terrified of this. It's kind of like pitching a no-hitter. The further along the game goes, the more pressure is on the pitcher, and the more they think about not giving up a hit. It can become overwhelming. And the longer he goes without letting up a hit, the more painful he knows any hit will be. 5th inning hit is bad, but he knows an 8th inning hit will tear him up inside.

So far my no-hitter has been amazing, but giving up that first hit is going to be so painful...

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