It’s a question that I’ve learned over the last few years that is not one that can really add any value to life at the moment or moving toward the future. That said, sometimes it’s really hard not to ask that question.
It just hit me that, when I was younger, I remember sometimes thinking to myself things like this: “Man, I hope that when we die, all these mysteries of the universe will be answered for us, and we’ll know how & why we are all here.” It was the child-like hope that we would be lifted up into heaven to be ‘educated’ by God of his master plan for everything. That all the ‘unknowns’ that we have in life will suddenly be revealed and all of a sudden everything would make sense.
In pondering this today, it struck me that maybe this is why I didn’t try so hard to learn when I was younger. I basically skated through school, doing just the minimum to pass. I didn’t really care about learning (even though, I really did enjoy thinking about the universe and the ‘big questions’). I basically blew off college…twice. (until I was married and realized that convenience store work wasn’t going to cut it, and then I went to Tech School). I just never really had the desire to know things deeply (and took a lot of things as truth based on authority).
Now, I realize that whatever there is to be learned by our brains, needs to be done within our lifetimes. I feel a bit like I missed out on so much potential because I was under the assumption that all would be revealed after death. Man, that is so disappointing to know how wrong that was now.
I’m going to have to accept this and move along in the right direction going forward, but I have a feeling that this is going to always be eating at me. I hate to focus on ‘what if?’ questions, but that is a BIG ‘what if?’ in this case. Regret is too harsh of a word. I don’t regret my life now. I love my life now. I just feel like I could have done so much more had I had a different worldview 20 years ago when I could do something with it. Now, I find myself basically trapped in a career that’s just OK. I’m a network engineer. And while, I know I’m providing a service to the world, I find myself feeling that I’m not making enough of a difference. It’s a thankless job. And usually, it’s quite the opposite…someone complaining that something isn’t working or that something was done wrong.
At this point in my life, I don’t see any way of moving toward something different. I always joke (well, semi-joke) with my wife that I want to be a Park Ranger. Being outside all the time would be incredible. But I do try to step back and see how even that, after a while, could become monotonous and boring. So, who knows? Maybe this is all a ‘rite of passage’ for people in my current age group. Maybe this is just what we all start doing at this point in our lives. We look back and analyze the right and wrong decisions. Try to imagine how life could or would have been different. And then hopefully can find a way to accept our current situation, be happy, and move on in a positive direction.
With any luck, soon I will find a way to avoid that question.
Ok, so it’s been almost a month since I posted anything. And I’ll be completely honest about why. This damn depression has, once again, snuck up on me and smacked me around. While it’s not nearly the intensity that it was 6 or 7 years ago, it sucks nonetheless. It’s disappointing. I thought I had control over this. I was at peace and content with myself, and then, like it does every so often, bam! It’s back. And usually when I least expect it to be. I have so many reasons to be happy and yet, I’m not right now.
I hate even talking or writing about this stuff anymore. It’s just a repetitive, monotonous cycle. But the reality is, talking and writing about it helps me. It always has. I recently found a web-page with a bunch of my old poems and song lyrics that I wrote when I was really struggling. I am amazed how far I’ve come since then, but it’s also a reminder that I still need to make a conscious effort to focus on the positive, live life to the fullest, embrace those around me who matter, and just try to be happy. I say ‘conscious effort’ because, while I had some medical help years ago, and that did help me get through the worst of it, I’ve learned that a lot of the recovery is, in fact, a personal decision. It took me a lot of years and soul-searching (pardon the pseudo-religious euphemism) to train my mind to do that.
I realize that this pattern will soon break and everything will be back to the way it was, but I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head. I apologize to anyone who actually reads this blog for the absenteeism and the downer of a post. I shall finish with one of my writings from long ago:
It’s always raining in my dreams
The water flows from clouds above
Rain soaked memories all around me
Wash me clean of all this blood
I stare the end straight in the eyes
And it looks back and laughs
Nobody sees and nobody knows
Why I walk this darkened path
I wish I could see where this goes
I wish I knew what is around the next corner
Another fork in the road confuses
Another decision is in order
Arms stretched wide I stare at the sky
While the raindrops sting my eyes
Each one a tiny indecision
Their cold wetness cuts like knives