15 July, 2014

The true meaning of life.

The meaning of life, is to live a meaningful life.
So over the fourth of July, while sitting on a hillside in my hometown, watching the fireworks, I noticed the golden flakes that showered to the ground in-between each explosion. No one ever notices the fading death of the fireworks, but there they were, speaking to me. Most of us are blind to this after-beauty moment because we're intensely waiting for the next explosion. This summer, I've felt a bit like that withering firework.

I realize I've been absent online this summer. It was supposed to be the pinnacle of my university education. After all, I graduated in May cum laude, and I should be enjoying the spoils of years of hard work on the beach somewhere, traveling, sipping on a vodka cocktail, however, this is not the case. To be completely honest, it's been a rather miserable summer overall as my income has become our sole income, and unfortunately, this leaves us without discretionary funds. However, after what I've seen and done in the last few years, I remain grateful to have had the opportunities I have had. Life is filled with moments of explosions and fireworks, but in the waning moments between, you have regular, everyday life. In between Paris and Rome, there is mowing the lawn, fixing flat tires, and cursing at the top of your lungs as you install closet doors. In between moving forward, sometimes there is incubation and reflection. It's when you stop moving forward, when you can't remember the last time you changed, when you can no longer remember what it's like to have fireworks in your life, you should start to worry.

"You have waited and waited for that call and have lead a meaningless life."
 -Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam)
...And I remind myself of this all the time. There are so many of my generation who seem to have peaked in their twenties, and are completely content with spending the rest of their lives preparing for retirement and death. Worse yet, I'm forced to witness many older individuals suffer through their own awakening of regret later in life who were promised happiness for their years of struggle, only to discover their lives stolen from them, dying of disease, disaster, or poverty. They spent their entire lives trading today for tomorrow, only to discover that before they could actually live their life, they were strapped to a hospital bed, tethered to a couch, or too poor to escape the orbit of their own self-imposed existence of incarceration.

In essence, this is my worst fear: of living a meaningless life. That's one reason I feel so ashamed, and so scared of discovering myself in a holding pattern, a purgatory of life.  After all, what is the true meaning of life, if not to live a meaningful life. That's right, not a moral life, not a wealthy life, not a life that makes your parents proud, but merely a meaningful life. The answer is in the question.

Realizing that, I picked up the laptop, and I started to write. Plans are underway for the next big explosion in my life, something incredibly scary and exciting at the same time. In the meantime, I'm spending time with my children, giving them lots of hugs, loving my lover, walking the dog.... fighting everyday from fading into darkness, by shining as bright as I can until the next big explosion in life.