Sunday, March 15, 2009

Seize the day

Well a week has passed, and now I'm back at Pitt for the final roughly 6 weeks of the semester. I was extremely excited to go home, which is sort of rare for me. Not that I dislike my home, my parents, brother, dog (she is cuter than yours, no contest), and friends are all awesome. It's just usually I enjoy myself at school, and the past two months I wasn't particularly thrilled. However, as I thought about it I realized I had been acting stupidly. I had tons of great memories: BCS title game, half price at Eat 'n Park, going to the AFC Championship game with my Dad, watching the Steelers win the Super Bowl/rioting, Jubilee, spending the weekend with my parents and uncle, shamrock shakes and wii. I'm sure there are probably more, so why was I acting like someone forgot my birthday? I came to several conclusions while home, some on my own, and others with the help of friends and C.S. Lewis. Either way, my break saved the rest of my semester.
First of all, feeling sorry for yourself is popular and common but no less pathetic. Get up and go do something. Not anything, just those things which improve/benefit you as a person. Lots of people turn to alcohol, drugs, among others, and those make it even worse. I will not play the high and mighty card, because I've had addictions of my own (of different but ultimately similar variety). Call friends who answer and will encourage your productive/positive side. Negative defeatists and enablers are not friends, apathy is only cool until you're 18 then it becomes a facade and a crutch. It's amazing what works out when you give it a chance, no expectations or requirements. Often the seemingly biggest failures are the greatest successes. My greatest moments have been when I expected nothing, and got exactly what I needed even if I didn't realize I needed it. I'd call this God at work, but for those opposed to the divine, call it as you see it. Just remember coincidence isn't convenience, and some things are TOO illogical to be either.
Next, in the revelation department, sometimes things don't work. Not necessarily for a reason, or because it's someone's fault, but because they just don't. Usually, great effort is put into making them work which is often futile. It's impossible to force someone to like you, and irrational to justify why they should, or that they should, or that they will if you do this thing or act this way. Let situations out of your hands stay out of your hands. You could put them in God's hands, I strongly advise this route, and then move on. Or continue to fight it, and ultimately embarrass yourself, while not attaining your goal in the process. Maybe, your supposed want isn't really what you need or want. It may be convenient or something you don't want to change, because it takes you out of your 'cool comfort' for change and maybe better possibilities. Keep your possibilities open, because nothing guarantees that the expected will occur or that dreams are that far out of reach.
Here's a shocker for all your control freaks, success is *gasp* self-determined. If you can function as a healthy individual and like the quality of your life that is successful. Now, as a Christian, I want to be successful in a Christ-like manner, but for the sake of all audiences I'll stick to my original point. If you want to make a lot of money, and do, technically you are a success. By the same measure, if all you care about is video games, and all you do is play video games, you technically are a success. This is relative, someone can say you're a success or failure by their own standards, but ultimately you decide. If you work 80 hrs a week, and are happy and want to, you're a success. Now obviously, arson, theft, and other crimes may be successful, but these are illegal and not capable of being defined on a success/failure scale. Everyone can be a success, if they seek to attain a healthy and happy life and do. Criticizing others for having different definitions of success is juvenile, and an unfortunate product of the results oriented world we live in. Setting levels of 'success' for others to achieve will ultimately get you let down. Focus on your own success, not as a product, or measure of wealth, but in terms of life value.
Finally, ask yourself why not? Many ask why about almost everything. This is fine, pondering is essential for learning and the enlightened mind. However, as is embracing new ideas and giving things a chance. Not the usual, I'm not condoning drug/alcohol use, sexual experimentation, and the other usual suspects. If you want to go ahead, but heed the consequences which may occur. These generally are self-destructive behaviors, and a faith or religion isn't needed to justify that. I'm talking about having an open mind, and being less judgemental and holier-than-thou. Try new food, read new books, watch movies that don't grab your attention. Not as a trend, or to be cool, or as some sort of artistic statement, but to give things a try. Those things which cause you harm, effect you negatively, or you genuinely dislike give up on. But in the process you may find some new favorites, or at the very least became more educated or enlightened. Give people a chance. Don't judge on appearance (if this is too difficult, don't judge solely on appearance). Everyone is supposed to have a type, base it on internal or personal characteristic rather than the external. Gravitate towards those who make you better mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. Get rid of those who tear you down. Associate with those you want to associate with, don't lie to others about how you really feel. Be honest. If you want to be, and feel you are, better than everyone, then behave that way. But remember, even the intelligent are not immortal and elitists find friends when they suddenly need them. Your actions will define you, but yours words will limit the scope of your actions. Humility is often the difference between those who make it and those who do not.
Overly idealistic, perhaps? Nothing original or profound here. Just what I've slowly been learning, in my constant struggle between the will of, myself, man and that greater than man (God). No sense dwelling on the past, when the future is yet to be written. As Bob Dylan says, "He not busy being born, is busy dying!"

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