living a meaningful life

i have decided that i must spend more time with myself, thinking things through by myself for myself. i need to make decisions about who i am and what i want and what i’m going to do.

for the past month or so i’ve been mulling over the concept of passion vs. responsibility, or personal achievements & dreams vs. responsibility & helping others. certainly responsibility & helping others is the more selfless, giving, and loving option. as a christian, i definitely have to take that into play. Jesus was definitely extremely generous, giving, and self-sacrificial. so is it self-sacrificial for me to give up on my dreams and settle for a future that will simply help me to be a good citizen and benefit society and hopefully the world in a small way that probably won’t be remembered and won’t leave much of a legacy?

i watched a hank green video the other day about how we all want to matter and be happy and be of significance to the world. he had an extremely interesting opinion that people who change the world never really single-handedly change the world. every single person makes little contributions that all add up to benefit the whole world. so for example we don’t have thomas edison to thank for the light bulb, we have everyone before him who did little things to help change the world to thank for the light bulb as well. i think essentially the point was don’t worry too much about if what you do ends up mattering because our cultural conception of one man’s actions being able to change the world is basically an oversimplification and not accurate.

i found hank green’s view extremely interesting but i’m not sure if i agree with him. i think i need some more time to think this through. i love thinking about the concept of legacy. i’ve become a bit obsessed with what mine will be lately, and listening to hamilton and the story of how alexander hamilton worked and worked and worked for his legacy is most intriguing as well.

the thing is, i know that i can accomplish anything i put my mind to. i just have to decide what it is that i will accomplish. do i try to have fame and fortune or a lasting legacy, or solve world hunger, or raise a family of inspired children who will be able to have infinite opportunities for their own futures?

i want to explore and find meaning for myself, and live an examined life. i want to do what brings me significance and fulfillment, regardless of what society deems as necessary or standard or worthy of praise. this life is mine; i’m going to live it for me. and that perhaps seems selfish but if i personally value being selfless, i’m going to figure out how living to stay true to myself intertwines with the concept of giving and doing things for others and not becoming self-absorbed and lost in my own head.

 

Musical Musings

one of the saddest feelings is knowing that you’ve worn out an album and listening to it will never again bring that feeling of novelty and excitement. this has been on my mind a bit lately because of my (flagrant) musical theatre phase. i wore out phantom, though it has so much ingenuity and complexity that i think i’ll still be able to listen to it sometimes, and i most certainly wore out wicked, love never dies, and hamilton. my “latest flame” (bonus points if you get the reference) is evita, and i am afraid that i have pretty much worn that out too (and only after a few days!). acknowledging that i’ve worn out an album is actually really really really sad for me, because listening to an album is just such an adventure to me. i don’t really know how to describe it but it’s like taking your mind and spirit to a new place and seeing and experiencing all these new things that only appear in dreams and fantasies. it’s amazing and it’s a language that’s so native to me that it feels like home and i don’t really know what else to make of it.

as i was attempting to organize my itunes library today, it really hit me that i find it incredibly difficult to revisit albums & songs – so much of the music that i’ve downloaded gets neglected over time. i find that i listen to songs/albums incessantly for weeks at a time, and then as i wear them out, gradually just stop listening to them. and trying to listen to them again after their initial excitement has worn off just isn’t the same – my brain knows the song too well and is able to predict every note and rhythm and the song becomes boring.

i suppose it’s really, really sad to me because it’s almost like the loss of an old friend, an old friend who shared secrets with you and introduced you to new concepts and had dance parties with you and sat with you on the bus ride home and was there for you when you couldn’t fall asleep at night. an old friend who led you by the hand to a faraway place so amazing and sparkling and bright and unbelievable to you, a mere human, confined by your physicality and gravity.

music has that ability to take you far away while somehow keeping you grounded and i love it so much i love you music don’t ever leave.