Today I was shown a video about how 'life should be playful', like a song and not a journey. It said that there should be no end goal for us, that we should enjoy the present moment and be unafraid.
This has me thinking way back, to Small Sacrifices, my first actual post here. While I believe that my writing and style (and ability to actually make sense) has improved significantly since I wrote that, the question I posed - what is more important, my service or my happiness? - remains unanswered. I will probably struggle with it for a while yet.
My life as it is right now is driven by three things:
- A desire to learn and improve myself
- A desire to reach a position from which I may improve the world
- Social expectations
And I approach these things seriously, as though there is nothing more important in the world. Grades, influence, learning, and, you know, conforming - these are my life's goals. But when I think back to my younger years, the time I remember is not the time I spent trying to learn math over the summer, or the time I spent reading alone; what I remember, and appreciate, is the time I spent playing Minecraft with my older sister, the time spent running around outside, the time I spent with my family over the holidays. While "learning" might be a really important thimg to me, what my priorities should probably look like right now (and what I imagine will matter to me when I am old) should be more like this:
- Spending time with people I care about, and doing things that I enjoy
- Writing, thinking, philosophizing - learning and considering things that will actually impact me and the way I live. ("enlightenment" vs. "knowledge"
- Helping others, improving the world
...and then I can add the things that matter right now, but might not necessarily be helpful later.
- Obtaining 'knowledge'
- Conforming to societal expectations (this doesn't matter, really, except for the impact that it has on relationships)
I continue to throw myself blindly at opportunities, new projects, new classes - anything novel that seems to have some semblance of value. I live my life day-by-day, week-by-week, in the worst sense: I am not enjoying the current moment, but looking ahead to some short period of relaxation and happiness. That may be the end of the day, that may be the weekend, that may be next week, but at any given moment I am most likely looking ahead, not being present now.
At least right now, I need to play more. Long-term, my goals remain to be seen.