Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Want to be Like Jesus

I wonder if this guy walks into a motel and gives the guy three nails and says, "Put me up for the night."

Oh, but I couldn't resist...

And a closer look:

If you're wondering why I didn't get a picture from the front...well...Do you want to be the guy to get in the face of the guy who carries around a cross saying that he wants to be like Jesus?

But maybe I figured this guy all wrong back when I took this picture in somewhere between 1999 and 2001. Maybe I never considered that he was just following a path that he set out for himself. Maybe he was truly happy with his life, and I never bothered to get to know him — to approach him person to person, human to human, instead of as "photographer trying to sneak a few pictures of the freak by Union Square." It seems almost rare to me that I know people who truly like what they do for a living. I know a lot of people who can tolerate their jobs, but how many people are really thankful for whatever vocation they're in. This question alone has fueled the whole self-help industry. I'm now all of a sudden thinking about a party I was at a few years ago where I met a self-proclaimed "life coach." Go team.

I mean, how much of our lives can we dedicate to figuring out what the hell to do before it's all over? I'm always thinking about the line from Taxi Driver where Travis Bickle says:

I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention.
I believe that someone should become a person like other people.

Though Travis didn't become like "other" people, but I'll save that for some other reflection.

I'm finding myself at somewhat of a crossroads right now (cliche? "crossroads?" whatever), that I really wasn't expecting to come to. I'm beginning to think I'm really just going through the motions at school. Now this may sound odd coming from someone who mostly gets As and Bs, but I'm talking on a deeper level. Something more emotional.

I feel like when I graduate, no matter what my degree is in (either History or Evolutionary Biology), I'll be no closer to really knowing what I'll want to do with my life. Of course, with either of those degrees, I'll have no choice but to go back to school, hopefully to get a PhD, and then strike out for a life in academia. That is an idea that I've come to like somewhat, to hide behind papers and research and teach and not have to be out there in the "real" world." But the idea of being a professor just isn't what gets me going. I mean, I think I could tolerate it, but I'm not sure it would be "fit and fibre" for my blood (Thanks Walt).

School has done a lot for me. It's brought my mind back to life. Though it's only a means to an end. Why is anybody in school? So they can get jobs and be solvent someday (loans notwithstanding). We get rushed through the system cramming information in our heads and remember it just long enough to pass and then shove it out as quickly as possible, with just a little residue remaining behind. I look at my notebooks from not even a year ago and I wonder who is this person that can write in my exact same handwriting because I sure don't remember writing that stuff, let alone actually learning about it.

This entry is dangerously bordering on self-pity, and I'm determined not to go there. I am thankful to be where I am, doing what I'm doing. I know I'm lucky, and can say that I do have people in my life that I care about and love, that love and care about me, and that I can always reach out to them. I just sometimes forget that I actually can.

Or as a guy on a cross once said:

"Always look on the bright side of life."

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