Friday, January 4, 2013

30 and counting

This will be one entry filled with my raw thoughts. i.e. little has been edited out.
 If I could count the number of times I've had that feeling that I won’t live to see 30, I guess I’d wish I’d saved a penny for each instance.[ I’ll have to qualify that statement by stating, no, I’m not having a cycle as I type, to the best of my knowledge]. When I say that, I’m not saying it as a premonition, just a feeling; ill placed, I always pray to God.

Whenever I’m asked about long term life plans like getting married or having kids I usually say, “I’ll do that when I’m 35, let me enjoy my youth and set up my life”. Saying that comes naturally to me nowadays and it’s only recently that I realized I have never pictured myself getting old. I joke about achieving immortality a lot but not once have I considered myself getting old.

So, am I scared of dying? The answer to that is a bit more complicated than simple or definitive yes or no. I have morbid thoughts sometimes, a lot during my lows. The shrink had been worried because when I went to see him the first time in 2011(after a referral from another shrink who didn't think he could handle my case) I had covered a lot of ground concerning morbidity and mortality, for the wrong reasons. While I know I can lie and twist facts as far as a psychologist is concerned, for once in my life I chose to open up fully to somebody and just see if they could help me. He was able to help to an extent. See it works this way, the more his methods helped me heal, the more I became immune to the methods he used; either his methods were becoming predictable or my mind was learning and filling in the gaps as it healed. But that isn't the topic at hand.

Am I scared of dying? My spirituality and beliefs tell me I will still exist even if it’s outside my body. I find that comforting, that I’d be able to see my loved ones even if I died or see them again. But I wouldn't want to die because I wouldn't be able to interact with them, at least directly. And how would I feel seeing them come to terms with my death and move on, remember me less and eventually replace me with other things, people and activities, and only remember on the anniversary of the burial.

This is where kids come in. Many people have them and say that’s how you leave a legacy and conquer death. That’s how lazy (poor?) people leave a legacy. By reproducing like rabbits in the name of leaving their genetic material all over, yet genetically we aren't ever that much different, unless you have a mutation. But here I’m thinking x-men type mutations. If you left those types of kids then we’d remember you. If your brat can shoot laser beams then I’d remember you, and probably hate you.

While children are the future they can’t be your legacy. Can you be your parent’s legacy or just offspring? Personally, I believe kids conceived even after their parents used contraception, properly, are the special ones because they managed to cross some sort of Darwinian barrier (no, smarty pants, that’s not a brand of diaphragm or condom ), more than kids that are planned and/or fertility drugs taken to enhance it. Adopt a kid, damnit! If you want a child so badly you will love an adopted one just as much! This thing where we segregate ourselves using blood ties is part of the reason there is so much war and suffering. We have dwindling natural resources and too many people wanting to leave “a legacy”. History remembers you for your kids right? That's why Einstein's father comes to mind immediately when you think about the theory of relativity.

I don’t hate children per se, I prefer them when they are other people’s responsibility to raise and toilet train. I'm not saying that if I have a direct biological offspring I wouldn't love it or do things like raise it and prepare it to survive in the world by itself! I would, with every fibre of my being. That kid will probably perfect interstellar travel, and generate and stabilize wormholes, basically have the potential to do something amazing, extremely useful and memorable, judging from the odds she’ll have overcome just to get to the point that she was conceived. Unless it was the smallest sperm with the least amount of useful genetic material that was able to slip past the barrier. If I adopt I wouldn't love the child any less.

Told ,you. the answer isn't definitive. Yeah, i would love to leave a legacy, i would love if the whole world gained from something i'd invented and everybody would remember me for generations to come. But when you look at it critically, many of the most famous and memorable inventors(legacy leavers) never set out to leave a legacy as their agenda. They stumbled on it. So, my life can do without the stress and pressure of consciously wanting to leave a legacy to continue after me when I'm gone. I'll live with the same intensity I'd have if i knew i had, say, only 3 more weeks to live. That way if i die anytime between now and a few weeks from now, death would have stolen just a few weeks at most, of a life not lived, from me.

While i have to meet my body's biological needs, when i satisfy them is where the similarity to animals ends. That is just something i absolutely have to do and without that part i can't do other things. That's the obvious bit. When it comes to other aspects like how i do it, the only criteria i have to satisfy is i have to like the "how". So if it's making money to pay for the food and house, i have to love the job. If i get bored, i have to move on as soon as possible even if it means starting a new career from scratch. Maybe that explains why sometimes money doesn't mean that much to me and i'm sometimes frivolous with it. I can't afford to make my life to be about it. It's just a means to one end and people sometimes try to use it to control you. If you don't give money that power over you, other people can't use it to get power over you, at least through direct manipulation.
Yeah, i know my life isn't about me, it's about other people as well, human beings being social beings and all; it's also a big reason why i lived to write this, but that is a story for another entry. I try to treat my family(immediate) with a lot of affection, not disgusting pda and all that, God no, but emotional all the same, and while I can't always tell them i love them to their faces, i show it through my actions. If i have nothing and if my philosophy fails me, in whichever way, i'll end up in their hands whether dead or alive.

I handle relationships much the same way, minus the last part. That's why i'm very careful who i get involved with. Sifting the wheat from the chaff has made me a few more but insignificant enemies, but it had to be done. In friendships i try to leave out cynicism. Life is too precious to waste fixing something that broke because you took it for granted. While i have a limited capacity for that i can count them all on one hand. Strong emotions are destabilizing for my mind, so i keep love relationships very few and rare in-between. Having residual feelings left for somebody does not necessarily mean love. They're just normal almost filial feelings. If i fall in love, I love like it's the first and only time I've ever loved, and don't let past memories taint it. A fuck-what-the-world-thinks mentality. The setback is being left vulnerable and exposed to the person they're directed to. All i ever hope is they don't try take advantage of that. Am i scared of that? Nope, it's a risk worth taking; people have this habit of giving you pleasant surprises if you give them a chance, which was the point from the onset of the relationship, right? Plus i'm not rich so what would there be to take advantage of?
And again, not being stupid nor particularly capable of falling for just any lady i encounter, I can't waste my time being scared of feelings i can barely control, chances are extremely high my instincts were right!
I have touched lightly on friends, and before i move on i have to state that anyone i date has to be my friend first. The relationship is a perk given to just one of them, i guess. I value my friends, because i have so few of them, and that i can rely on. Couldn't imagine where i'd be without them. The policy is simple, take advantage or screw me over, or show unmistakable signs of it and we become acquaintances or nothingness again, but this time permanently.
I don't really care about people who would brand me as their enemy because I don't have enemies(haters?); with friends and living to attend to, who has the time to keep track of them?

So you see, even if i don't make it to thirty, to me, i made the years up to the present count, so it would still be described as a life well lived, and i'd want it described that way! When you say somebody had potential, the whole potential aspect is a chance thing that unless achieved is just a hypothetical concept or at most a wish of what you'd have wanted to see somebody do. Life is not cast in stone, we all have choices we make and we are never particularly sure of the eventuality of our choices. So beating yourself over what was probably a wise, well calculated choice, from your perspective, when you made it, is just being silly. It's doing what makes you happy that matters in the long run, as long as you're not some kind of sadist. If you find happiness through making others happy, that counts big time! voluntary service to others/nature is satisfying and if heaven is real you will also have earned major points to get you there.
So the final answer is, yes, i'm scared of death, if it was because i killed myself mid a low or because i was unnecessarily reckless. And no, if it was something i had no chance of averting. But even then, up to the point it happened, i'd have achieved my full potential for that time. Though sadly then the only lives i'd have touched positively are the ones immediate to me not the whole of humanity in general. That still counts as change.
All life is precious, whether fleeting or extremely extended. Look out for it.
Keep well


  1. Great read just to interact with your mind. And you will be surprise how many people you touch with your life. Some consume things out of your life just through observation and their life is impacted in a way or two.

  2. :), I have laughed, such great read, kept me glued to the end :)

  3. Yeah, i always hope that would happen. And positively

  4. This is such an interesting perspective Ben, thank you so much for sharing. I've always had an issue with carrying baggage, especially the 'friendship' kind, glad to learn from someone who doesn't! Stay strong till the next post at 40 :)