If you’ve been missing my daily posts (which you haven’t), then my apologies. I needed a break.
I’ve been writing a breakneck pace for a little over a year. Once when the dog days of summer hit, I had nothing left in the tank.
It’s been refreshing actually. For awhile, not a day went by where I had to worry about what I was going to write. I had to see philosophy in everything. Do you know what a pain in the ass that is?
So I’ve been letting my mind just…wonder. About anything, really. Philosophy has no longer become a burden; or a chore that required me to stretch the limits of my intellect.
Honestly, I don’t even know how I became interested in it to begin with. A year and a half ago, I couldn’t tell you shit about Kant’s Transcendental Idealism or Marxist Dialectical Materialism, or Hobbes’ state of nature….nothing. Mind you, I still know nothing, but somehow I know a lot more than I did. And no one told me to learn any of it. It just sort of happened.
And now I’m burned out.
But I spent a ridiculous amount of time just thinking about how to live rather than just LIVING. So much energy was dedicated to learning about being a human that I completely forgot that I was a human! And I’ve said more than once: “forget about the pursuit of happiness, and just be happy!”
Seems simple enough, yet I never followed that advice. I was searching for happiness within my writing…within the words of philosophers of old. I learned a lot. Yet I still came up empty.
What could have caused such a void to begin with? And why was there such an urgency with my writing?
I have avoided answering those questions. But the truth is a familiar one: I was dreading turning 30.
Now I promised myself that I wouldn’t write about my upcoming 30th birthday. It’s all horseshit and no one cares anyway. It happens to everyone that lives for thirty years or more. Yet here I am.
And it’s horseshit because it’s meaningless. In theory, at least. We give so much weight to youth that we forget that it’s all a lie. Just admit it to yourself….being 20 sucked. You were poor, you couldn’t get laid, and you were probably an asshole (at least I was). Not that this experience is universal, but for the vast majority of us, being in our teens and twenties was not a pleasant experience…that is if you’re honest with yourself.
Were there some perks? Of course. I can’t think of any because I’m much more athletic, better looking, wealthier, smarter, and I get laid regularly (because I’m married). But for one reason or another, many people feel that those were the best years of their lives.
And it’s killing them.
Even if it were true, why continue to believe that your best days are behind you? Seems like that would be a pretty shitty way to live your life. I believe that it was the great Charles Bukowski (who didn’t find success in life in his late forties) that said “I’m only getting better.” Where he said that, I don’t know. And he might not have even said that, but it doesn’t matter….it was true of him and that’s the right attitude we should adopt.
Yet, the older we get, there becomes a greater sense of loss. But loss of what? Of youth?
But our youth becomes the measuring stick for how we live the rest our lives. We live within the shadow of our former selves. Obviously this is a (mostly nonsensical) problem.
If you’ve been following this blog at all, then you’ve probably come across the term static identity. Or where we conceive ourselves as being the same person until our deaths. We don’t think of ourselves as changing beings. Therefore, the older we get, we feel ourselves moving farther away from our “prime”…where we physically deteriorate, become set in our ways, and our personalities and general outlook become unmovable. Rather than seeing the self as water within a stream, it becomes more like stale bread that grows harder with each passing year.
This is why there’s a sense of loss the older we get. We don’t feel fresh. We’re less malleable. We’re no longer easily impressed upon. We are no longer in our “prime”.
I find it a mistake to keep living our lives the same way we’ve always lived it. People live in the same towns. Have the same friends. Read the same books. Watch the same shows. And give absolutely no thought to living in any other way.
Perhaps it’s out of fear. Fear of how others might think if we suddenly changed. Or perhaps it’s just laziness. The way that we have lived works for us, and can’t envision any other way.
I don’t know.
One of my biggest fears is doing the same shit I was doing when I was 20. Or attempting to recapture the “glory days”. I remember being 20. There were no glory days. There’s nothing to “recapture”.
I don’t know how many days I have in front of me, but I know how many are behind me. And I don’t want those days to be my best. I’d rather keep searching for better.
I took a break from writing because I needed a new voice. For the time being, I feel that I have taken the typical “academic” approach to philosophy as far as I can take it. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said by better philosophers.
In other words, I can’t keep writing about the same things I have always written about. It’s time to move on.
Don’t get me wrong though….I still plan on discussing philosophy. I mean, shit, this is a philosophy blog after all.
But I can’t be confined to what OTHER philosophers and thinkers said. This isn’t fucking college. I can write about whatever I want. But I need to view the world in a different light. No one gives a shit if certain views don’t conform to my “neo-Kantian” perspective. That’s old news.
I don’t fear turning 30. I no longer see it as a “loss of being in my 20s”. Fuck that. But it’s a chance to turn into something different.