Friday, March 9, 2012

Halfway to decency

It seems that the two primary motivating emotions that guide me through life, are hate and fear. What can we say of a man driven by such forces? I am ashamed at the fact that I am not a particularly loving man. Love to me is a difficult emotion. It does not come very naturally or very easy for me. I am about to turn 30 not very long from now and I have yet to experience true romantic love. I feel that I know what it is like when I think real hard and try to imagine being in love, but I will never know for sure until it happens. I wonder if I am truly the type of man who can live his whole life free from love. Some of us are. And what scares me most is that I fear that I just might be that type of person.

It seems that my atheism is what defines me most as a characteristic. My profession means nothing more than a paycheck to me. I am not a dad to no one, so I cannot be defined or characterized as a father or fatherly. I am a son, and a brother, a cousin, and even an uncle, but these roles do not define me. They are mere labels describing my relationships to others. If I prefer to define myself as an atheist, than I should live every moment as one. It should be worn on my sleeve. My philosophy is almost entirely derived from the atheistic experience. Think doesn't mean that I am not open to the transcendent. One of my goals before I expire is to seriously try to have this experience.

Given all the things that one can achieve in one's life, I feel that I have so far achieved very little. Our tenure here on Earth is always too short. I truly fear that one day, when I am older, and perhaps ill, I will look back at all my years of able bodied youth, and deeply regret not committing myself more to what I am passionate about. I feel the clock is ticking and time is speeding up so fast. This is known to happen as one gets older. When I was a kid, summer seemed like forever. Now it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. I can't barely even remember last summer. I am having anxiety over my rapidly disappearing youth. I've had the frightening epiphany recently that I won't be young anymore, and I'll never get it back. Life is a one way street. But as such, we all come to this realization, and how we react to it is the key. I do not want to actually be younger. I hated being a teenager and would hate even more to be one now. I kind of wish time froze for all of us and we never aged anymore. Such an impossible reality could never be known with a working mind.

I have periods of intermittent hopefulness and I am in desperate need for it now. What secular form of hope does the atheist have absent of any spiritual guidance? Hope itself implies no religion, as it implies no god. It is the secular prayer. The problem with hope, and prayer, is that neither of them imply any action. When conditions are not favorable, isn't it best to do something about it instead of just hope that things get better? Things could get better on there own, but why wait for chance?

So here I spend a quiet evening at home alone, a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes by my side, reflecting on some of the day's thoughts. Perhaps one of my greatest burdens is that I over think too much. This is what I like to call, the thinker's dilemma. Why should I plague myself with such cognitive introspection when I can be blissfully ignorant? Well, for me at least, it isn't that I really have a choice-I was made this way. One of the most useful enterprises one can undertake is to learn how to capitalize his or her believed shortcomings and turn it into their greatest talents. This to me is where hope lies. I am halfway to decency but I'm not even there.

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