Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What shall become of me?

I'm in one of those moods. Not sad, not depressed, not anxious, not confused, but wondering maybe. Wondering about the future. No, not Egypt's future. My future. What will become of me?

I've always been worrying about that. My mom used to tell me that when I was in grade 4 or so, I would constantly express to her my fears of failing, leading her to believe that I am a dumb student, just to be surprised that I do pretty well at the end of the year.

School years are different though. You worry however you like, but then there are exams that you enter, and you finally get a chance to put your fears to rest.

Once you enter college, then you start thinking of that career you're building. Some take it easy and totally enjoy college life, some are too dedicated making sure to ace all the courses as if life ends after College. And some are in between, more dedicated closer to deadlines and exams. I was one of those, and I managed to do pretty well with that strategy.

Then you graduate and realize that college didn't matter for most. Those who won the achievement cup, are having mediocre jobs, and some of those who were constantly on the fringe of failing are overachieving in the job market and they have a stronger entrepreneurial spirit than the book worms. I, wasn't satisfied with what I learnt in college, wanted to do more with more, so decided to go farther in the road of education. Then after so much education, you realize that you don't necessarily need someone to teach you, but more of someone to guide you. Then if you've been educated and raised well enough, you should be able to guide yourself and take yourself to greater depths with any subject you want to benefit from and make use of.

So at this stage of my life I know that this shouldn't be it. The buildup of knowledge should definetely continue, and it should pour into what I do for a living. I look at people who work as janitors or security guards at my building and I feel so bad for them. Not because of the nature of their jobs, but because 8 years ago they were working the exact same jobs, and because they sit there gaining nothing from what they do except the money they need to survive. Their jobs are useful and they are doing good by performing their jobs, but do they feel that or do they care, and shouldn't they always aspire for more?

This is the strongest of my fears -- to end up stuck in a rut doing nothing useful.

I'm not confused, and I'm not worried. I know exactly what I want, but I'm not getting it, and I'm not working hard enough to get it, and when I hate myself, I hate myself for that, and only that.

I am pretty sure that everyone out there thinks of the meaning of their life at one point or another, think of what they've done and what they'd like to do. Lots of answers out there, and everyone picks their favorite.

What do I want from my life? Lots of philosophers filled lots of books about the meaning of life, and what it means and so forth. I don't ask those questions. Call me superficial, but I pretty much know what I want, but alot of the time I have no clue how to get it or I don't work hard enough to get it, and that pisses me off.


Alina said...

I really don't know where to start expressing what I felt reading your post...It made me think a little, which is really dangerous (you know neurons actually die when you think, don't you? :))I know what I want, I pretty much know how to get it, but I really have no clue how to get myself to work as hard as I need to! Sometimes, when I see how much time I waste, I really get so pissed off!

Very nice background color, BTW!:))

LouLou said...

I find that sometimes it helps to break down my big goals into little goals. Looking at the big picture can be overwhelming.

Instead of thinking I waste a lot of time which depresses me because I start to feel I'm wasting my life, I try to concentrate on how I can make better use of time next week. Or sometimes just for the next 24 hrs. I try to do useful things, take small steps towards achieving my goals in life. It gives me a lift & makes me feel I'm moving in the right direction.

Of course after while I lose sight of the big goals again & start drifting. Then feel bad about it & go back & try to change direction etc...I don't think that's so bad. It's nice to take break & just be laid back sometimes. I don't want to be too driven or singleminded. Life is too short not to relax a little & enjoy it.

We're not meant to have everything we want in this life. It's not a perfect world. As long as we keep trying to better ourselves though I think we should be ok.

skatecat said...

Perhaps it is in the moment that people feel fulfilled or are aware of how much or little they are fulfilled and in which areas of their lives.

There are zillions of things I want to say to you, but I can't process them all at once, or write them down all at once, I only hope some of the spirit is conveyed.

I think I recognise some of the existential reaction you describe in your post, and even as it sounds familiar, I also know that whole communities survive on philosophies that do not centre on the individual, or try to satisfy the desires of the individual, or even consider them. Just that everybody is so different in the way that they treat themselves and others (and what they conceive themselves to be and how they think of others). And philosophies that interrogate the nature of goals, the various standpoints are fascinating, but this line is yet again I don't know - "off"(?) - and maybe they are all trying to set up a way as guidance to peace or happiness, or selfknowledge.

The human genius is for explanation, and there are always reasons for the structure of society - every individual has a way of sifting through the arrangement of life that they experience - but sometimes it makes me wonder whose reasons, or which reasons count?

Which is why sometimes I think it is so interesting, in a different place or among people to whom I am closest, to ask the people around me what they want and if they are happy (not so bluntly though - and ask what someone thinks in order to find out how they think).

Perhaps while something is still in the present, is an is, it can't be clearly defined and only when you understand something to be over can you weigh it on its own merits and then write its obituary.

I think to be interested in something or absorbed in something is a gift. I hope, in life, I can look back over where I have been and be happily surprised, so that neither my starting point or any destination could have projected the experience. I hope this for you too, the happiness part, I mean.

MoonLightShadow said...

That post of yours Mohamed clings with the same state of mind I’m in these days. I’m about to take critical decisions in my life. I’m not anymore driven blindly by education an so forth. I’ve reached the end of the paved road. Now going off road.

Having dreams and goals to achieve, but where to start, how to achieve and how to set my priorities?!

While thinking of all this, I asked myself a question. “What is it that I need out of this life?” The answer was very simple, I need happiness. Let’s say that I need to make a difference in the world, I need to help people, I need money, I need a good job, etc..

Actually these are not my needs, rather they are means for reaching the happiness I want. What’s the point of a very well paid job that I’m not happy with?! What’s the point of having a high position, while not being comfortable with it?! And so on.

Yeah I’ve got dreams to achieve, but I won’t build my happiness on these goals. I never know when I’m gonna achieve them. I won’t postpone my happiness till then. I’d enjoy every moment in my life, do these little choices in my everyday life which will make me happy by the end of each day.

These were just the thoughts that came to my mind when I read ur post.

programmer craig said...

I can't really comment on the college angst thing... I spent my college years in the US Marines. I recall how much I worried about getting out of the Marines at 23, and not being able to graduate college until I was 27... which seemed WAY too old. My other option was to accept the offer to go to the Naval Academy, which would have gotten me my degree at 23, but I'd have been 30 when I got out of the service - 6 year commission upon graduation... which seemed even worse. In the end, I re-enlisted and didn't even get out of the Marines until I was 26 anyway. So, I also had worries, but not the same worries. In the end, I went to technical school when I got out and became a certified programmer, because that only took 6 months. I've had people with PhDs and Masters degrees working for me, and the last 3 jobs I've had "required" a Masters, plus work experience. Obviously, I got the jobs anyway :)

In the end, I think if people have talent and if they choose a field that they truly enjoy, they will succeed beyong their wildest dreams. Employers make allowances for gifted and driven individuals, and they discriminate against highly educated people with mediocre skills.

All that said, a degree plus talent is always better than just talent :)

But I'd say, in general, people worry too much about their academic credentials. Most people I know don't even work in the fields they got degrees in.

ألِف said...

"I'm not confused, and I'm not worried. I know exactly what I want, but I'm not getting it, and I'm not working hard enough to get it, and when I hate myself, I hate myself for that, and only that."

I'll quote you on this.

kouki said...

I m a vey similar mood these days, but i came up with the conclusion that too much thinking is worthless! I explain look why should we always anticipate or think about our future life, since we cannot predict what s going to happen in the next day. Well, i think that life is too short to spend it wondering, Caper diem!! Live each day of your life fully that s what really matters!