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Where Will It End?, July 25, 1999 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

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archived soapbox: July 25, 1999
"Where Will It End?" [permalink]
    keywords: personal
    soapbox #: 197
    written: July 25, 1999
    words: 818

"Where Will It End?", an Essay

When do I reach the end? When does my youth evaporate? When do I reach my life's climax? When does it all begin a long, slow downhill trend?

When will I no longer be able to trust in myself that no matter what I do, I'll be able to complete it with flying colors? Do people notice when the vigor and surprise of their youth no longer shows itself when they need it? What will it be like when my mind and body begin to fail me? What happens the day I can't push my body to the max and still be ready to go afterwards? What happens when my mind and senses deceive me and embarrass me? How will I accept it all, considering I can go into any situation now and know I'm doing the right thing, the best thing? Youth and confidence go hand-in-hand -- a youth without confidence is a sad thing indeed.

How high will I go? How much money will I make? What will having a family of my own be like? Will I have children? How many? Will my relatives be alive? How will I deal with their losses? What sorts of jobs will I hold? Will I create something truly good and wonderful like I feel I have the potential to do? Will I come up with an idea that changes the world, what I would ideally want to do? Could I be the perfect businessman and the perfect husband at the same time? At what point will I never get better and never surprise myself and never produce anything more wonderful?

When will this childhood innocence of knowing only the rise and triumph cease? I have no idea what tragedy is. I have no idea what real hard times are. Personal hard times. Hard times that are my fault and no one else's. Sure I've been through misfortune, but at this stage of my life, what do I really possess? What have I created or really owned so far? Not very much. What do I have right now that I would really suffer from if I lost it? My family. My health. Anna. What does ANY kid have beyond that?

Is what I feel about myself truly something unique and special? Or is it just the naive confidence that any usual young person would have? Am I just another kid with high hopes and little else? What if I don't go as far as I think I'm capable of? Have I experienced enough of life yet to comfortably let it go forever? Of course not. There's much to do, many wild and out of control experiences to have. I've done so little. And I feel I have so much more to do for this world. But I have no idea if it's meant to be.

Could life really get better the older you get, for some people? Or does it plateau for everyone? Is it determined by how you choose to live your life? Or could that just be grasping onto whatever little you have left?

What if this is only the beginning? I've accomplished so much in so little time. Even in just the last year. What I know now compared to what I knew just one to four years ago is astonishing. Where am I going? Will I be able to treat myself to indulgence as a reward for a job well done and life sensibly lived?

How much more do I have in me? It's kind of a weird question for a 21-year-old college student to ask, but... It makes me wonder. I want to know what's happening before it happens to me. I want to be ten steps ahead of everyone else. When does it all begin? When does it all end?

I admire all those billions who have traveled this journey before me, those who have accepted their lives, how ever they've chosen to live it. It takes so much courage. It takes so much life experience that I'm not sure I've even begun to tap into yet.

How will I react or act when I get there? How will it change who I am and who I want to be? Who will be the figures who surround me? Will I be happily in love when I'm 50? Is anything less than a pleasant surprise acceptable at this point in my life?

I want to succeed in everything I do. Few people I run into surprise me. The person I want to surprise the most is myself.

Where am I going and what will be there when I arrive? I expect only the best. Too much to ask?


 
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