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It Feels Right, January 30th, 2000 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

the soapbox @ benturner.com
archived soapbox: January 30th, 2000
"It Feels Right" [permalink]
    keywords: life, choices, career, love, decisions
    soapbox #: 226
    written: January 30th, 2000
    words: 1371

"It Feels Right", an Essay

When it's all said and done, when my life nears its end, I think that the things I have done in my life will just begin to make sense to others.

Up to now, my actions may seem like a convoluted, confused, naive, childish mess. Paths I have taken that may seem like a waste of time or lack of foresight to others will finally be understood as beneficial, not hindering. People won't wonder why I did this or that, or chose to forego that or something or other. I am not saying people will sit there in awe -- I am not arrogant to presume so -- but what I do think is that at some point, there will be no questioning of my life.

I've had the good fortune to live a good, safe life with plenty of support underneath me should I fall. I recognize that. But it would be foolish to assume from that then that nothing I've done so far has been because of my own talents or machinations. Perhaps one thing most people never realize about themselves is what good they have actually managed to accomplish. They chalk it up to coincidence, good luck, error. They never think that maybe they tried to do the right thing for once and it worked.

All that said, I have full confidence in my abilities. I do not question my feelings any more. They say that one should always trust one's instincts, because they're usually right. I agree. A friend of mine in high school who everyone else thought was stupid, but who I saw had a great deal of passion for beauty in the world, would say, "You gotta have the love." And for me, I think that's what it's all about. You gotta have the love.

Experience tells me I'm doing the right things. The results of my actions have been rewarded handsomely. But when I try to tell someone else what I'm doing, they just don't understand. It does not register. I would like to liken myself to a visionary, who sees these flashes or glimpses of the future and thusly has a general sense of what it looks like, but can't explain how to get there exactly. Describing it to someone else just sounds ludicrous.

People like a sure thing. They do not like maybe's or possibilities or potentials. They love things after the fact. They like the Bulls after the Bulls have won a threepeat. They like the Internet after it's established itself as the gateway into a new millennium. They like Apple after it's gone above $100/share. It makes me sick, to be honest. If you do not have hope or optimism about the future, how can you ever expect to be happy when it finally happens? Spare me the disappointment crap. Spare me the "I expect nothing so that I am never displeased with the results" bullshit. That's a coward's game. It's no wonder people are miserable. No one else can clip a dream's wings except you. No one can break what you feel in your heart unless you convince yourself that you don't trust how you feel. Self-deception is the enemy.

I know that there is something locked inside of me somewhere. I do not know how to unlock it. It used to be (and this is something that one can find through reading old Soapboxes) that I would attempt to unlock this something by examining myself. This of course coincided with the long years of my high school and early college education. I learned who I am and what my personality is. I learned what characteristics my personality type has, and what environments I tend to thrive in best.

But now my efforts have turned to the exterior. Now that I'm close to graduating from college, I've turned my attention to what's out there in the world. There is so much out there for me to absorb and to experience. I will never have enough time to take it all in, try as I might. Nevertheless, my eyes and heart are open, ready to accept what the world has wanted to tell me for so long now.

So in the next few months when I come to firm conclusions about what I'll actually physically do with the rest of my life, I don't really expect anyone to understand. It's been a solitary journey as it is. All I know is that there's something my heart desires to do, and I don't really know where it'll take me in the end, but I know it's the right thing to do. And fortunately, I have the resources to be able to do it.

My regret in this grand scheme of things is how the bonds to others have deteriorated, or perhaps even never grew at all. All these feelings I feel, all these thoughts I think, all these grand hopes and dreams, no one else shares or understands. For a long time I wondered if it was because I was doing the wrong thing or if it was just others who were too cautious to join in on the journey. I still don't have an answer for that, but there's nothing I can do. I can do what's best for me, but I can't make other people see what I see. Sometimes I wish so much that someone would just appreciate my presence. Want to be with me. I would be repulsed to talk about myself with someone else, which is partially why I've taken to not responding to e-mail and only writing about myself here. I ask for so little.

But I have burned all bridges during the course of my education, hoping perhaps that someone will be curious enough to swim to my side and see what's going on.

Maybe I'm all wrong about this. Maybe eventually I'll screw myself over and lose any hope I had at living a stable, healthy life. Maybe the decisions I make ARE stupid and naive, and any salvage will be unrecoverable. But I can't see another way around this. There's good to be had at the end of this trip.

Now, shit I write like this may piss people off. What an arrogant, Narcissistic, immature boy. To which I say fuck off. Unlike other people on the web and in the media, I do not spread my bullshit all over collaborative sites or TV stations or newsgroups or e-mail lists. All of what I have to say about my life is right here on this site and no where else. What that means is that it's your mistake if you're here reading this tripe and you don't like it.

And while some say that the mere act of posting my thoughts online indicates that I must have some desire to be heard, I do not agree. I think that posting one's individual thoughts on an individual web site is a natural, simple, beautiful thing to do. Some people find painting to be that, or sculpture, or writing. I find this to be natural. I have always recommended that everyone should contribute to their own personal web page. It stems from a belief in a network of information in which everyone contributes a little, I suppose.

Which is not to say that sometimes the allure of just closing the site and disappearing for good from everyone I've met, after I graduate, does not enter my mind. Sometimes it overrules my desire to maintain a personal site. Sometimes I see things that are more interesting and more pure that pique my interest.

The point of all this is that I fully accept what I know I am, even if I sometimes lament the sacrifices I must make. I believe in something that I will continue to try to find or achieve. If it were a god I were looking for, all this would be my religion.


 
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