18 June, 2010

Existential tenets, or some such rubbish.


I know this should be my FFF post for the week. I'm breaking with tradition just this once.

Don't get me wrong, there have been happy things this week. One of the girls in our department had her leaving do on Tuesday night, and a convivial time was had by all. Things at work are falling into place, the cats have been silly, I've talked to family, etc. I just have something I want to say, and I want to say it badly enough to let it take the place of my five happy things.

I've had my iPod on shuffle at work for the last week, and it's funny how certain songs create a mental atmosphere. Calm, sad, joyous, angry, introspective, it's all there in that tiny black box. Ingrid Michaelson is a personal favourite, and in particular, the song entitled "Highway". For lack of a better way of expressing it, for me that song creates a mood of "enjoy it now, because things change".

I know once we die, we don't have regrets, but let me indulge myself in suspended disbelief for a minute. When my life comes to an end, I want to know that I've lived fully and well. I don't want to think back and wish I'd told the people I love how important they were to me, or wish I'd traveled or made love or cooked or just kicked back with a glass of wine and girlfriends more often. I don't want those regrets. I know I won't be thinking "I wish I'd tidied the house more". It's the things that feed me emotionally and spiritually that I want to savour and repeat as often as possible.

With this in mind, I try to live as fully in the moment as I can. If I'm talking to a girlfriend and I think she looks beautiful, I say so. I tell my sisters how wonderful I think they are, each in their own way, and that I'm proud of them. I tell my college roommate that she's one of the most interesting, talented, beautiful people I know. I don't see any reason to have positive thoughts and greedily keep them to myself. I want to seize opportunities with both hands, I want to say "yes" more often. I want to live.

So, maybe I'm a bit maudlin. It happens. The events of the past two weeks have been clarifying for me, sort of a distillation of the last few years. I'm a very different person now than I used to be, and I suppose it depends who you are as to whether you think the changes are positive or not so hot. My point, I suppose, is this. For better or worse, I am who I am. Love me or leave me.

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