Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Exercise in Free Writing

What interests me?  What gets my goat? What floats my boat?

Do I want to devote my life to applied science or to the pure theoretical inquisition of the world?  There is no way that I can simplify a choice like this into an "either or" form.  That just isn't the way life works.   No decision is reduced to A or B in reality.  There are infinite choices and only one reality.  All we can do is to take the first step and to address the next decision that must be made.  Assess where each choice has taken us and use past history to inform our present decision making.

So how do I decide what I want?  Not what I like, that question is simple enough to answer.  I like science, I like biology, I like physics, I like chocolate, I like animals, I like plants, I like being active, I like music, I like longboarding, I like traveling , I like a lot.  I would wager that in general I like a lot more than I dislike... and I like that about myself.

However the real heart of the matter that I am after lies in what I want, not what I like.  Do I want to spend life in a lab? No.  Do I want to spend life in a remote location with no contact? No.  Do I want to spend life teaching at the risk of gaining little or no direct experience? No.  Do I want to experience new things every day, never to gain a familiarity or understanding of what is around me. No.  These questions represent the extremes.  They are both sides of the spectrum, the polar opposites, and each one would make me equally happy and equally unhappy in life.  Leaving part of my soul fulfilled while another feels empty.  However by listing the these opposites from my own individual point of view I think that I will be able to get a bearing on where to find my a personal equator.  A bearing towards the place and to the life that would give me the greatest happiness of mind and most complete self actualization.

So what else then do I see at the extremes of my personality?  My interest of identification and classification leads me to want a career in field naturalism.  My interests in comprehension, education and expert knowledge leads me to want a career in intellectual thought and education.  My interest in creation, invention and construction leads me to want a career in the applied sciences.  Through it all I want to make a difference, no... let me rephrase that.  Through it all I want to be different. I don't want to follow the basic mold.  I want to go about things my way... to discover and uncover my own process uninhibited by the biases of others.  I am happy to receive constructive feedback but do not attempt to tell me that what I am doing is worthless or insignificant just because I go about it in a different way.

As Thomas Edison said, "I succeeded in inventing 1000 ways not to build a lightbulb. Then having exhausted all other possibilities I built one that worked".  The lightbulb had already existed before Edison worked on it.  However, after trying every idea in his head he discovered how to create the most efficient bulbs and longest lasting filaments.  Well what good does it do us if no one ever tries anything different?  If we all fall right in line then we have nothing but the same flaws repeated over and over again.  Without the possibility of genetic mutation or as Darwin called them "abominations",  even evolution would cease to occur.  Often mutations are deleterious, they have negative impacts but every so often they add something new and beneficial to the mix.  It does not have to happen frequently but when a positive mutation does occur it tends to stick around.   At the very least I could discovers new ways to error... and possibly new ways to think.  Writing all of this down is effectively a new way for me to think and in the last five minutes I have discovered much about my own thoughts.

But still I ask what it is that I want.  What life lies between those extremes I mentioned before? What future will build bridges between them all.  It is the Question that remains complicated.  The Answer is simple.  It is the one decision that we decide to live out.  It is the Actions that we take.  Everything else is ephemeral and fleeting. The question of how we want to live our life is what takes years and years to discover.  What is my question?


  1. Ender is a wise boy. That is one of the BEST stories I have ever read. My advice it to try it all.

  2. Most stop where you begin, I love it!