Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Let him give direction to my life, that would suffice..." she would say. The rest was her job. She could walk behind her man until the end. - Huzur (Peace), Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, 1949, pg. 183

Direction

The gist of what I'm about to write is the same as Free Electrons, which I wrote two and a half years ago. But of course, writing something here does not mean I implement it in my life. That's why I repeat the same mistake and learn the same lesson as if I've run into an old friend. Running into an old friend is no less comforting than making a new one, though. Hopefully this time I'll get a grip of it.

Trying to fit in is lazy. Making an effort to fit into a relationship or job or company or group or country or identity is lazy. We want answers to be obvious. We are impatient to start walking in a path, and hope that this path miraculously proves out to be the right one. After walking on it for a while, we are too scared to admit it was the wrong one, so we try desperately to adjust ourselves to it. If we fail, we feel inadequate.

The point is finding the right path, not trying to convince yourself that the one you are walking on is right and it's you that is in the wrong.

I know how annoying searching is. Searching for the right job, the right flat, the right city, the right person. I wish I had more constraints to force me walk in a certain direction. I wish I was less free. If that's not possible, a description of what's "right" or at least reasonable would be good. "You are this kind of person, so this is what is right for you." We only know after we wander in the wrong paths for a while. The time spent is not wasted.

The only way of doing something new, something good, something different is to be less scared. It's not a job, relationship or allegiance that gives our lowly lives meaning. We are not empty containers, we are not tools or machines. It's quite the contrary: We are the ones pouring meaning into projects, people and causes.

It takes a lot of work to find them. So is life.

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