Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Remembering What's at Stake

Taking a break from the mountain of readings that I have to go through for tomorrow's class. I'm just really thankful that since this a 100% CA class, I don't have to worry about a final paper or written project at the end of the semester. But still, the fact that the weekly assignments are just continuing does make it harder in the sense that you don't get a break - you have to continually read and read and read. And it just makes me wonder if I'm actually learning something worthwhile. This constant iteration of article after article without really a manner of applying it to something tangible makes me appreciate literature more - at least there, we are forced, by the nature of the study and the tools of the study, to be more critical, to not distill elements into assumptions and summaries.

Still, grades are grades, and I need to work. Hopefully I get to finish the articles before five. I'd like to take a walk before going out for the evening.

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Again, just by observing my friends and their lives, sometimes I feel so petty and narrow-minded that I'm only focusing on one certain aspect of my personal life that I'm forgetting that I am so many other things - and that certainly, I need to work on these other things. I remember being asked before what my agenda was, and I remember answering that I didn't know. I suppose it's so easy to champion things that your friends do, or that people you admire do, just jumping on the bandwagon and letting them take you wherever it's going. But really, all my goals are amazingly personal, and surely, surely there must be something bigger than that.

This is why I really admire people who stick to causes, or who find ways and means to volunteer or contribute their time and effort and resources to something larger than life. Not to say that we small people do not contribute to something in this world, just that...well, I admire their conviction, and their strength, and their need to keep on going despite difficulties. In the grand scheme of things, really, I am having it easy. And I need to keep that in mind, that with everything I have, with everything that's been given to me, what can I do to give it back? I know I keep on telling people I want to teach, but seriously, I don't know if I'm strong enough. I mean, if I really want a cushy job, I'd go back to corporate and just climb my way up. But to teach...wow. That frightens me. But at the same time, I know that I have to do it. There's no other way to explain it, but that I have to do it.

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I need to always remember what is at stake here. Whether it's my studies or my work or my craft, I always need to remember what is at stake. That way, I remember the value of each individual thing, that I have to value them in their own way, that these are not simply a means to an end, but a continuing effort to be a better person, to be someone deserving of something better in this life.

A friend asked me earlier if I was already settling, and the emphatic answer is, "No." This is not the kind of state I want to be in for the rest of my life. And this is not the kind of mindset or the kind of mannerisms I want to be remembered by people who are important to me. I want to be better than who I am now, I want to be at peace, and I have to remember that what's at stake here is not just my external appearance, but something more deep-seated, something more primal, something that I have to negotiate between this person right now and the person I want to be in the future.

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