You know, so, i’m coming up with a big work week as the end of summer means some extra hours because bar hours will increase for a handful of days due to incoming local events, and the strain of constant work is really wearing down on me. I’ve been thinking a lot. I have a younger coworker and it’s making me rethink a lot of things about how to grow up. About work and life and what’s important and whatnot. I’ve been thinking about what has since become one of my worst fears, like, the idea that as time goes on i will lose touch with life and my understanding of the world degrades as it moves beyond me and my ability to keep up with technology/events/people/art. More poignantly, i’m afraid of ever looking at, say, a contemporary painting and thinking to myself “this is not worth understanding”, and find myself saying shit like “modern art sucks” and the like. Or live a life of such complacent consumption that my experience of life is reduced to absorption of easy, conservative, vacuous media. Like, i do not watch GoT but… watching it here and there has kept me comfortable knowing that i can at least understand what it’s trying to say, what the effort behind it is, what it means to those who watch it, and more importantly that i have the accumulated knowledge to have a grasp of the visual (and otherwise non literal) language at use. And more still… even if those may not come to me at a moment’s notice, that i know i have the ability to learn those things if i so desire. I do not ever want to become the sort of person who is so absent and distant that it becomes impossibly effortful to understand other people and their means and desires. To that end i am growing a habit of reading, watching, and learning as much diverse stuff as i can.
And in a strange way it’s forcing me to reconcile with something that i haven’t thought about as much as i’d liked, and that’s that to achieve what i’ve set before me i have to let go of the idea that life is meant to be about happiness. Because, really, life cannot be about happiness if you want to accept all other things in it as well. Like, put simpler, life can’t be about good games, it also has to be about bad games. Or… life can’t be about marriages, it has to be about divorces as well. And in turn, this line of thinking has had me thinking about something else, which is how do i grow up “better”? A long time ago a teacher told me that in their professional lives people eventually stop improving. As in, your mathematical skills will eventually stop improving and your work as a mathematician stagnates. From there on, they said, the only way to improve your work is to become a better person. So my thinking is, how to i figure out if my growing up skills are done? Is there such a thing as growing up skills? Is knowing my future fears and working to abate their possibility a growing up skill? And if so… when should i start becoming a better person?