I am now 32 years old and not sure how I gained so many years so quickly. If I look back I can divide the last eight years into locations: Japan, Vietnam and San Francisco. Japan was the first step and on the road to excitement after my school years had ended. Vietnam was to break out of the English teaching environment and gain business experience and San Francisco has been to further the business experience.
I guess I really do know where the last 8 years went and am now contemplating where the future lies. The problem is that it’s very easy to settle into a life of familiarity and comfort whilst very difficult to break out of it and take the plunge into the unknown once more. Further, time continues on, we get older and are expected to “settle.” This settling part unnerves me but remains influential in my thinking. The trick is to go about it both ways, take a risk and try to keep both. This gets more difficult as we go up the career ladder and become afraid of losing what we already have.
Further, it is important to realize that life is happening right now and to relish the current experiences instead of grasping or continually waiting for the future which ironically always seems to remain in the future and never in the present.
Why do I even think these things? The reason is the different types of environments I’ve lived in are like completely different worlds. There was the Ohio life, the Japan life, the Vietnam life and now the San Francisco life. Each one has its ups and downs but all very unique and it is hard to convince my brain to stop comparing all of there will never be a “best one.” Although each experience has been wonderful, I continually reminisce on my previous experiences.
A further shock to the system comes when I realize I am 32 years old. I do not work with younger people but through the internet it is very easy to see how much time has passed and that I do not identify with new internet trends as easily as I used to. I do not see much value in Twitter although I love Facebook. I am aghast at the profanity and porno in posts on the internet and movies. I realize I HATE current pop music and prefer listening to Classical and music from Asia. I feel that I have spent so much time figuring things out, when I return to what I thought I knew it has changed so much since I last focused on it. If I had my way, I think I would have preferred to stop aging at exactly 30 years old.
Yet, when I was 21 I thought I was old. Then heaven forbid I was 24. Then the unthinkable 30!! And time refuses to stop for me.
Further, all this focus on business has distracted me from my true passion which is language and culture. My Kanji understanding has gone way downhill and I have not made any progress in Japanese although the level really hasn’t deteriorated. The feeling remains that I should be employing more energy into these subjects yet it’s hard to find the motivation when not in the environment.
The business life has been a learning process in its own right but I really cannot identify with it’s central theme which is simply to “sell more.” We sell a lot, then are expected to sell even more, and then even more the following year. I cannot dispense with the thought that enough will be enough someday. The numbers must continually go up or the system doesn’t work. I’ve had the same thought about “lawmakers” in that “don’t we have enough laws already?” Isn’t it hard enough to keep track of all the laws we’ve already made instead of continually adding to them? Are we stuck in a system that laws must be made so lawmakers can keep their jobs? Can they make a law that says laws must continually be made?
In terms of economics doesn’t it hold true that we must continually make and consume more and more products? Can the system ever go in reverse? Or will we just keep making and consuming until the raw materials completely run out?
Concerning religion, why is it that in an advanced and educated society people still cling to old rituals and superstitions? Why can’t their ideas change when science proves the opposite? Or could it be that we all just need to believe in something greater when we realize that there is more to life then simply consuming products. We’re not really sure what is going on so we join a large established religion to provide some direction even if we do not sincerely believe in all the tenants due to science proving otherwise?
If God is all powerful, all knowing and the various prophets are the messengers of God why have various religions gotten it so wrong? Why didn’t God just tell us the world was round? Why do people kill others in the name of God? Could it be that it’s all nonsense? And is there even a God? And why does the story change as one reads more into it and becomes more sophisticated in the teachings?
Why is it that the more I learn, the more unsure I become? And why is it that the people with the least knowledge are so sure of everything?
I have no idea