Thursday, March 17, 2011

moving parts

In a couple days, I will be moving in with a friend who just bought a condo. For one year and six months, I have been living by myself. These are my reflections.

I don't like living by myself. At first, after sharing an apartment with four other guys, it was a breath of fresh air to be on my own. So much easier to keep the kitchen and bathroom clean. And I could finally set up all my music gear and do some decorating. And no more falling asleep to the sounds of Smash Brothers in the living room. It felt great to move beyond college life.

However, it was an exceedingly difficult transition. Not only was I forced to reevaluate the more important aspects of life, I had to do it stone cold alone. All the structure that sustained my previous life had crumbled. It was like a bridge that had lost its main supports. The roadway still functioned, but it was without strength. For a while, the trains kept chugging across and the bridge was suspended by my sheer force of will. I could not hold out forever though, and through the months, good habits deteriorated into bad habits.

Most noticeably, my inner life has suffered and I find myself less frequently intellectually and emotionally stimulated. External distractions have taken over. Instead of reading, or exercising, or writing, I pop in a DVD and numb myself in endless entertainment. I fear the ease of becoming awash in a sea of empty commercialism and consumerism is the greatest temptation of this generation.

I am looking forward to flipping past the last pages of this chapter of my life. It has been 18 months of limbo, a period which, though not altogether pleasant, nor altogether over, had to happen the way that it has. I have always admired and emulated the Lone Ranger mentality, yet again finding that it works best on the silver screen. We cannot function as islands indefinitely. Discipline runs thin without guidance, will weakens without direction, and freedom loses meaning without boundaries.

I am still searching for somewhere that feels like home. I am hopeful that this next step is a few miles closer than the last one.

"I wish'd to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found that I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was employ'd in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our slipping."
-Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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