Motivation, Humanity, and Flight Control

My little corner of the world.  My bedroom, a claimed space.  Tiny portions of the universe that we have called our own.  These spaces, though, are not strictly occupants of land.  If we strip away the iron, the steel, the wood, and every last brick, the places we can occupy and have occupied for years, sort of float and are part of the sky.  It is obvious that the spatial possibilities for our bodies extend above and beyond the horizon.  So smart are we, to have created dwelling spaces out of essentially thin air, to have revolutionized how we can occupy the land on which we live.  We have built modern mountains; we have raised high tech tree houses. When we leave those corners, no matter at what level they may be, and emerge into the world, we are enveloped by infinitely enlightening beauty.  On my way to class yesterday, I stared in awe at the sheer clarity of the world and the ever changing delicacies of the seemingly monotonous.  Moments of appreciation for the beauty of life and the power of human intelligence help keep me motivated and uplift my spirits.

Over the past few days, the cold and feelings of utter bombardment with academics have really squelched my motivation.  I know I promised to post on Big Apple Bound once a day but it has been nearly two weeks (gasp!) since I last posted something.  I made that initial promise in order to fulfill the extended metaphor I drew attention to in An Apple a Day: NYC.  Since that post, I have failed to accomplish something so simple; I have failed to share my thoughts on a daily basis.  Coupled with a busy lifestyle and frequent bouts of self-criticism concerning the direction and validity of this blog, I have felt considerably stuck.  I have been writing regularly but sadly, publishing much less frequently.  I think one of the most crippling concerns about blogging, for even the best writers, is the idea of “not having anything interesting to say” or feeling as if life is too mundane to be worthy of readership.  When I first set up Big Apple Bound, I was overcome by a fit of inspiration.  I knew exactly what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, and I was able to write much of the content in one evening, when admittedly, I should have been studying.  Nonetheless, I could see clearly what was worth being excited about.  Other days, especially when it’s cloudy and cold, it’s not so easy.

I’ve been wanting to move to NYC for a considerably long time and there are moments when I feel that my everyday efforts are amounting to nothing.  It is more difficult to see long term progress for what it is: a learning experience, a cumulative goal, and more importantly, an adventure that has no true destination, just an endpoint in mind.

Moments like the one I described in The Fresh Prince and Snowflakes and like the one I had yesterday morning driving to school, remind me to appreciate those little delicacies (like the golden hour, also my new favorite time of day) that life has to offer when everything is outwardly frustrating.

During my commute, I ruminated about how truly massive the “thought cloud” is.  Everyone on this planet is thinking something, becoming something, planning something, dreaming something at the very same time.  The amount of brain computations occurring in the same moment is massive and varied.  Thinking about this, I was reminded of the continuity of humanity.  There are many moments when I think fondly of the interconnectivity of humanity and remark sadly about how under appreciated that interconnectivity is.  When we remember that we are all human, we strip away, the monster that we project onto the innocent.  We are reminded that people are people.  I think true evil is bred from something more colloquial.  It is harbored sadness and insecurity.  To truly combat evil we must be willing to provide joy, inspiration, and forgiveness.  You cannot fight fire with fire.

I often think that it would be easier to comprehend chaotic elements of human interaction if we were able to view humanity from a satellite.  Perhaps we wouldn’t take the innocent actions of people so personally if we could see, much like the paths I described in An Apple a Day: NYC,everyone is living their own complex lives and sometimes those lives collide.  In some cases, those collisions are catastrophic, like a car crash, and in other cases they are romantic, like when two people meet for the first time and their paths fuse.  As I drove, I thought about how each car on the highway was heading in a different direction, and perhaps as hard as we try to be courteous and safe drivers, there is always a possibility for a collision, misinterpretation, or for an encounter with a not-so-courteous driver.

It reminds me of a game I once played called Flight Control.  You act as an air traffic controller who directs each plane safely to their respective runways.  In this case, the player has full control over each plane.  In life, you only have control over your own flight pattern.  You have the power to determine where you land, who you see, what life you lead, and how you get there.  But you do not have control over the paths of others.  As someone who is fearful of surrendering control and just letting life happen, acknowledging and sharing this is vital.  I think once it is realized that the interaction of human life is complex, life actually gains more simplicity.  It is no longer vital to control your experience or to predict the future.  Accidents or misunderstandings aren’t taken so personally.  It is being at peace and realizing that “life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.”  I pulled this from an incredible speech given by Jim Carrey to a group of graduating students, which I strongly recommend.  You can find the speech using the link below or by clicking here.  Essentially everything Jim says in the speech is important and related to what I talk about, but this particular quote really emphasizes my point on Flight Control.  You get to choose how those collisions affect you.  Those events happen for you to learn and grow from, while finding happiness despite knowing that nothing unfolds perfectly.  Those events do not happen to you, they happen for you to interpret and perceive.  Perception, as Jim explains, is flawed.  Fear is a big player in flawed perception.  If you take anything away from this blog post, watch Jim Carrey’s speech.  You will not be disappointed.

Concerning my blog, I’m revising my promise to write once a day.  Instead, I’m going to guarantee a primarily text-based post once a week.  That gives me 7 days (or less, if I’m feeling inspired) to stew over some things and write a quality blog post. I’m also thinking about starting a few periodicals with corny names, such as Friday Favorites or Sunday Soundcheck.  These posts might be more pictorial or compilation based, but nevertheless, lots of fun! I do want to post as regularly as possible but I also realized that sitting down and forcing myself to write out of frustration yields labored writing.  I think if I give myself the time to just write how I feel, when I feel it, without judgment, the results will be incredibly fruitful.  I look forward to sharing more about myself in coming posts.  I think of blogging as almost a romantic relationship; the littlest details about someone are revealed slowly and discreetly.

Adventure on, my friends!

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