The Simple Life

As a child, I loathed going fishing with my family. We didn’t do it often but I remember being very upset when we did. In fact, it wasn’t just fishing. I hated when my family would drag me to museums or the botanical gardens. They used to bring my sister and I to our family’s cabin in Wisconsin. I hated that too. I’d sit inside and refuse to hang out with the family. There were so many things that I’d pout over.

Well, as I’ve grown, many of these mundane activities became pleasurable. Now I’d give anything to go hike through the mountains or kayak out in the ocean. I love going to museums and gardens. Festivals my parents used to drag me to as a kid now excite me. I’d pay money to go visit them.

Maybe I’m becoming an old fart. These are things which the previous generation seems to find enjoyable. Gardening, lounging around and talking, reading. They seem out-of-date for many of my old friends who I went to high school with. They aren’t based in technology. They’re very simple uneventful tasks. But these are what seem to bring lasting happiness to me.

Oh what I’d give to camp this weekend. As a child, I would have hated it. I would have rejected going out and probably spent the weekend on a GameBoy or something. Who knows? It’s just odd to think about how much I’ve changed.

Here’s an image from when friends and I went fishing with the alligators in June, on the Edisto River in South Carolina.

BLOGtober day six done and complete!

Advertisements

Growth

If you want to grow, that means you’ll have to change. Growing is a kind of changing, a favorable change. Becoming a better artist, a better writer, or a better person is about changing who you are now into who you want to be. When you want to improve yourself, you have to accept that you will change in certain ways. You’ll lose undesirable traits, as well as parts of yourself that you don’t want to give up.

Who you are now is a combination of who surrounds you. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If you look at your closest friends, you probably share a few traits. Maybe one of them really likes hard rock and always plays it when you’re hanging out. Eventually you’ll take on some of their traits simply from exposure to them.

Currently I live in a divided community that likes booze and video-games. The person that I want to become doesn’t align with who they are. Trying to be an artist, writer, or anything else is difficult when the people you are around don’t understand you.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s important to understand that when you want to take on certain traits, you have to lose some too. If you be something that you aren’t, you have change in some way. Otherwise you’d already be that person. Who you surround yourself with defines your limits. If you’re hanging around lazy people, you’re most likely going to be lazy too. Find the group of people that you want to be like and get with them. Surround yourself in those who you want to be like.

360/365

Being

From a young age we are taught to find our own path in life. This is synonymous with “be yourself” or “be unique”. It centralizes around the idea that we should pursue our passions instead of trying to impress others. Another commonly used phrase is “do what you love and those who should be in your life will be”.

It’s wonderful to do what you love. We should focus on being passionate as much as we can. Growing up and hearing all of this made me focus on following my passions. Photography, writing, YouTubing, reading, and many other skills I have today are a result of doing what I love. However, I wonder if I focused too much on doing what I love and not enough on relationships with others.

Sometimes when we pursue our passions we neglect others. If they don’t support, cultivate, or interact with what we’re passionate about, then what use is the friendship? That was a thought I had for a very long time. I don’t think the right people always stumble into your life or that the people who are meant to be in your life will be. Sometimes you have to pursue and cultivate friendship.

You can certainly have spontaneous friendship but I think there’s a level where we have to say “this friendship is worth having”. It sounds odd but sometimes I have difficulty just relaxing with friends because I feel like I should be doing something more constructive. I can’t sit around and play video games all night because I could be doing better things.

Life isn’t about have the most skill or being the best.I think a lot of it is our interactions with other people. Pursuing your interests can get in the way of your relationships with others. You can work too hard and you can waste time learning useless skills. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Go sit with a group of friends and do nothing that is constructive. Go watch a movie, lounge around all day, or go for a long walk.

Enjoy yourself. Always remember to enjoy. Focus on growth but don’t let it give you tunnel vision. Sometimes growth has to occur through meeting new people or doing nothing. You have to rest eventually. You can’t always be doing, sometimes you have to just be.

349/365

Change

It’s funny how we’re afraid of change. The most inevitable condition is change and we cannot escape it. Our lives will move in directions we cannot control and we will be forced to deal with the results. People move, friends leave, time passes, everything is eventually lost. However, it’s only through change that we experience new things. We need change to really experience life.

We need to marry the thought of change and growth in our minds because you cannot grow without changing. This means changing who you are, letting other people change, and going forward into the next part of your life. We have to grow, and therefore we have to change.

333/365

28/31 blogtober

Gardening

Oh how joyous it would be to take a summer off and garden. No job, no obligations, just focus on growing plants. I sit now with an old stack of letters next to me. As I read through them, I realize that life is cyclical. Our moods change with the season and come back. The lows you knew yesterday will sweep through you again and the highs will lift you back out.

Yet anticipations of tomorrow never came and may never arrive. This is because the primary catalyst for change in your life is you, not circumstance. The thing which holds you back is not a thing, it’s you. Those dreams you have, you can make them a reality. But first you must overcome circumstance.

You must cultivate your life but you cannot rush it. Like gardening, you do everything in your power to let the plants grow strong and tall. But you cannot prevent a rainstorm or a drought, which will destroy the garden. Instead, you must work with your plants each day until they come to fruition. Life is built on this cultivation and patience, focus on it and your life will bloom.

268/365