Dr. W's Space Travels
Space Cadet Starts a Diary
Dr. Wood IV
So I guess it’s been about four years since I did one of these! Fortunately I don’t have too many particularly “bad” thoughts or feelings to share. I did end a two-year relationship with Evelyn, whom I had gotten back together with. Sweet and wonderful girl, far outdoing my other two previous girlfriends – but the timing was not good for us. Anyway, since the break-up I’ve been thinking more and more about certain existential topics, particularly my role in the world. I don’t follow any sort of faith. For some time I went to St. Peter’s and got to be close to God’s children. Almost considered myself to be a Christian, but something kind of held me back from it. I think the values that I learned from my time there were noteworthy and I keep them forever. But I think there was an unmissable cult-like aspect to it that turned me off. I can’t help but feel like it’s all so cheesy. Honestly I don’t remember what I was going to write as I started off writing “there is a lot of things…”, but then looked up whether or not it should be “is a lot” or “are a lot” and subsequently went on a whole tour of grammatical rules. Apparently “is a lot” is incorrect, though I think it’d be correct because “lot” would be the noun and “of things” would be the prepositional phrase. But apparently “a lot” is simply a quantity identifier and not really a noun. So replacing “a lot” with a number (e.g. seven) would make “are” the correct verb conjugation (assuming the true noun is indeed quantifiable). But I digress.
Basically right now I’m trying to find my reason for existence. I have a fair idea of it now but it’s still developing. Oh, I think I remember what I was gonna say – there “are” a lot of things in religion that are really abstract and not hard fact (at least to me that’s the case). I guess that’s what makes it a faith. But as far as what I want to pursue goes, I think I’d like it to be based on things that are factual, or at least reasonably theoretical. I say that very loosely though because my idea of “reasonable theoretical” probably sharply contrasts that of many others. My “reasonably theoretical” is contribute to a world and make it more auspicious for those who truly know what they want to do with their lives. I consider myself the “helper” type – the guy that cleans up the stage after the performance, the one who takes the end slices of bread so the others can have the middle pieces, the picker of the yellow board game piece. I don’t say that in the sense of wanting to be a martyr, but knowing that I am okay with being that way helps me justify doing it for others that might not be as okay with it. I admit that does play into my pushover tendencies a bit, but I’m slowly trying to rectify all of that. Honestly I think faiths such as Christianity – particularly when they strongly advocate love – are brilliant and teach superb values. If I can contribute to a world that advocates and teaches those same things, I feel that my goal will have been further striven for. But that would go with any sort of faith that follows those same ideals.
I want to reach as many lives as I can with my actions and my words. I want my existence to mean something to people. Back during my internal crisis (if I may call it that) in early 2012, I couldn’t find joy in any of the things I was doing because of how that joy would dissipate the next second. Every instant would come and go and I wouldn’t be able to grasp them. Since then I’ve been able to do a better job of holding on to moments and just letting myself feel joy without worrying about the fleeting nature of it, but there are still parts of me that learned from the realization of life’s ephemerality. That being said, I know there are people who have not come to terms with such a realization, and people who have accepted it on a level far greater than I have. I definitely envy the latter, but in a way I’m glad it continues to be an existential thorn in my side as it drives me to fulfill the role that I mentioned above. If I can contribute to the world in a way that allows these two groups of people to thrive and fulfill their own life goals that are arguably more meaningful than mine*, then I feel I would be doing a service. (*This is not meant to incite pity or anything – I truly feel this way and am okay with that.)
I realize though that despite having this self-given role, I find it difficult to fulfill it in ways that seem awkward for me. I joined the Rotary Club two years ago and I think it’s an incredible organization. Rotary does so much for people and the world would take a harsh blow without its existence. I think though that while it helps me get closer to my own goals, I don’t think it’s the best way to optimize my interests and talents. I think there are other, more mature people whose interests and talents better align with the mission of Rotary. For example, I was the secretary this year, and I did horribly. I didn’t maintain the website, I always took a while to update the minutes and send correspondence, and I’ve just been dragging without much of a clue to what was going on. I think this is the point where I need to realize what my true interests and talents are, and make a difference for those who could benefit from them, even if it’s a fairly specific audience. I’ve been thinking about starting a local anime club, for example. I think this would be neat because I have true enthusiasm for it. I did have some enthusiasm for Rotary, but there were certain things and commitments that I just really couldn’t get myself motivated for. Most of those in Rotary are much older than I am, so it was tough to relate to people. Likewise, they’re all so much more mature than I. I think a better use of what I have to offer would be things like that anime club, and things like A Postcard for You, which I think is getting a better tailwind these days. The latter in particular is one that I want to be a platform for doing good in the world. Another thing would be my position in my job. I love to mentor because it puts me in a position to allow others to succeed and thrive. I consider myself to be a very understanding, patient and thorough mentor, and I’ve gotten feedback of that. Most of all, I yearn to be approachable, friendly and relatable. If I can give people the opportunity to make an environment strongly conducive to their career success, then I feel that I am optimizing my abilities for the better.