Life is about those high moments

Originally posted on March 22, 2010

Note: This was my very first blog post, originally posted on March 22, 2010. I have made some edits to it since and am reposting it here for memories sake.

Photo by Dmitry Zelinskiy on Unsplash

After a walk in the congenial company of my brother, I’ve digested the culmination of the past few weeks’ thinking and decided that this would be an excellent time to write a first post. (I posted this in March 2010, but it had been brewing since our summer walks with Nik.)

Sex, art, and travel seem to encompass what our age group (back then I was twenty-two, but I would still agree today) strives for. By sex, lust and untamed passion aside, I also mean love and relationships and all that nice and fuzzy stuff. By art I mean art in all of its forms, including music, writing and so forth. And travel, both local and international, is in essence a state of mind to me. These three can be sources of inspiration and creativity, and all three are in many ways interconnected.

Creativity is a virtue from which many draw their happiness, most often through various forms of art. A local music artist I’ve met recently told me “life is about those high moments”, referring to moments of rapture he experienced in live performances. Even though I have never had that experience, the feeling resonated with me. I suppose everyone experiences these “lifegasms” in different ways and under different circumstances, and some probably more often than others.

These moments are what I live for, but I know that happiness comes from within and that I can’t buy or make these moments. I remember a yoga teacher in school telling me that if you aren’t happy where you are now with what you have now, you won’t be happy in 20 years, however successful you are. When it comes to measuring success, some may settle with less, some may never settle at all. One can chose to be happy with what they have, but could also chose to be happy and still strive for more.

I strive for more, but I know that I often do the right things for the wrong reasons. The drives and interests I have are a longing for belonging or recognition from others, not a true desire to realize inner potential.

This is when being attentive and honest with oneself is crucial.

My dad often thought me to to think with Maslow’s pyramid of needs. Belonging and esteem needs are sequential steps to self-actualization after physical and safety needs, so I can hope my reasons for doing the things I do will climb the pyramid, ultimately doing them to fulfill this inner potential.

Maslow’s Pyramid of Need (SimplePsychology)

When you do something for no one but yourself, and for nothing but the sheer pleasure of doing it, is when you can really indulge yourself completely in the task and become excellent at it. Maybe that is why some of the greatest works of art were not made for profit, and that the masters who created them had such… interesting personalities.

One of the greatest challenges is finding that passion, that drive. Some will settle without, others will say to travel to look for it, but so many seem to fail to find it time and again. We are (I am) afraid of jumping in the wrong direction, it never seems just right.

But it will never be right, it will not ever be easier, something will have to give. By the Second Law of Thermodynamics, “systems become increasingly disordered,” and so will my life. (This is funny in retrospect, I had to take my Thermo class three times…) For any new endeavour, I will need to let some comfort go.

It is a matter of finding a balance in the imbalance, to learn to drift on the tradeoffs. It will never be the perfect time to take off and get away, and hence there isn’t a better time than right now.

So then, what now? We’re only left to seize every opportunity that arises, dream big dreams and roister every day in the most prodigal ways. Live life, live now, live hard.

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