Thinking of Titles is Hard, So this is a Placeholder Title
Prefacing this post, I would highly recommend y’all check out this fantastic blog post that inspires the subsequent paragraphs of semi-coherent babbling. My life has changed a lot since I last decided to blabber on Medium, and the concept of selectively spending one’s fucks really has had me thinking as of late about my priorities and where I’m heading in life. Hell, if you can’t read it/hate reading, the author will literally read it to you out loud — you don’t have an excuse not to take in his information and apply it to your life.
I have far fewer words of wisdom to give — I’m not a professional blogger, I have a life net worth of about -$46,000 (shout out to the American educational system), my biggest accomplishment of the month was correctly measuring the proportions of water/rice for dinner the first damn time, and I only recently discovered that Uma Thurman is actually a real person and not just a Fall Out Boy song (side note: I don’t actually listen to Fall Out Boy, so perhaps that’s one facet of wisdom I can offer you).
But that’s not really why we all visit Medium, is it? We don’t approach this site seeking the all-knowing wisdom of metrosexual twenty-somethings with a snobbish liking for craft beer and slim fit jeans: we come here one part for inspiration — either what to craft yourself more as, or encouragement to never become like such — for our own adventures and blogs. We come to escape the overwhelming colors, texts, fonts (fuck you, Comic Sans), to the minute updates on whatever Trump said or thought, and those god forsaken auto playing videos that follow you down the screen as you seek to escape them in the first place. It’s a change, perhaps not always better, but a change nonetheless.
For me, I have rediscovered Medium as a place to distribute my fucks given, per the aforementioned blog. Putting onto text what I physically desire to exert my effort into in the years coming helps tremendously with not only my mental sanity and focus, but it also can give inspiration and drive to the reader, be it my grandma or some angst-ridden, recently-single teenager in Sweden.
So, tangent aside, the moral: where do I exert my fucks? In a year and society that has demanded fucks be given to every goddamn thing in the world, from “culturally appropriated” food to an innocent BBC interview gone awry, time and sanity demand that I selectively care about certain things.
So, that really boils down to the question of this post — what is important in my ever-changing, different life? After all, my current life position as a young 20-something with a college degree and a shit ton of college debt is by no means unique in todays society — heck, my condition is essentially a poster board for the younger millennials in this nation, and the government actually tries to craft policy off of people like myself.
Yeah, like I’m gonna hold my breath for any of that student debt relief, though. :(
Things to actively care about:
Family. There’s nothing more important. As my grandparents, parents, and other miscellaneous family members get older, I’m realizing the importance of enjoying every moment with them and the locations — my grandma is selling her house, her 1890s farmhouse that she’s had ever since I was born, because her and grandpa are getting older. That made me sad upon hearing it — justifiable 100%, but still sad — because that’s an active part of my childhood and history selling itself to someone else. Worse, if I ever want to return to even look at it to show my kids, I have to pull the old California stop and roll, lest to avoid being the creepy guy with kids in his van (just kidding guys, over my dead body will I own a van at any point in my life), staring at a random house. I’ll do it, though — watch me. It’s something I give a fuck about.
Travel. The world is huge, ever-changing, and there are over 7 billion people inhabiting it at any moment, and I will only interact will a mere fraction of them. Yet even as we seem to be content having morons who couldn’t tell you if Europe was a country or continent, much less find it on a map running our country, there’s still enormous power in this minor document I get the privilege of having — the American passport.
This baby will get me into a good portion of the world without a visa, and for most of the others, it isn’t too difficult to acquire one. Yet only 30% of Americans have one, which means less than half the country’s population has even left the country at some point!
There’s a reason we Americans have a reputation for being clueless, naïve, and ignorant abroad. A lot of us are content in our suburban homes with all the amenities we need, three cars, four kids, and a dog. That’s fine for some, but you’re missing out on the world when you don’t leave your corner of it, and the document above is pretty much a cheap pass to let you do it.
So I’m gonna. In August, I’m moving to China for a year to teach English. Ballsy? Eh. Others have done it.
Do you speak Mandarin? Nope, not a lick.
Don’t you have student loans that kick in this summer that are gonna follow you outside of the national boundaries and haunt your sleep as they dwindle your savings account abroad? Oh of course, but the money is sufficient, and the IRS can suck it if they think they are gonna let the loans and price of admission to the middle class of the 21st century prevent me from seeing more of the world.
Now, that’s the list of things I currently give a fuck about. Short, ain’t it? Had I written this months ago, whatever political shit-show was prevalent would have been on the list, but in this post-truth Trumpian era, I’ve learned that I can’t take everything so seriously and to enjoy myself. Selfish, yup. Try it someday. It’s great for self care and for treating asshole-itis. The whole world doesn’t revolve around politics, and the day isn’t gonna collapse because you didn’t retweet the latest Occupy Democrats or Huffington Post link to a snarky commentary on what Ivanka Trump wore last night.
I’ll close with a list of things I’ve noticed, upon reflection, that myself and much of society did and/or continues to give a fuck about; things we could all not care about and be much happier:
- the status of our ex-lovers — who cares, let them do them, with whomever the want to do.
- the profile picture/status update of said ex-lovers (seriously, social media can fuck off).
- slow/fast/obnoxious/Illinois drivers — we’re all gonna get to where we’re going, and there’s not a damn thing short of premeditated murder you can do to change their driving habits, so chill out, turn on some music, and relax.
- Money — an easy one for people to criticize me on: “Jacob, you’re just a 23 year old man living in your parent’s basement with student loans on forbearance, working a national service job that literally pays you below minimum wage; what can you know about money? To which I reply, completely valid. Yet it will come with what I want to do. It doesn’t drive my ever motivation. We’re all gonna die anyways, and more of the fun of getting there is in the experiences, not the amount of stuff we acquire.
- Being offended on someone/some culture/some cause you apparently give a shit about — if it was really important, they’d speak up. It’s important to be socially conscious, but can we please stop being self-righteous ass-hats about everything in society? A little offensiveness never killed anyone; it builds character (this statement is gonna bar me from any public servant positions in the future, I can already tell).
- The future — You can’t control it, you can only mold it in the suggestive way of which you want, so choose wisely, and buckle down for the turns along the way.
That’s my insight, and Lord knows it will change even more as I get older, wiser, and hopefully acquire the ability to grow more facial hair.
Until next blog…