This is what Ben told me about a year ago. It’s my motivation to stay focused because I know that all I am doing now, no matter how hard and tiring it is, will all pay off in the end. (via kiralynnm)
This made me smile so hard. Harder than this guy smiled times two. I love you Kira.
“We have to do the thing we cannot do, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, the thing that makes us grab our throat and take a deep breath. Maybe it’s starting to name our real feelings and share them with someone who may not always receive them well. Or embracing the discipline we need to walk with God, not knowing what doors will open. Or refusing to run away from conflict because that has always seemed easier than facing it. If you step into the pain, you find that it lessens.”
I’ve been wanting to write about “love” for a while now. After collectively talking to many people about their experiences this past year, it helped me clarify some things for myself.
Earlier tonight, I planned a study session with a couple of friends from high school. It was all going well until one of them decided to share what he was going through that night and the ordeals that he’s been dealing with the months before. The friend that opened up to me was always known to be the one who was so drawn into women that they became a priority over his own well-being. Though I’m glad he shared his feelings, I wasn’t at all prepared to hear what he said.
He was torn inside.
What was planned to be a casual time to focus on academia became a two-hour conversation of how he was slowly being ripped into pieces by an ongoing affair, not knowing what to do, begging us for an answer and trying to force an epiphany.
It was about love. Falling in, falling out, ultimately describing his situation as being “stuck” and having “no way out,” like there was a higher being that bound his ideals and very character to a single way of thought and action. I was deeply saddened. This hit close to home—- him, being a dear friend that shared much history with me—- and there I was, expecting him to have learned from his mistakes in high school when I was so shocked to discover that those mistakes have been repeating themselves and binding his very being.
I realized that love can be many things:
Among so many other things.
Love can bring out characteristics and attributes in people that nothing else can. Reduce the strongest people into the emotionally scarred and jaded, fill those who once believed in humility and optimism with only contempt and loathing. I have met some great people, many who continue to inspire me to this day, though when I find out about their actions within their relationships, it is as if they have turned into completely different people. Many people I know are good-intentioned, but when in love make immature and hurtful mistakes towards their partners. I’ve come to a conclusion that I should not, nor should anyone, judge what others do when in love. Love takes over, for better or for worst, and it may distort your view of those who you thought you knew. They may do questionable, foolish, or rash things, but what we must remember is that, inherently, they make mistakes as we all do, with different experiences and feelings. Thus, we cannot go so far as to judge and demean them but try to understand, for we may not know if the very actions we look down on will be committed by someone none other than ourselves. Approach love, whether old or newfound, not with bitterness and animosity, but with an open mind. After hours of bickering and asking my friend whether he really wanted to continue going back into her grasp, what was important for his future, and what he really wanted, he remained steadfast in his desire to be with that person, steadfast in love. We must not remain bitter and filled with regret because at the times when we were in love, our actions represented who we were and what we really wanted during that particular time —-what we truly wanted. I just want the best for my friend. That he will choose wisely, learn to respect himself and grow. I just had a tough weekend and I had to let this thought go.
I thought this after re-reading sections of Thoreau’s Walden, I found myself once again grounded by his ever so didactic literature.
Once again, I was reminded not be so quick to succumb into the extravagance that is the American lifestyle, the dream, so they say. Though we see wealth and success in the mainstream, we in turn become cheap as a society, ultimately becoming desperate. This idea expressed in his writing is a microcosm to the way we handle our relationships with friends, how we view our experiences in school and work. We forget how to appreciate life’s simple pleasures and experiences. Are we stuck in despair? Do we step back enough to look past the financial and economic problems and look deeper within ourselves in order to really achieve contentedness rather than short term attention and pleasures? Do we often think about what is essential to ourselves, our inherent right to be individuals, rather than what others blindly chase? Is it not more important to change one’s soul rather than merely the landscape that they inhabit? After all, when you pursue the grandiose idea of external change that you believe will be the solution, will you not still be left with the tedious company of yourself?
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
Thank you once again, Thoreau. Every time I feel that I lose touch with humanity and fall into monotony I will make it a point to come back to your work.