Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We might well be limitless.

College is so amazing because there are so few other places where optimism meets skill and actual belief and support and ideas that get thrown around, with for the most part, no real restraint as to whether or not "right" or "wrong" even apply. Personally, I have responded to this freedom with not being able to decide what to study and changing majors 48 times before the right one fell into my lap. I love that the option of becoming an astronaut is still on the table, even though I get dizzy and nauseous every time I think about space, it's still nice to have the option. Even more than that, I like that the most interesting people I know have ideas of what their futures hold but are not married to them; and that that sentiment can be found in young 20 somethings who are more than allowed to explore, as well as 50 somethings, who should also be given that same right as well...because there is something groundbreaking in living a life that is as much ruled by imagination as it is anything else.

I have met so many people here who are far older than I, one in particular, and hearing about their lives has turned into an exciting event, because it goes to show that living as a nomad, or getting married in a field with frolicking deer, or deciding to go back to school at age 45, or becoming a tambourine phenomenon is not out of the question...for anyone. I realize that is a bold statement, as there are financial burdens, family commitments, and alternative dreams that fly in the face of those particular life achievements...but my point is that I think we get caught up too often in thinking that the ideal way of life consists of a few major events, we can all name them, and they happen in a particular order, and they hardly differ from our neighbors. Not gonna lie, some of those are very attractive to me, and by no means should that way of life be under appreciated, because a life well lived takes many forms. But that's just it, in the spirit of this time in our lives when literally we can sit in the quad and believe with the rawest of convictions that we are capable to grow up to be who we want to be (and this pertains to character as much as vocation), I find it incredibly exciting and inspiring to remember that we have this one life. That's it, so a dream gone unexplored is a bigger waste than a jar of nutella going uneaten. Perhaps that exploring is as small as taking a class and not enjoying it as much as you thought you might, or maybe it's working for 15 years, fighting the good fight, and failing. However, as Teddy Roosevelt said, "if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

I would hope that beneath every external pressure to believe or do otherwise, there would be within everyone the belief that there is a means and a way to do the impossible, because there is a reason those desires are there, and, dare I say, crazier things have happened. The things that humans are capable of is not something to take for granted.

Go team,