Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Journey

Oddly enough, I'm having a bit of trouble starting this blog. I've typed out a few sentences and none of them really seem to say what I want them to say. This one doesn't either, but I'm going with it. It's a rarity that words fail me, but when it comes to the ever-present pondering of life, I can't seem to articulate myself.

You see, I've been thinking about the concept of life. Not about my life or yours, but about our lives. The entire sense of living. I've been looking around, watching people, and I've come to the conclusion that we're missing the plot. We seem to be almost robotic in the way we function and, to be blunt, the drone-like way we move through life is very depressing. The things that drive us seem to be a bit off-kilter. And by a bit, I mean a lot.

In nearly every conversation I've had in the past few weeks, I've noticed how much people want. People waste so much of their time wanting things. Things they don't even need. Things that stump me. They want a new car and a new house. They want a six book contract with one of the top six publishers. They want a cherry red refrigerator, a sheep dog named Woolly, seasons tickets to their favourite football team, or a kid. They want a lot of things-items like clothes, decorations, furniture and knickknacks. Things that will fill up their lives and...and what?

Make them happy?

Surely, happiness doesn't come from possessions, does it?

Well, I looked at the people who worked overtime to acquire the things they wanted, the people who already have the house and the kid and the hairy dog. As it turns out, they aren't really happy. The wanting didn't stop. They didn't sit back on their sectional, heave a sigh of relief and slip under a blanket of contentment. No. They wanted more. A boat, a bigger television, a swimming pool in the backyard, a motorcycle, a trip to England and another kid.

This just baffles me. This thing called life is a real stumper. Apparently, no matter what you get you'll always want more. Or, you'll change your mind and want something different.

What are people doing? Are we really trying to buy our happiness? Because, I hate to be the one to bring this up, but happiness can't be bought. It's not for sale. It's not something that comes in a pretty pink box with a purple bow and a lovely card attached. It isn't a thing. It's a state of mind. We fill our lives up with belongings, but we can't take those with us when we shuffle out of existence. At the end of the day, things don't keep us warm at night. Unless we have an electric blanket. But then, I wasn't talking about physical warmth, was I?

I was talking about mental warmth.

So, here we are, struggling along our paths, fighting to get more, battling to get on top, and missing the point completely. This little race we're participating in is an oasis. It's a figment of our own imaginations. The race of life doesn't really exist. We rush about, picking things up, clocking in at work, and arguing with our core values in order to get to...what? The end?

Life is full of mini ends. We get married and it's the end of being alone. We have sex and it's the end of being a virgin. We turn thirteen and it's the end of our childhood. We buy a house and it's the end of not being a home owner. Mini ends fill up our lives and we cram as many in as possible. But, and this is the thing, we try to avoid thinking about the grand finale end. The end of all ends.


It scares the shit out of most of us. Yet, we race through life, wasting our time, ignoring the journey and catapulting ourselves towards that final curtain call. We hate to admit to ourselves how fleeting life is. Even when we have reminders of it every day. And we fail to enjoy today and instead we focus on tomorrow...or next week...or next month.

And, why?

No one can guarantee tomorrow is going to be there. Not for you or me. Not for anyone.

Is it time for us to put the brakes on and learn how to appreciate what we do have? Should we not enjoy the breath in our lungs and the beat in our heart? There are so many beautiful things we miss daily, simply because we are so busy trying to get the day over with so we can sit on our leather sofa with a bag of Skittles and watch that really funny comedy on Global television.

And the somewhat sad part is, these beautiful things we are missing are often free. A smile, a kiss, a wink, a wave. A sunset, a breeze, raindrops on windows, a bird whistling it's melodic tune. The mountains, the clouds, the waves lapping at the beach. We rush by these thing without batting an eye, not realizing we are missing the true beauty of being alive.

We have the ability to be happy, if we really wanted to be. Don't get me wrong. Life is tough. Whoever invented it needs a good kick in the pants. This whole cognitive thinking thing is a bit of a pain in the rear. But we still need to remember that it isn't about the end. The end will always be there. It's about the now, the path, the journey. It's about simple things. And it doesn't matter how much you buy, or how fast you get it, because there will always be something else. Until your flickering candle of life is snuffed out and then...then it's just the imprint you've left on the world.

And, to be frank, when I die, I don't want people to say, "Oh, yeah, Tyson. She had a really nice television."

I want people to say, "Oh, yeah, Tyson. She had some really long winded blogs."

So, I will leave you with this week's vlog...a little early because I am heading off into the mountains for a short spell:

And Billy Joel's song Vienna:

And this quote by Charles Bukowski:

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.


Calvin said...

To quote the great Hank Williams Sr. "No matter how I struggle and strive, I'll never get out of this world alive". Thank you for reaffirming what a few of us have known all along. Love the Charles Bukowski quote.

Anonymous said...

Well done. xxx

Sessha Batto said...

Humanity is burdened with desire - it seems to be nearly inescapable. Joe down the street wants a new car, the Dalai Lama wants compassion and world peace. One is selfish, one altruistic . . . but they both want. The trick is to want universally, not personally, it appears . . . but I'm still striving not to want at all. It isn't easy though!!

Anonymous said...

Well Sessha, seeing as you always get exactly what you need, try looking at things a little differently. When viewing wants;ask yourself: what it is you actually want? lol xxx

T.L Tyson said...

Thanks for the comments, my friends. This week's vlog actually ties in with this theme.

Who woulda thunk it!