This year was like any other. There were the major events, graduating high school and entering college, and the small events, like meeting new friends, discovering new places, etc. Just what kind of unique beings are we? Every event of this year, I can relive in my mind, again and again, as if it was happening at this very moment. As time passes, there are fewer and fewer memories, but they are still there. This year I started to really wonder about what kind of a person I am. What will be the definition of my life? Will it be my work, my social standing? Will it be my writing? The answer I have now is likely to stay the same; my life needs to definition. It is what it is, and it will be defined by my memories, and after I’m gone, it won’t need to be defined at all. That aside, this note is about the memories I’ve made in this passing year.
Abandoning writing. I stopped writing in the earlier half of the year. I was still in high school, and things were as terrible as they could get. I cut classes, there was nothing really to do. I remember thinking that going to college will be terrible (this was at a time when everyone else was getting into private schools with scholarships, in juxtaposition with my cuny acceptance). I should have been writing but I stopped. I had a terrible teacher who needs not to be named (if anything, my memory shouldn’t be cluttered with the people I don’t like), and while she approved of my writing abilities, we had our differences that rubbed off terribly on me. I wrote a terrible short story for that class, and called it quits from there. The story was about a woman who was abused by her husband, and the husband killed himself in the end. It was a typical gothic story, written specifically for an assignment, and hastily put together. I haven’t felt that bad about my writing in a while.
Winter was also the start of my personal journal, which I once again stopped writing in. Since then I’ve used it to help me piece together my writing, and even as a scrapbook for some letters and essays. A quick look through it reminds me of some events I conveniently forgot. A rejection, ouch. Some moping about that, more moping about lack of money. Generally I feel down on any given winter, but that one was harsher than most. There were a lot of problems that seemed like a big deal then that I just didn’t realize really weren’t a big deal at all. Thank god for personal growth.
Picking up reading. Ah yes, it was this year’s spring when I took an after school class on stock evaluations. I can’t say it made me a stock broker, but the fault is my own. The man who held it was a bright man, perhaps one of the best I’ve met yet. His name was Charlie Rose. He also gave us several books to read as a side for the class, and two of them, particularly Ayn Rand’s were quite the help in getting me out of my winter blues. Egoism. Such a fascinating topic, isn’t it? I ate those two novels up like they were nothing, and thought they were the best writing I’ve ever read. The truth is harsher, but nonetheless, that is what my memory states. A particular quote from the Fountainhead stands out: “All love is exception-making,” – Gail Wynard. Time and time again, I’ve realized just how true that quote is.
Literature aside, school was already on the steady decline and I increasingly hung out with my friends afterschool, cutting quite regularly (hahaha, Mr. Aghassi), etc. It was worth it. Since then I’ve been quite lenient with any social rules, because I’ve learned that I should abide by my own rules. It’s easy to do things by the book, but it just means nothing to you in the end. I decided to do things my own way.
Ah yes, the last important thing to note; this year’s spring was my last touch with immorality and nihilism for personal gain. Or impersonal gain. It’s harder to explain than it looks. Whenever I felt down, I’d normally think about how small I am, and how the world is big and I’m insignificant. This was also the last of the winter rubbing off on me. I stopped it that spring because it just didn’t matter to me anymore. I’ve decided that in the absence of a greater purpose already bestowed upon me, I’d create one of my own. This topic was explored later on in my English class in college, to my surprise.
I graduated high school. Thank god for that, because I was finally starting to open my eyes and realize just what kind of system I was stuck in. The rules, the mind numbing paperwork, and the fact that we had an extra month of classes (all bullshit, by the way), just sitting there in order to satisfy some legislators that wanted us to get quality education, or something, was so stupid. American Education isn’t worth much, really; the only reason people go through it is the certification. I got my diploma, and that was the end of it. There isn’t much to miss in that shoddy place, and good riddance to it, really.
The remainder of summer I was physically active, hanging out with my friends regularly, until we had a confusing argument that left us all equally confused and then we stopped hanging out completely. Thank god we got over it by fall. It was a little late though, and a lot of hangouts were missed.
And back to writing again. I started working on my “novel”, just like every future writer should, and immediately figured it was the best and easiest work ever, and that I will be a writer for a living. I poured my heart into my characters, all of which were unique and meaningful, and had a double entendre at every twist and turn. And of course, by the end of summer, I stopped working on it because college was about to start and it stopped making sense to me at that point. I still passed the mark for longest work so far (by then), which was 40-something pages.
College started. Officially it started in late August but whatever. It was a lot easier than I expected and I actually had fun with every class, until winter kicked in and the seasonal affective disorder (I found the name for it!) started all over again. It’s a lot easier to study in college, and I found it even easier to ignore the fact that it was technically a continuation of high school. A little more freedom goes a long way indeed. I’ve also met a lot of new friends and got more perspective on others. For an egoist like me, it still is a bit hard to understand that other people have their own lives and aspirations. I sincerely wish all of them well, and hope they do the same for me.
My English professor lent me a book that definitely opened my eyes a bit more. It was Ecce Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as the Genealogy of Morals. To put the effect that book had on me in one sentence; if I had another life, I’d spend it doing philology. Nietzsche was a true master of philology and his perspective on the genealogy of morals is the one that I find most authentic. Combined with the readings of Rand, which I did that spring, Nietzsche, who had affected the former author to some degree, proved to be the greater man. The difference in perspective was large for one reason. Rand wanted the world to yield to her view of objectivism; Nietzsche did not. He was a victim of his time, however, for he was still greatly influenced by the dominance of religion in his era and the slow rise of science. At the same time, perhaps if he were alive today, he’d be living the usual day-to-day bullshit life that the rest of us are living, so you’d never know who was dealt the better hand. Nonetheless, he was a fascinating man.
… And Winter Again.
It’s back, although it does not really feel like it. Twenty eight days into the winter, the temperatures are still somewhat like fall. It’s only been frigidly cold on two occasions so far, so global warming (or rather, weirding), is kicking in quite rapidly. Perhaps we won’t even have winters anymore? Then again, it’s not the problem. I don’t mind the cold; it’s the lack of sunshine that gets to me. This winter break, I’m resuming writing and continuing my studies. Spring semester starts soon, and I do not want to start off on the wrong leg.
That being said, 2011 indeed seems like any other given year of my life.
What happened to you this year?