Sat, 13 Sep 2003

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27 - Part II

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God only knows why I woke up early this morning (around 9-9:30am) It's funny how birthdays after the age of 25 just don't have the same zing and zest to them. It's more like, oh God, I'm 27. What the hell am I doing with my life?

What is even funnier is that despite being on a pretty fixed path careening towards a rather secure career, I still have no idea where I'm going. Not even just in a philosophical sense. Quite literally in the physical sense.

Seriously. I marvel at the paradoxic nature of it all. I know what sort of work I'll be doing a year from now (plus or minus a few details) but I have no idea where. I'm confident that I'll have a decent job once I'm done with my training, but who knows what exactly I'll be doing.

I mean, sure, this is pretty normal. No one ever knows the specific details of their future. (If we could predict the future, then there's no point to any of this. We'd know everything already.) But the thing that astounds me is that people keep thinking that I have it all laid out and planned, when in fact, while I have a destination in mind, my course having been set a long time ago, the amount of things I know about my future are vastly outnumbered by the things I have no idea. (The more you know, the more you realize you don't. The smartest people in the world also probably feel the most stupid, because they are smart enough to recognize the magnitude of what they don't know. As Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes and Cypher from "The Matrix" have pointed out, ignorance is bliss.)

Incredibly, I've been theoretically an adult for nine years now. Now, spending almost all of that time in school, you can understand how I don't really feel that way. But, as I approach the event horizon of the big 3-0, it is becoming increasingly clear that I am no longer a kid. Despite all my desire to stay a kid.

All my life, I've felt like I've had responsibility thrust upon me. It has never been anything that I've sought out. At the same time, I've never been able to, in good conscience, reject this responsibility.

I hear the voice of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader: "It is your destiny." (A nuclear medicine physician I worked under made fun of me this way, laughing at the fact that there was probably no way I could avoid the path I've taken.)

Who was it that said that the trick to happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get?

Sometimes I can't help but feel trapped. The loop is closed, the path is set, the window is open, there's nothing left but to de-orbit, hit the thrusters, and fall through the sky.

This is what it must feel like when a Schroedinger wave function collapses.

Nothing like the taste of fear and dread mixed with my morning coffee.

09:44:53 13 Sep 2003 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

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