Another year passes. Some people take off their birthday, but when it hits in the week, I see no point in that. I had some friends over on Saturday. We drank some good liquor, had some tasty nom noms, and I got to have a laid back evening. My friends know me so well – I wasn’t expecting gifts, but I got some chainmaille earrings (squee!), cask strength Maker’s Mark, single barrel Evan Williams bourbon, vodka from Russia, a cool cat necklace, and flowers. It feels good to be loved by my friends. I don’t know if they know how much they mean to me, but I am blessed.
Tonight I just have the girls. They are so fun, getting so big. They make me laugh all the time. And I’m watching one of my favorite movies, Contact. Certain stories touch us, bring us in tune with our inner self – this one is one that resonates with me.
I do love my life, but wonder still how I can make a difference. I am still in Grihastha, the householder stage. I have responsibilities, including giving my kids lots of love and teaching them how to the best humans they can–at least as best as I can teach it. But it doesn’t feel enough. I am restless underneath it all. There are reasons why I am where am, but what do you do when you’re just a little blood cell in a large body? Just carry your oxygen to and fro, day after day?
I was 15 or so when “A Brief History of Time” was published. It rocked my world. I think I read that book with tears running down because it was so beautiful to have my mind opened. That the world was not as grey and as dull as I had imagined. I wanted to do that – learn that, expand upon it. But I went to a school with a lot of bright students, brighter than me. My classmates went to Harvard and Yale and MIT, but during those years my depression was so bad I didn’t have the faith that I could be like that. I did apply to MIT, though I was rejected. I picked my battles and for me, it was getting better. You can’t do squat for the world when you’re miserable all the time and just trying to put one foot in front of the other.
And here I am, with my suburban life. The kids and the ex-marriage and a good job. It’s actually a great job for me, because it keeps me growing and it’s a good place for me now. I have little to complain about. And perhaps there are parallel versions of me in parallel universes, different marriages, different divorces, different kids–the reality where I died and the reality where I got my shit together 10 years earlier.
But if there is love for yourself, and love for your kids, and love for your family and friends, how does it spiral out from there? We have so much work to do to get past racism and xenophobia – but what if our baseline was love for all humans? Where would we go from there? Love for animals, love of our planet as a holistic organism rather than a disposable vessel for our lives? But to see space, to see the galaxies – I cannot put into words the feeling I have in my soul when I think about that. And if it’s a thought in my head, and a thought in other people’s heads, and we get past this crazy teenage age of humanity where we might just kill our entire species in acts of stupidity – it’s neat to think that we might be able to attain that.
So perhaps, as the kids get older and my responsibilities towards other people get less, I should look into that. How can I help that effort, an effort that will take generations? I guess I should be reading some Elon Musk.