Ten introspective questions (and answers) to evaluate my college life crisis.

1. What are we fighting for?
Perfection. That’s the goal. After watching people around me struggle for so long trying to be happy, it seems to be the only choice. Perfection is not plausible but with perspective it is possible. The same can be said with true happiness.

2. What are we fighting against?
My own realization of reality. Maybe what I see and experience is all there is to human existence, a harsh slap to the face that tells me to give up and accept the mundane. A growing feeling that it is better to give up on dreams because they are unrealistic paths to happiness.

3. Where are we now?
Somewhere between hopelessly lost and nowhere to go.

4. Where else could we be?
Away from everything, a “Walden” but of my own creation seems appealing. Clarity wouldn’t be the inspiration but to see how opaque of a lens I could find. Alone with the ability to view the simplest thoughts, with a renewed passion in order to embrace a lack of control sounds delightful.

5. What is the worst that could happen?
Failure. Everything that I hope for fails and I ruin everyone’s life around me because I am destructive. I’ll just leave it at that.

6. Who do we see ourselves as?
When I look into the mirror this is what I see:

A contradiction. A scientific mind who finds absolutes to be disappointing because half the fun is in pondering the unknown. An externally defined intellect that finds joy in some of the most simplistic actions. Someone who would gladly give all of his gifts away for a few moments of inner peace. A projection of joy and success with an inner pain accompanied by a constant need to improve to deter a sense of absolute failure. I see someone trying to figure out how a “Renaissance man” is supposed to fit into an ever diversifying future that rewards experts in narrow fields as opposed to broad knowledge. Life is so beautiful from every view it seems a disservice not to try and see them all. Everyday conscious decisions are made to pursue a future that does not and may never exist. Instantaneous rewards are ignored in the hope that a more perfect future can be constructed.

Ultimately I see eyes full of hope and a mind that knows my eyes are being unrealistic.

7. When do we want to live for the moment?
Every moment is beautiful. I think we constantly live for the moment but our definition of what living is changes. When work is put off to allow for a fun experience that is living for the moment but then again so is choosing to work over that fun experience. At times living is realizing how trivial everything is and that a deep breath can help put things in perspective. Yet, other times we must see meaning in our trivial experiences and recognize that there are things worth fighting for, even if they are only seen and relevant to ourselves. So the short answer is always. Evaluate what your life is in a moment and own it because in the end it is all you have.

8. How is now different from expected?
Aren’t we supposed to be happy now? “College is the best time of your life.” I have heard this phrase enumerable times. It always leaves a bad taste in my mouth because I cannot make myself believe I can’t leverage my time now for a greater tomorrow.

9. How is it the same?
I like to fight for things. I don’t know if I choose to or it is just a personality trait but I can develop tunnel vision with a focus that surprises people. My main objective is able to overtake my life with other things falling to the side. In this regard I am able to lay myself out for desires in the way other people won’t. This doesn’t surprise me because I’ve done it for as long as I can remember but for some reason people don’t believe you when you inform them you will give yourself for their cause. They don’t realize I mean this literally. If I deem a task valuable I consciously will sacrifice my time, health and passion. If there is anything else I can give I am not aware.

Whether or not this is good I don’t know.

10. Why?
I don’t know how to answer this but it doesn’t take away from the question. It is at the end because it should always be included and given the most time. If I was forced to answer I would have to give an analogy because I know no other way to put it to words. Every person has tripped on something and in that minute instant where you realize things are no longer going as expected, as planned; it seems everything will fall apart. A heightened awareness calls for action. Then we either catch ourselves or fall in embarrassment. I want that moment to be my life. Every moment suspended in air, while adrenaline pumps through my veins not for excitement but for the sheer beauty of being alive. At any moment embracing the subtle relationship between life and death. Whether or not I catch myself or fall is inconsequential because of that moment. In an instant all interference fades away to present a decision that holds more weight than any before it but somehow all indecision has fallen away as well and with it regret.
It’s funny how organizing thoughts always seems to be the most effective way to find profound tangents. Following the cue of EVERYBODY else, sophomore year is starting to get to me. Grad school, graduation, grades etc. At the end of sophomore year everyone is in the middle of their undergraduate travels so it seems an adequate time to have a nervous breakdown about your life without college. The internet informs me that it is never just me so I will just assume you are with me or have stopped reading by now.