Before you read this post, I want you to do nothing but focus on how you feel for two minutes. I’m completely serious; follow the link, and honestly, seriously do nothing for two minutes. Come back when you’re done.
How did you feel during that two minutes? Nervous? Antsy? Bored? Maybe you failed it a couple times, got an IM you wanted to respond to or something. Did you check your cell phone, turn on the TV? Did you really do nothing but focus on yourself for two minutes? If you didn’t, try again. I’m just asking for two minutes.
Did you realize anything you wouldn’t have thought of without those two minutes? I realized I get so tied down in doing things all day, running back-to-back from one goal to the next, that I don’t even know how I feel about things most of the time.
Let me tell you what I feel: fear. I feel scared all the time. I log on to my Facebook and see the “Being Liberal” page make some of the most vile hate speech. I check the “Being Conservative” page and see the same thing. I hear about the growing crisis in the Eurozone and the shockwave that could ripple through the rest of the world. I hear about American fighter drones killing militants in Pakistan. I hear about Brandon Wright, a kid a year younger than myself, being shot and killed in his own car. In my hometown. Where I live. And it wasn’t until today, for some reason, I’m not sure of, that I realized just how scared I am all the time.
I’ve spent all day being tense. I don’t enjoy my video games because I stress about how my writing should be done first. I don’t enjoy my writing because I feel uninspired. I don’t enjoy my work because it’s almost the height of materialism season and it unnerves me. I have headaches constantly, and I’m only half-aware of it most of the time.
I don’t think I’m the only one who feels like this, either. There’s dissatisfaction all over the country, everyone yells at each other and wants to take what others have. We push people into small, figurative boxes that we label “1%” and “extremist” and “lazy” and use those labels to justify why we yell so much. But really, I think we’re all just scared.
We’re scared we won’t find good jobs. We’re scared we won’t find people to love us. We’re scared we’ll spend the rest of our lives drowning in debt. We’re scared we’ll reach middle age and feel like we wasted our lives. We’re scared we won’t have the chance to raise families. We’re scared we’ll have to struggle our entire lives to raise our families, still never providing them with what we know they deserve. We’re scared that one person will go over the edge, one person will knock the world situation we know off of its razor-edge and send everything plummeting into more chaos and more murder.
Maybe those are just my fears. But I don’t think so.
I wish I knew how to fix this. Right now, the only way I can feel any better is to try and love. I’m not saying that any of the situations I’ve just listed can be cured by it. Loving makes me feel like I’m on the right track.
So I’ll love living with my family, talking with my friends, seeing my co-workers. I’ll love tooling around with trading cards. I’ll love gaming. I’ll love creating stories. I’ll love grabbing a drink at the bar. I’ll love helping people with their computers. I’ll love anything I can. I’ll love because it gives me hope.
The Beatles lied; love is not all you need. But certainly action without love is hopeless.
P.S. A friend of mine, someone I look up to far more than she knows, posted this on her Facebook the other day:
“This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Stop over analyzing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and new people; we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once; seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”