On the eve of the beginning of my 28th year on this earth, I was quietly reflecting the meaning of life....well not really.
Ok..so..I'm sitting here, reading a review paper for a tutorial session on mathematical modeling and apoptosis (yeah..i rolled my eyes too) and it starts off really heavy and is difficult to understand, but as I continue reading, it gets easier and almost enjoyable.
In 27 years, I've learned about myself that I enjoy learning especially about science...and I enjoy thinking about it and sometimes obsessing about it. It's like a game...trying to figure out how things work...in order to figure out how to fix it when it doesn't work as it should.
But...it's as frustrating as it is enjoyable because I feel like the more I learn, they more I realize how much more I have to learn and the prospect of being able to learn enough is really daunting.
So I'm reading the paper and I'm thinking about my particular area of interest and how it relates to apoptosis and I'm thinking about my project and I'm slowly getting frustrated and feeling like if i deviate from what I think is my focus, I'll get too distracted and I'll never be done with school...
And then I remember being at the airport yesterday watching war veterans returning from Afghanistan...most of them younger than me...some older. And I'm thinking about those that don't get to make it back....and their families. And how regardless of the reasons behind their joining the military...the only reasons why there is a war and why the need to be over there in the first place is through no direct fault of theirs.
They're out there fighting a war for people like our senators and representatives who feel it's their right to sit in their houses that we pay for and dictate what a woman does with her body.. whether or not I can own a house..whether or not people who work for a living can afford to save money to retire..whether or not people who lost their job due to the economic downturn that was more than likely helped by this parasitic war get to have health insurance...whether or not you have to wait until you are 70.5 to withdraw money from your 401k...those people.
They're out there fighting those people who clearly...CLEARLY are reincarnations of whatever god they believe in and perfect and pure and devoid of any wrongdoings get to decide who is immoral and who deserves to live and die...who stone little girls...who bury little girls alive...who feel like 30 years of dictatorship is too little...who are so blinded by the pursuit of absolute power that they do not see how truly powerless they are....
And when they come home, they don't get to sleep peacefully because they bring back visions of horror as souvenirs
So now I'm feeling like a whiny little crybaby and hating myself for thinking that anything I'm battling does not even begin to compare to what these soldiers and their families face (and let's not even get me started on Africa..that's its own can of worms).
And I'm feeling ashamed because being inundated with news about the war and the world has left me apathetic even to what's going on right outside my door....so i shut it all out and try and focus on one thing for now...but I can't.
So I tell myself that the only way to make a difference in the world is to start with the world I face everyday..but that seems so small and insignificant compared to what is going on out there. Still I smile and I listen and I try to be present in the moment.
This works 99% of the time...my mind is occupied with thoughts and plans and goals and projects that keep me busy...but all it takes is that 1% when I get so overwhelmed with what's going on 99% of the time that I'm forced to take a step back and question the relevance of 99% of my time.
And that leaves me here...discouraged and disillusioned, overwhelmed by problems that appear insurmountable. Problems that make me feel like..."if I could only fix this...everything else will fall into place"...but where to start?
1% definitely puts things in perspective..like who the bloody hell cares if your experiments work?or if you have a good day?or if you have something planned for your birthday?
But what comes after the 1%? and before the 99% kicks in again? sometimes it's numbness...sometimes it's the strong belief the there is something out there bigger than us...that has a grand design of how things should be and makes me believe that my existence is indeed relevant and if i do everything right will amount to something useful...but it's never both...
And today...I am numb