A Return to Norm

There are times in our lives when we venture into parts unknown. When we take it upon ourselves to journey deep into the abyss to quench the innate sense of curiosity that we all harbor. Sometimes, those journeys lead to places we never knew existed. Sometimes, those journeys are to places we thought we knew. Yet, other times, they are to places that we once called home. Regardless, the outcome of such journeys can be either of two: they can either fundamentally change your life’s trajectory, or they can be a nice detour that offers a refreshing take on the status quo, to which you ultimately return.

I, by my very nature, am very myopic when it comes to life. I adhere strictly to the mantra of carpe diem when applicable, and seek to take life on one problem at a time. Thus, the concept of a life trajectory, let alone a plan for life, is very alien to me. Life, by its very nature, is the culmination of our decisions, made by us using free will, based on the decisions of others based on their free wills. Life is, by definition, unpredictable. And this was the philosophy I held graduating college. And, to a degree, I still do hold it in my heart. But I qualify that claim somewhat.

Because before, I hadn’t come across many things that were within my control. Things were, very much, out of my control, and forced upon me. I went to school because my parents, and society at large, deemed that to be very important for me to be a successful adult. I went to college, because that was the natural extension of my education, and a fundamental part of being considered “qualified” for any good career. Because a good career was deemed necessary by society to have a happy family. And the list just keeps on going. I doubt many people, during the course of their lives, feel as though their actions hold any real consequences. I’m sure many people approach life mechanically — following, and executing, upon instructions.

But even during the times life seems mechanical, we are, unconsciously, making a decision. We have a choice whether to follow the rules or not, and we face the consequences of such choices. If we follow the rules, the consequences are minor, correlating to the results of said decision. If we decide to be mavericks, the consequences can be world-changing.

I made the decision to go to college in the United States 6 years ago. And, I made the active decision to stay there, despite it being a breeding ground for rather negative thoughts that have plagued my unconscious mind ever since. And I made the decision to go to California last year, and, subsequently, to Korea thereafter. I made those decisions because I thought that was the natural trajectory of my life, based on my myopic vision. But now, after all that I’ve been through, I can say my horizon has broadened, and I see this was a detour at best. The fork in the road way back was nothing more than a glorified scenic route. It wasn’t who I was. And it isn’t who I am.

I don’t know if this new path I’m on is a branch on the main trunk, or the main trunk itself. But, it’s always a correctional path we walk. We continue to make choices until our time expires, and then, only then, is it possible to judge the full picture. All I know for certain, right now, is that this path is a long overdue correction for 6 years of ignoring who I was fundamentally. That made me myopic, and it made me anxious. Hopefully I still have enough time to make reparations for what I’ve done.



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