Quarter Life Thesis

This year has certainly been an interesting one. A lot of things have happened that caused me to re-think what I want from my life. For a long time, I felt like this: 

That's one scary ocean.

That's one scary ocean.

Then that, went to this: 

Supes Mad bro. Like So help me Glob bro.

Supes Mad bro. Like So help me Glob bro.

Now I'm more like this:

What is Finn?

What is Finn?

While there's a lot of good things in my life, there are still a lot of things that I absolutely despise. I've always wanted to travel, and after having an opportunity to do so, I am realizing just how unhappy I am being stuck in the same place. The choices I've made in my life keep me locked down because of debt and previous obligations.

As much as I'd like to leave it all behind and say Math the consequences, I know doing so would put a few others in tough situations themselves. I'm a pretty smart guy(how smart you ask? Smart enough to know that you're probably reading this in Finn's voice, and if you weren't, you are now assuming you've seen Adventure Time before), so understanding the steps I need to take in order to achieve where I want to be isn't much of an issue.

Finding motivation to take these steps and stick with them is the difficult part when your every day tends to leave you feeling downtrodden. Which is why I must broaden my horizons, seek a greater audience of people who wish to truly encourage me in my endeavors. Making people care about you isn't easy, especially when you have to sell yourself as well as your writing. 

No matter what happens, I know that my life is on it's way to looking more like this: 

S'all good dawg. I mean Jake. 

S'all good dawg. I mean Jake. 

While this weighs heavy on my head and heart, at least I can poke fun at it and hopefully make someone else smile in the meantime. At least I know I'm good at that. Although sometimes it just boils down to this:

Thinking too much is what I do.

Thinking too much is what I do.

The Nature of Understanding

Understanding, isn't something that is truly easy to understand. While you may know what understanding means by definition, actually putting the idea into practice is a different problem altogether.

"I know" is a highly common response to suggestions and rebuttals in certain situations. Although I always question the truth to that person's claim. I'm sure many of us do. But I also question whether or not I truly do grasp the entirety of the subject when I say it myself. So where does the nature of understanding come from?

Does it come from our ability to not only simulate certain situations, but also our ability to emulate certain situations in our own minds with a certain level of accuracy? Or does it come from our ability to process others' experiences as closely to our own as possible? Does it come from a whole separate psychological capacity?

The nature of understanding may indeed even come from a basic human need to fit in with those around us. Is it possible that we can truly understand things better if it is explained within a situation that our lives have seen? I'd say we have sufficient evidence within our own personal lives to say so.  Perhaps understanding is an innate trait in itself. It would certainly fit the Occam's Razor dynamic.

Do we understand the implications of understanding? Am I over-complicating it? Probably. However, I tend to value understanding things on as many angles as possible. Even if some of them don't make sense. Even if there's really only one option to go with in order to understand. Sometimes, that full understanding is what helps you create a deeper knowledge and appreciation.

Or I'm just over-complicating things.

Living Life Behind a Screen

With the age of technology, we face some new and previously unknown problems with increased integration with others. We all value experiences throughout life, but the real question is to what level are those experiences worth? Can we honestly say an experience someone shares over the internet is valued on the same level as experiencing that event for yourself?

For example, many of us like to watch the Travel Channel and see what cool and different places we visit could be. Yet most of us have the sense to know that seeing it on TV is nothing like seeing it in person. I would argue that a generation that values interactions online to the level we do today may not fully understand that concept. 

One of the adverse effects social media has had on us is posting life experiences on Facebook is all about getting likes. Twitter is all about getting followers and retweets. Instagram is all about getting followers and likes on photos. This has changed our psychology from valuing experiences for ourselves, and created a sense of valuing experiences based on how others value them.

Our sense of identity no longer exists within ourselves and our endeavors, it exists within others and how they perceive them. At least for the younger generations. The real question is: Is this really something we should be worried about? I would say yes. I grew up on video games and behind a computer screen. The value of my world was defined by how powerful my character was. By how many reliable friends I had to raid with. Whether or not I fit in with the world I was playing in, not the real world around me.

This has, in many unforeseen ways, negatively impacted me severely. I'm 26 and still trying to figure out what it means to make my way in the real world. As difficult as it is to admit, I have problems valuing interactions with others in the real world. I have problems placing value in experiences beyond a screen, and it's something I'm working on for myself. At this age, and with a strong desire to experience things in the real world, things change overwhelmingly quickly.

A lot of time was lost when I was more capable and receptive to placing value in interactions. My childhood was hardly a sob story, and it's difficult to regret things when you truly understand where your life has taken you. However, it doesn't mean I don't wish to provide a warning for others on how these things truly effect us as people. 

I see similarities in others and how they interact with technology and how I grew up, and it makes me question how it effects their psychology. Someone who is attached to their phone and social media exhibits similar problems, but in a different fashion. We can be sociable with others and get out into the world and still not value those experiences the way we should. I cannot speak for anyone buy myself, but I truly take issue with how I perceive and value the world because of this problem.

Hopefully, this is an individual case of how life has unfolded for me. I would hate to see others have to struggle with the same problems. However, I can't help but feel like I've become a lot more understanding and intelligent simply because of these psychological hurdles. Perhaps on the other end, I will learn to appreciate things on a deeper level. I guess I will let you know when that happens.

In any case, I think this is an important issue to keep in mind. The moral of this story is moderation applies to all things in life. Time and place are always important when experiencing life. You cannot substitute experience with understanding. Sometimes, thinking it through, just doesn't cut it.

Differentiating Fitness and Health

Fitness is the encompassing idea of how healthy you are. When we think fitness, we think of how in shape your body is. But it goes beyond just eating healthy and exercising. Just as knowledge and intelligence are two different entities, health and fitness are two different entities. Health can be defined as one's physical well being. Fitness can be defined as one's ability to use their body to meet their needs.

Depending on your life style, and desires, fitness creates a broad spectrum of meaning. If you have no desire to run marathons, to do any hard manual labor, or to be able to participate in athletic sports, then your level of fitness is defined by your desire. If you need to be able to position and maneuver your body in a broad range of activities, then your fitness level is defined by your needs. 

Fitness requires a certain level of need in order to be pertinent to the person, but there are a lot of interesting things you can learn about your body and it's capability by paying attention to how it changes as you continue to strengthen it. There are also notable mental changes as your body becomes stronger, such as increased focus, energy, and obviously strength. Personally, I'm more interested in how much physical fitness increases mental capability.

Since I started seriously working out, not only have I lost weight and gained more physical capability, I have also gained an increased mental acuity, focus, and energy. I am more capable of solving complex problems, as well as increased lateral thinking. These traits aren't necessarily exclusive to my new found desire to be physically healthy, they are simply amplified by my increased mental capability due to physical health increasing.

I also gain some social benefits as well. I'm more confident in my movement, and even my person. I'm still a rather large fellow, but I'm more comfortable with the skin I'm in. This is what most people seek when working out, which I think does a disservice to the rest of what you are capable of gaining from being physically healthy. So to all of you out there who may be struggling to find a reason to work out, or to push yourself to get to the gym, don't look at the number on the scale. Don't look at how your waistline changes. Look for how much better you feel, and how much more capable you are.

Make it important to be able to function on a greater level, to be able to think clearer, and to be able to act in the way you think you should be able to in each situation. Don't let the standard of cosmetics deter you from accomplishing fitness in your life!

Defining Our Lives

There comes a point in everyone's life where we really learn who we are. When we truly understand how our experiences and choices have created the only thing we'll ever know for sure: Ourselves. Each of these experiences is different, each one with different causes and effects. Some people change in a profound manner, and some change very little. Even though this entity cannot be described in any concrete way, it's a stage in human life that we all have or will come to know.

It's an interesting phenomenon, when you consider the consequences of consciousness. Many don't even give it a second thought, and accept it as just another change in their lives. But to me, this change is profound, and even though I am still the same person at my core, a lot of my views and ideas have changed greatly. Things I used to find unacceptable, are more than acceptable now.

Ideas that seemed to hold little weight in the world are actually much more influential than previously thought. My friends haven't changed much, and neither has my relationships with them. I have gained many new friends whom I value just as greatly as my friends prior to this tipping point. These are only the ideological and philosophical changes. Some of my senses have changed as well and become sharper.

A sense I had not had before, as strange as this is, has manifested in a big way. Feeling movement through the universe and across the surface of the Earth(e.g. when driving, a distinct feeling of traveling through space) is not something I had a very good sense of before. Perhaps that is a common feeling that I had been lacking for whatever reason, but to me it's very new and very profound! I feel as though I am more greatly attuned to the life I live.

While I cannot say if others experience this kind of phenomenon in such a profound way, I do believe there is a point in everyone's life where things just start making sense. That time for me is now, which at 26 makes me wonder if my experiences in life had been different, would I have experienced this sooner or later? Will this change make my life definitively better? Well, that's the tricky part. I can't say for sure. I can certainly say that I will feel like I enjoy life more.

But will it allow me greater opportunity to seek what I want from life? Or will it simply allow for an acceptance for what I have? If I know me, the latter will not hold much weight. I still seek to be a writer on many levels, and even though it seems like not much has been happening lately, there is a lot of leg work being done for the next story. Here's a hint: An Observe Re-Write(yet again, I know, this would be rendition #6).

However, because of how things have changed in my life, I believe the changes I wish to make will ultimately make for a better story. Which is interesting to me on the level of how life experiences can change a person's writing. I could go on and on about how this feeling and these changes effect life, but I'm not here to write another novel.

I guess despite my rambling what you can take from all of this is that even though there has been a slight lack of content within the last month, there is much more to come. One of the things I have learned is not to fear the passion that drives you. Why I had feared it in the first place, even I don't know. But this change means I am much more inclined to sit and write, than I am to sit and game. This means much more real original content coming!

As always folks, thank you for your support. I appreciate all of you who take the time to read through any of my posts! My hope is that you took away something from them, and that they provide you with some insight into your own lives. Stay Tuned for more!

E Pluribus Unum!