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Where do you see yourself in 5, even 10 years? Don’t you hate it when people ask you this question? Doesn’t it make you feel incompetent? It does for me. I don’t think it’s because I am unambitious, or won’t get a job — I think it’s because I know that the answer I am going to say is an answer that is almost like admission of defeat. And it shouldn’t feel like defeat, because I am probably going to have a very well-paying, challenging, stable job and a nice family. So why do I feel disappointed?
If you asked me when the last time I felt truly happy was, I think I would say it was the summer before university. I was working in staff program at a camp, and loved every minute of it. I could get six hours of sleep per night for an entire summer, and still feel full of energy and happy even when I was probably the most physically ill that I have ever been in my life. Why? I felt like I was doing something helpful to others. I was getting satisfaction out of the smallest things. I was being spontaneous and creative, and, best of all, I wasn’t too locked up in schedule and the system to lose sight of the things around me that I felt were most important.
I am still happy now, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get the same sense of real happiness, instead of a drunken euphoria, or the relief that it’s finally the weekend. I think the main problem is the impression that there’s not enough time. In my program, I don’t have time to really get into the stuff I’m learning. I’m pretty much cramming my head full of information as fast as I can to be prepped for a test, then forget it the day after. I feel like when I get through university, I will have a piece of paper, and know that I can memorize pretty much any biochemical pathway that you ask of me, just don’t ask me! Yeah, I’m getting an education, but I’m losing sight of the world around me, and I can see it happening, and I feel like I can’t help it. I wonder if other people can see it, or whether they didn’t have the happiness that I had in the first place, so don’t feel the loss.
I was raised weird compared to most other kids my age. I wasn’t allowed the video games, the fruit bahis firmaları roll-ups, and the co-ed birthday parties that made kids excited. I spent a lot of time playing outside, making my little brother be my hunter-gatherer as I prepared mock native American food (that was probably poisonous) in a depression in a rock on my front lawn. By the time I was in grade 2, I probably knew more about nature than a graduate biology student will now. I can go into the woods, and sit down, and identify most of the plants and rocks and droppings and tracks that I see, and I don’t even know when I learned this stuff. I can probably talk for hours about bark and stars and bugs, but who really wants to hear it?
The people around me that I consider some of my best friends don’t understand my wonder of the world around me. To them, I’m a keener, which is one of the most looked-down-upon positions in the post-secondary level. I ask questions in class, and I talk about science and school in everyday situations! But it’s not because I’m trying to show the prof or my friends how smart I can be — it’s because I am genuinely excited.
I wonder if these people have been immunized to small wonders around them by an upbringing of fast-paced television and video games. What does it matter how big the bubbles in a boiling pot of water are? You’re going to get the food either way. It just works because it does. Oh my god, reality TV is so thrilling because it just is.
These people just want to punch their ticket and get on to the next step. They can’t find or make their own happiness — they need it put in front of their face with surround sound. They move too fast to appreciate little details.
They are going to spend their childhood getting ready for highschool, then their highschool getting ready for university, then their university making sure they’re going to get a good job. After the job comes a house, a family, and then the whole cycle starts again. They get trapped in the cycle, and are afraid that if they leave it, their life will be ruined. They will never change the world. They will do what their predecessors before them have done, kaçak iddaa and be a pawn in the continuation of the human race. If they hit retirement with enough money to go to Florida for the winters, then they have succeeded.
I see myself falling into the cycle. I’m 20, and I already have a degree. When I’m 22, I’ll have 2, and be an engineer. I’ll get that job, and I’ll make that money, and I will probably never change the world for the better. But the thing that bothers me most is that I can sit here, and see things in the world that I want to change, and I keep putting them off, saying that I’ll do them when I have the money and the time and the power. I want the courage to quit and say that I’m going to put whatever’s going to make me happy first, instead of just trying to make myself happy doing the things I’ve convinced myself I have to do.
I want to sit around the campfire and sing, to look at trees, to teach kids how to find the north star, and show them it doesn’t mean you’re stupid or a loser if you’re amused by so-called simple things. It just means you aren’t too arrogant and too caught-up in the world of the “successful” to judge whether something that makes you happy should.
I want someone who thinks the same way. Alexandre, I want to call you and ask you to go for a drive with me. I want to drive into the Park across the river, leave my car, and walk into the woods. I want to walk on the trail for a while, then branch off to climb a high ridge away from the trail. I want to sit on a rock or fallen tree trunk overlooking some water, and explain how I live two lives. On the outside, I’m fun, I’m smart, I’m athletic, but on the inside, I’m torn up because I’m dishonest, and I feel like I’m failing and unhappy even though I am winning achievement awards. I feel like I’m giving myself to others who want to be my friend because they see me as someone cool to be friends with, or date me because I’m a good investment, but who don’t really want to give back to me or to know me. I want you to tell me what drives you, and what you think about when you’re feeling most alone. I want to know if you think you’re failing because you kaçak bahis see a dead-end world around you, and feel like you’re becoming part of it even though you know it’s not right.
Then I want you to put your hand on my knee, and look at me, and see how I’m conflicted. I want you to see how badly I want to kiss you because I’ve convinced myself I feel something with you, but how badly I don’t want to be used so you can say “did her”. I want you to ask to kiss me, and me to say no, because I know that if I do, I’ll probably end up having sex with you and feeling even worse the next day as I try to patch my moral holes while living through the stress of university life, hoping the boyfriend and my friends will not find out what’s going on and lose total respect for me. Then I want you to kiss me anyways. I want you to push me on my back on the leaves, and kiss my stomach. I want you to slowly lift my shirt up, kissing up my muscular ribs and chest until you get to my bra. I want you to pull it up, letting my breasts fall free, then taking one in your mouth. You’ll hold the nipple lightly with your teeth, then tickle its tip softly with your tongue until I squirm. You’ll take the other breast and do the same thing, and by then, there’ll be no stopping. We’ll roll around on the leaves, not saying anything and just feeling our bodies intertwine and smelling arousal and musk of the ground mixing together. You’ll reach down my pants, and rub my crease, then push two fingers up into it. You know how to put pressure right on the upper wall at the opening, and I’ll moan and press against you. I’ll kiss you, and almost like the cigarette smoke on your breath. Maybe we’ll fuck, maybe we won’t — what does it matter? It’s cheating either way, and it feels great while it’s happening.
As soon as I get home, I’ll change out of my wet underwear, and brush a couple leaf bits out of my hair. I’ll think about us, and smile and say “yeah, I can get away with this,” and I’ll be preoccupied the entire time I’m talking to my boyfriend on the phone that night.
And I’ll have another story that I can’t tell to anyone. You’ll be another guy who knows one of my intimate secrets. I’ll look at your pictures for a while, and go between feelings of pride and extreme guilt until both feelings fade and life goes back to normal. And will I be any happier? Doubt it, but we’ll see.
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