"Too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't want to impress people they don't like."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy (almost) New Year!

Sometimes I stop and think to myself: "how is it already almost 2009?" Do you remember back in the 80s and even the 90s when you thought that you'd never get to the 2000s? And now? Almost an entire decade of the 2000s has passed. I still remember the day I left my red bicycle, which naturally was a hand me down from my brother, down beneath the building that was raised on pillars. I ran upstairs, to the first floor (a European, not US, first floor) where we lived, bolted into the condo to grab a drink and ran back downstairs to continue playing. The game consisted of riding around, under the building, between the pillars, trying to fool the others as to where I would next appear. I stopped, froze, I could not believe it. It had only been 5 minutes, at most. No red bicycle. It was gone. Someone came and took my red bicycle. I was so shocked that I didn't even cry. Now what?

Here we are, over 20 years later, and it's almost 2009. Things have come and gone, and a few memories faded, but somehow, the red bicycle memory has not. I also remember thinking that the year 2000 was so far away, and how old I will be by the time it came around. I would be turning 22 later that year. I was sure that by 2000 I'd be done with college, I'd probably be getting ready to get married, and by 25, I would have all the children I wanted to have. In a way, that was comical, but in a way, here I am, 8 years later, and all I have done is finish my schooling, as far as I know. Though with me, like my parents say, you never really know whether I'm really done. In a sick masochistic way, I love being a student. No marriage and no kids, and none of that really bothers me. But for some reason, 2009 is making me think of all these things.

I was at a dinner with friends not too long ago, and one of my friends said "my God, I am almost 29, and I have accomplished nothing!" I asked her what it is that one should accomplish by the time they turn 29 or even 30. People often say that, but what do they mean? She shrugged and said "make a lot of money?" Which begs the question: is the amount of money you possess a good measure of accomplishment? I happen to think not. I happen to think that a better measure is HOW you're making the money you make. I drifted in my own thoughts: am I happy in the way I am making my living? What is my contribution to humanity? I am 30, and I have left no distinct mark in this world. I am not even on my way to contribute anything of value. Thomas Edison was 32 when he successfully manufactured a light bulb that lasted over 13 hours.

I have never just stopped and thought how the years have passed by, and I cannot decide why is it that I am thinking about it this year. It's possible that the looming end of the first decade of the 21st century has something to do with that. And it seems like nothing special has marked the first decade of the 2000s. We all know the 80s and the strange fashion statements made then, then the 90s and Generation X, but what exactly are the 2000s? Besides the ugly war, what have we to show for the 2000s? Maybe it's not a problem from which I alone suffer, but it's just that humanity as a whole has come to a sudden stop, hit a wall, and just stopped moving. How do we restart the engines and begin moving again? I see too many people occupied by insignificant things. Too many people without any passion. Way too many people who are not bothered by living a routine that revolves about doing the bare minimum to go through life unnoticed. People intentionally trying to lead a very inconspicuous existence. I do not want to be any of these people. These aren't the people who become celebrated historical figures or who leave a mark on many lives.

Though after Wednesday, it'll just be 2009, and we will go on with our ordinary lives, and another year will commence, and before we know it, I'll be back here trying to figure out the meaning of life, and talking complete and utter nonsense.

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