“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.”-Thoreau
Consider this my justification for why this blog is more interesting—or at least more fulfilling—than textsfromlastnight, fmylife, and lickyourpets.com
As I went through the whole college graduation thing, I got a bit confused as to what was really supposed to be happening. After all the “now you are a productive citizen” pomp and circumstance, I didn’t feel so different. What, exactly, had I completed? What next? What did a diploma mean? It didn’t feel like I had leveled up like some academic video-game character.
So outside of the obvious benefits of citing Thoreau (to prove how well-read and and good at wikiquote searches I am, of course), the above quote really did stick with me when I was trying to define what graduating was really all about. Not the marrow-sucking part, that’s nasty.
I don’t want to follow Thoreau’s example with the whole dying a 46-year-old virgin thing, but the idea of living deliberately really hung on. Yes, graduating is significant, but it really means that you are pretty close to ending the socially acceptable period of your life when you can spend all your time focusing on improving yourself (at drinking games).
I don’t really feel done. I’ve learned a bit, but don’t think I’m done learning.
So, the point of this blog is basically me trying to figure out how to live deliberately. The whole college thing—academic honesty, self-reflection, trying new things and uncomfortable situations—at least brought me to a mature enough point that I could question what the hell I am doing, be aware of how I affect other people. So I’m taking the above tools of living deliberately—previously only applied to my academic career—and applying it to my whole life.
That translation isn’t perfect. Academic honesty does not immediately transfer over to the “real” world, and I don’t get to “audit” experiences. More importantly, I am not Thoreau, not smart enough nor disciplined enough to just bug off into the woods and both ask the question and give the answer. In that sense, this is why I’m making this a blog; to keep it public, to keep me honest, and to crowd source for new ideas, recommendations, feedback. It is my secret fantasy that this whole shebang-shebang will at least be interesting in how I experiment with my life, how one goes about “living deliberately” (and what that really means).
This “experiment” is pretty vague for right now. It will become clearer, but I figured I’d make it known what is driving my neurotic contemplation with what I’m doing with my life. The basic idea is that I’m going to live simply, NOT only for myself, and driven by a hunger for new experiences, new ideas, and a desire to be deliberate about myself.
That, and to show you how many smart people I am capable of quoting (hint: Dante).