Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Beginnings

Who thought up the idea of celebrating the New Year like we do? Why do we stay up till midnight waiting for that instant when one 'year' changes into the next? I wonder if it is just an excuse to celebrate, drink, and drop Snooki in a hamster ball at midnight, which unfortunately never happened. Surely there is some meaning to it all, beyond the trivial, beyond what I instinctively think about it all.

In my mind, it doesn't matter to be able to celebrate on New Years, to watch the dusk fade into a dawn. Nothing is special about those 10 seconds that you spend with your time zone counting down to midnight, a practice that millions of people around the world will perform hours before you do each year. What is special is everything that happened in the passing year, and all of the possibilities available in the new one.

Resolutions may be broken as often as they are made, but they are not pointless. Even in the most immediate facet of a resolution, the act of making such a goal provides hope, and something to strive towards. It is encouraging, and it breeds determination. I once held resolutions in disdain, laughing at those who made them, but no longer. Today I make a resolution, and I use it to give myself purpose, by making my intent known all of you reading this now. You may laugh at what I am to say, but don't despair. Rather, go ahead and laugh! Joy and mirth are the bounty of life. Without them, life is short and cold.

In this new year, I resolve to post more on this blog!

You might think this is trivial, while others resolve admirably to lose weight, end addictions, spend more time with their family, or maybe to reach out more to the poor and needy that they see daily. Do not misunderstand me. Those are truly admirable goals, far more than my own resolution. Indeed, I truly respect those who make resolutions such as those.

I made this blog as a way of reaching out beyond, or perhaps through, the turmoil of my thought and my life. I have never been able to manage my time as I desired, so I created this as a structure for my hobbies, and for some of my runaway ideas and thoughts. This blog failed to serve my purpose, not due to problems with servers, computers, or coding, but instead due to my own lack of persistance and determination.

I lost my determination this last year to the raging sea of life that is blowing around me and breaking against me.

This blog is about 9 months old, and until now, the first post was its last. Between then and now, I have graduated and moved on to life at a university. I major in Biochemistry and I tutor in mathematics. I have taken on Broomball as a hobby, along with playing electric guitar, and taking high speed photography. It seemed like so much in my mind, while it seems so insignificant here. I have met many wonderful people, and yet I have lost far too much time in solitude. I have little reason for my lack of perseverance, and I fear what I might say in the last of my days. Will I curse how I had lived my life, only wishing for another lifetime, another chance to do what I should have the first time around? Will I cry out in suffering, "Oh, how I have wasted this life that I have been I given"?

So, you see, my resolution digs far deeper than may have been initially apparent. It is a decision to live better, making the best use of my time, with the people I love. And I ask you, my nonexistent followers, to forgive me, and give me a second chance. I have failed you. This blog is not about me, my hobbies, or my achievements. It is about reaching out to you with what I have been given. This blog exists so that I might pass on my experiences and my knowledge to anyone in need, anyone with a willing ear.

I conclude by contradicting the man who I once; make resolutions in this New
Year! Make sure to stand by them, in good times and in bad. Rejoice in others' company, and make the most of every moment. Time is dripping away. It isn't limited to the constraints of the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years that we place upon it. We measure time based on the meaningless rising and setting of a ball of fire above our heads.

Time make not exist in any physical form, but it can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched. Time is the flowing of a stream across our feet. Time is the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet. Time is the flowery smell of spring, then the musty smell of fall. Time is an everlasting gobstopper, different each time you look. Time is the moments that you spend gazing into the eyes of the person you love. Time is fluid. It began, and it will end, for each one of us. Live in the past, present and future. Rejoice in the time you have been given. Happy New Year, everyone!

"I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"
~Edgar Allen Poe

Friday, April 9, 2010

Autodidacticism

"I never let schooling get in the way of my education."~Mark Twain (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Autodidacticism)

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."~Leonardo da Vinci
(http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/leonardo_da_vinci.html)

Although I discovered this term mere weeks ago, it describes what I value most in life. Autodidacticism is self education, and I am the Autodidact. I must first acknowledge the significance of formal education in my life, for the past 13 years of school have cultivated the determination that allows me to pursue my vast hobbies along with academics. Likewise, school has given me indispensable knowledge about the world and its intricacies, whether through history, English, science, or music. Beginning in middle school, I was introduced to Science Olympiad, a nation-wide science competition available from middle school through high school. Engineering intrigued me, but, more simply, I enjoyed it like nothing else I had done before. I was convinced that it would be a lifelong career. Nevertheless, in the last four years, I changed my mind time and time again, but not because I disliked the subjects. Instead, I found that I could enjoy many hobbies and activities, from math to music and everywhere in between. I have found a subtle intricacy of learning that few of my close friends recognize; enjoyment of a topic can multiply learning tenfold. While all subjects are difficult to master, the factor of enjoyment is a matter of choice. What will you choose? I challenge you to embrace Autodidacticism. Make life more than it is. Live for more. Become empowered by the unceasing search for knowledge and understanding, but don't approach it grimly. Instead, pursue all aspects of life with a positive disposition. Most of all, never limit yourself in life. Live out your dreams, and exceed what anyone ever expected of you. But wait! What is this blog about, you ask? It is my own story of autodidacticism. I have often struggled with wanting to do too much at one time. This is my solution. I will approach one hobby at a time, and as I do so, I will post my experiences, and I will give all of you resources that you can use to plan your own journey for enlightenment, the pursuit of knowledge, or whatever you might call it. Join me in my tour of the myriad of the past-times in life, one at a time, in my feeble attempt to avoid insanity.