I’ve been thinking a lot about the distinction between man and animal.
Probably the coolest advantage over instinct-driven animals is our ability to imagine vividly. Through our imagination, we can literally escape the present reality of our physical perception and dive into a situation or experience or thing whose every detail is controlled and designed by our own choices. In the world of imagination, we get to be gods.
Combine this ability with our acquisition of language— which can roughly be described as the most efficient form of transfer of the products of our imaginations (at least for now)— and we spawned the skills of hunting (eventually removing ourselves from the food chain), building and creating (manipulating our reality to align that of the imagined), and planning (predicting and preparing for the future via imagined situations).
Now, whether you believe in God or don’t, I think we can all agree that we as humans have attained a power that is beyond the physical and even mental. All normally endowed humans have access to an energy that can best be described as infinite. Or spiritual. Or God-like.
But as much as we’ve been able to transcend the mindless beast category with the development of linguistic thought and planning, we’re still vulnerable to our primal natures. We lust after people we know we shouldn’t; we get reactively angry in situations we know we’re supposed to be in better control of; we still crave that Pinkberry after Japadog, when we know we’re on that Spring Break diet.
And it sucks when you’re not really aware of it— or when you haven’t spent enough time to really wrap your head around the consequences of your excuses. Doing something you know is wrong has reverberating ripples of effects that go beyond the direct harm you’re inducing to yourself or to the other— it reinforces in your mind that you are someone whose animal side is louder than his or her god-like side; that you are a slave to your impulses; that you’re a “bad person”— when the fact of the matter is: you always have a choice.
The thing is, no one can really be labeled as a bad person or a good person. In some moments of our lives, we’ve been good; and in others, bad. The only thing that really exists is the present. I’ve heard that line so many times, but it keeps echoing into my life in important times. The only anything that is real is right now. The past is gone forever, and the future doesn’t exist until it’s the present. Right now is when you can choose how and what you learned from those hovering mistakes from your past, so you can stop dwelling on them. Right now is when you can plan for your future, so you can be prepared for opportunities when they arise and avoid situations that provoke your undesired urges. Right now is when you get to choose exactly the kind of person you want to be and how you’re going to become that person.
I don’t wanna sound like I’m preaching. I’m not in any way a model for the ideals I’m describing. I’m writing this to say that I’ve been pretty disappointed with myself in the past few months. In fact, a couple weeks ago, I fell into a prolonged period of time where I hated myself. I mean I’ve been sad before.. and depressed in the sense of the word as used by all of us when we’re actually just really really sad. But I was really ready to just give up on everything.
I’d been letting my life slip by while floating on the thousands of dollars my parents have been pouring into my journey to discovering my potential here in New York City; I’d been spending money carelessly; I hadn’t been planning my days; I’d been celebrating often and for no reason; and I couldn’t bring myself to follow through on my promises.
Thank Zeus for family and friends. Honestly, I’ve thought about suicide pretty often, but I never get anywhere near enough to the execution of the idea, just because I can’t stand the thought of hurting the people who love me like that. So don’t worry, readers, friends, and lovers— I’ll be here for as long as I can.
Anyway, I’m just writing all this down so I can have it in words, but also so that anyone who’s been going through anything similar to what I’ve been suffering through might gain something from the perspectives I’ve been exploring. I just wanted to say a huge gracias to everyone who has ever acknowledged and/or supported the content I’ve put out into the universe, whether it be music, art, ideas, or friendship. I love you all <3