October 13, 2003 17:41 | Confession

What is my life?

Is my life jet-setting between Tokyo, New York and Montreal? Is my life hacking GUI code? Is my life sipping lattés with hipsters? Having dinners with visionaries?

Is my life driving too fast? Is my life drinking too much? Is it reading too little? Is my life a good dancer, but a terrible lover? Is my life running up the mountain, or is it too lazy to get up in the morning? Is my life looking at the clothes people are wearing or the people wearing them? Is my life too arbitrary, or too calculated?

I think... my life is all of that and more. I think it is none of that and less. My life is unintelligibly more complex and infinitely simpler.

My life is here and now. My life is mine... as long as I let it go. My life is me, which fundamentally isn't much - but it's all I have so woe be they who try to wrest it from me. My life is me, which encompasses much - I'll happily give you a bit of it if you give me a bit of yours.

How about you? What is your life?


As Rob Brezsny said,"You are potentially a genius".

Very good questions, Boris!

The trick, as far as I can tell, is to ask these questions of yourself on a regular basis. Once every 4,000 kilometres or three months, at least.

Life... what makes your life "yours" and my life "mine"?
I'm am a FIRM believer in the age-old saying:
"Life is what you make it."

My life is a finely tuned balance of so many opportunities, denials, laughs, choices and people.
Every time I wake up I have another chance to change my life or to continue with what I was doing the day before. Something made me realize that earlier this year.
My step-father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this February, today he is waiting for the end to take him. Eight months to appreciate life, to reflect on what his life means to him. Surely it's not long enough! Ask him about his life, what is "his" life?
He'd tell you his life was all good things and all good people. He'd tell you how he already misses the rain, the colours of fall leaves, the sound of the waves on that beach in France...
So who cares about the rest really? The fact that I am here and that I make my chance at life "mine" is the only substantial reality.

You can split that question into two parts:

1 - what is the meaning of life, as in, existence, being, consciousness

2 - what is my purpose?

There was a great panel discussion on CBC Radio's Sunday Edition this past weekend about this very topic, in the context of the work of the philosopher and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl, i.e. man's search for meaning.

One thing that came out of the discussion was the realization (it seems obvious, but it isn't) that many people confuse who they are with what they do, and when 'what they do' ceases to be due to a lost job, circumstances, illness etc. it impinges negatively on their sense of self.

Knowing who you are first, outside of our constructed social contexts, is critical and key - "Character is what you are in the dark," as Dr. Emilio Lizardo memorably said in Buckaroo Banzai...

Thanks for the comments. I should have done this right off the start, but, I've disabled Comments on this post and left on Trackbacks in an effort to get folks to write their own "take" on their blogs.

As Joey said, we should all reconsider everything we hold true on a regualr basis... or was that Descartes? ;)