Tuesday, February 10, 2009

kibbutz aish

Where do I start?

Instead of summarizing the last six months that I haven't blogged, I'll start from where I have found myself at this point.

I've officially begun living on my own, and saying it's the greatest feeling ever is a ridiculous understatement. Family situation got a bit out of hand, and the opportunity for me to move out presented itself, so I took it and ran with it. I was waiting for the right moment, and I didn't wait for long. I moved into a friend's house for about a week; his family was very warm and welcoming, but moving from my family's house to someone else's family's house, I learned, was not the experience my soul was yearning for.

Two of my best friends have an apartment that's literally a block away from my job, and one of them had offered me a place to stay if I ever needed it. From one day to the next, I was essentially moved in. I spent a lot of time here before I moved in "for real," but actually living here is a different, much cooler experience. Needless to say, not having parents to depend on is more expensive, but I can't even begin to express how much happier and at peace I am with my life and myself.

If I think about it hard enough, I realize that I could have moved out earlier. Actually packing my stuff and peacing out was a risk—perhaps one of the biggest, most uncertain risks I've ever taken. But everything has worked out for the better. I've learned so much about myself and about life in the past month, more than I have ever learned in such a short period of time.

Do what you need to do. Do what makes you happy. Don't limit yourself. Don't let others limit you. Money is ephemeral.

You will reach points in your life where you test the strength of your friendships and realize who your "true friends" are (thankfully, I've found them, and while it's hard not to be timid about it, ultimately it is a more satisfying experience). And hey, if you realize that those who you thought were your true friends ended up not being so, why does it matter? It may suck, but the learning experience from it is more rewarding than a fa├žade or an uncertainty.

Learning is important. Educational institutions tend to be full of shit, but rather than dwell on that negativity, it's better to reach a balance with this fact and try to extract whatever good you can from it. In other words, while The System has its cons, there is good in everything. This is my last semester at Miami Dade, and each semester I had at least one inspiring, wise professor who has in one way or another changed my philosophy on life.

Back to educational institutions—the slightly unfortunate reality of life is that most of us need to acquire some sort of academic knowledge and experience in order to do the things we want to do. (Unfortunate because it forces us to buy into The System, not necessarily because there are better, less work-involving alternatives.) But the four-year-college-right-after-high-school-graduation route is not for everyone, and after four semesters I've realized it wasn't for me. Two years at Miami Dade is enough, for the time being. I'm ready to take a break.

Have I mentioned that learning who your true friends are is a great experience? (Rhetorical question.) It took me eighteen years to comprehend the fact that before you find your true friends, you need to find yourself first. In retrospect, a part of me had been trying to do that all along. I don't think humans ever stop learning about themselves, but you have to develop some understanding of who you are before you can even begin to realize who your true friends are.

I wrote a quote in a journal I bought for Fernando a couple of weeks ago, one that I feel poignantly expressed my post-move-out emotions. I'll end here with it:

"If you spend your whole life waiting to be ready, you will forever remain stationary. The very nature of taking risks in life is that we do so unaware, unprepared, and unexpected. But it is through risks that we learn and live."