This I Believe

Justin - Boise, Idaho
Entered on January 22, 2007

I believe that we can all slay dragons, dupe the evil king, and win the love we want — for I believe that we are all on our own hero/heroine’s quest and using the guideposts of mythology we can better achieve the object of our quest, happiness.

I believe that the myths of separation, adventure, and the final tale-telling mimic life’s path of childhood separation from home, the adventure of relationships, work, and adulthood, and the retelling of our lives through memoir and through our loved ones. I believe that the heroine’s path teaches us how to play, solve problems, and tell our own story in a way that connects us to our ancestors and continues to connect us to posterity. I believe that the better we are at finding the heroine within us, the happier we will be.

Happiness has been different for me along the path of my quest. My first rite of passage, the separation from my parents to university, marks the first place where I should have transitioned from a blissful sort of happiness into an adult one of pleasure… but I was a bit of a late bloomer. I tried to hold onto bliss, not understanding that holding onto childhood by dampening my adult responsibilities with substances was keeping me from making decisions that would maximize pleasure, the more adult sort of happiness.

I now enjoy the pleasure of spending time with the love of my life, Samira, the taste of her lovingly prepared Arabian food, and dialogue over a fine bottle of wine. I get pleasure out of solving problems — professionally, as an engineer and personally, as a friend, someone people turn to with their problems.

I was lucky to get back on track in the hard transition between childhood and adulthood and won’t make the same mistake as I age and reach the final stage of my hero’s quest, my posterity. The happiness of aging is contentment and is best shared with others. We have so much to share — lessons learned, problems solved, loves won and lost — that will live on long after we die, an afterlife free of dogma, written entirely by you during your life, written in the hearts and minds of your loved ones.

Each end of my path is the same distance from me now. I look back with humor and contentment on my exploits and decisions, I look forward to my afterlife by picking up a pen and writing down the mythology of me.