This I Believe

David - New York, New York
Entered on March 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change

I believe in change, my changing, perpetually. I believe that my world is getting smaller and larger simultaneously. I see only the physical world directly in front of me, all while I shudder the decades ahead. The career possibilities, failure and success, and that an equal number of paths seemingly lead to both.

As I step out to the corner of 34th and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan I want to feel overwhelmed, but I don’t. Yet, as I sit at my desk in the moderate high rise around the corner answering phones and pushing to close the sale for the sake of my conversion rate, I feel submerged and forlorn. The city does not possess the same vice-like grip on my senses that it has in the past. I do not feel uncomfortable walking its streets—I watch myself walk and notice my reflection in the storefronts, I see the image as I always do, and it never looks the same. I see the world around me but not past the corner, nor the end of the block. No matter where I am, it feels somewhat small, quiet, and bleak. The days seem mundane and uninspiring

However, I am not depressed. I don’t focus on the melancholic aspects of my daily life, and I am hopeful for the future, I just can’t shake this notion of impending demise. Eschewing rational thought at the most logical of moments in favor despondency. There’s a persistent gripe with my past: an overwhelming sense of underachievement and languor, with now, a premium placed on accumulation and advancement.

As I turned thirty—this past December—I began to take more stock in my future, albeit reluctantly. I had to rearrange my associations: couch + beer + remote + zero obligation = pure delight—you would think. In the past—and presently, but with less potency—I considered obligation bothersome, and was pledged to avoid it. I had always been this way. Unless I was thoroughly interested in the activity it was not going to get done. I was living in a state of fevered imagination, with an aversion to responsibility and a lack of self-confidence, relentlessly hanging on to this idea of freedom; stymied by my own whimsy and riddled with petulance.

The thought of changing thirty years of bad habits was, to say the least, formidable, and had to be done incrementally. This is adulthood, I’d been told. I resisted at first, proclaiming autonomy and attempting to throw off the shackles of social perception, but I soon realized that it was myself that I was deceiving. I had spent years of my life living in my mind, envisioning the future as it passed me by, daily. I was an underachiever, or so I thought.

I am a black belt, I play the guitar—I’m still learning how to sing. I’ve spent a significant amount of time volunteering, I bought and learned how to ride a motorcycle, took courses in philosophy, became a tutor, and worked at a record company as well as a fantastic publishing company run with altruistic determination.

I believe in change, the will to transform my thought process, my bad habits and my perspective; to rearrange my priorities—personal and professional—through growth and zeal; the dissolution of my apathy. I believe in cuts and scrapes, rejection, loss, loneliness, and dismay, because they are real and I need them.

I believe that this is being an adult, and for once I welcome the challenge.

“If my thought dreams could be seen/They’d probably put my head in a guillotine”