The summer is winding down in beautiful clear skies and eighty degree weather, following the strange mid-summer rains like only southern California can. I am slowly beginning the countdown to my senior year of college.
The past three years have gone by much more quickly than I imagined they would. You know how they say that as you get older, you perceive time passing more quickly because it is shorter in proportion to the years you have lived… That’s a scary thought. I’ve spent a lot of the past six months in a hyper-existential state, constantly in a slight panic about how to spend the rest of my life. What kind of work do I devote myself to in order to build a better world?
I think a lot of people call this “finding yourself.” That phrase, unsurprisingly, has always made me feel very lost. Recently, I’ve begun trying to reclaim this process by thinking of it as a process of creation instead. The person I am is not waiting to be found as I fumble through the daily tedium of my classes and work to find meaning. It is the fumbling, and all the good and the bad that come with it, that creates the self.
This comforts me. In the past months I’ve often found it difficult to push forward, finding less and less inspiration in the field I’ve chosen to study. Right now, I don’t know what the next step is. But if everything I’ve done and everything I’m doing is creating me, then that gives me some momentum. I like to think of the self as a forever ongoing process. Maybe I’ll reach a dynamic equilibrium one day, or maybe not.
The self is not an ideal, tucked away in the woods or in other people or in drugs or whatever else in which people try to find themselves.
It’s here; it’s me;
I am I am I am.