Down the Rabbit Hole

We’re all impacted by the people we meet.  Although usually in small ways every person you see or meet or share space with changes you or your path.  You may get on a plane and sit next to someone who gives you a cold.  You then miss work and as a consequence discover you really love watercolors or mechanical engineering or that you’re allergic to cold medicine.  Or simpler than this…walking down the street, foot traffic has congested the sidewalk on the right, so you take the one on the left and enter a store there vs. the other side of the street.  We can’t help it, we can’t pick.  Even the choice of being away from people is still letting these people give direction to life.

But sometimes the impact huge.  Meeting your spouse for the first time.  Taking a class from an inspiring teacher.  Meeting your children as they are born.  Finding a kindred spirit or a thinking mind somewhere in the universe.  Sometimes these people touch our lives for the briefest second and change them forever.  Alternately they might be involved in our daily life over a span of decades.  Several months ago the most amazing person entered the atmosphere of my life.   He caused a paradigm shift spanning multiple areas and now I’m trying to sort out the ripples.   I was building sort of vaguely to a point and the moment for action and commitment was upon me.  I didn’t see it, but he did and was able to lend me perspective.  This gained I jumped into the most fulfilling purpose driven experience I’ve had to date.  Now I think he’s gone.  All it took was a second in the span of a lifetime to change everything about me.

Since this encounter I’ve been living my now identified passion.  It is amazing.  What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was what would happen to everything else.  It makes sense objectively, I just didn’t expect it.  Every day I get deeper and deeper into my work.  I dream about it.  I’m up at the crack of dawn every day ready to take it on.  I’m frustrated when my body fails me and I have to rest.  I eat well and exercise because I want my body to function better towards this purpose.  If you have any doubt about my description know it is all consuming.  I’m losing interest in my interests.  Socializing was always an effort but now I don’t care to try.  People not involved in my field no longer amuse me.  I have tunnel vision for my research.  And these things concerned me.  I thought I was experiencing depression.  But then I spoke to someone else in my position and discovered that all these things are simply the nature of the beast.

Friends close to me caution me to seek balance, which is so this generation.  I never hear anyone saying work harder, be better, that’s going to take more effort, etc.  We’re likely to tell each other to take that vacation, spend the extra money, be diverse, or you deserve to be happy.  Where do all these entitlements come from?  Maybe some people work for them, but for me I don’t think I’ve ever worked hard for anything, so it confuses me when I hear statements like this from my friends.  I think the moment in my life to be fiercely committed to something is now. The time to work my fingers to the bone is upon me. They say be well rounded.  I feel I’ve been well balanced and nicely round for my entire life, and its time to get a little crazy about something   So here it is….I’m taking the plunge, going down the rabbit hole with gusto, wishing gravity would pull me faster.  So if I seem obsessive its because I am, but don’t let this concern you.  Maybe just hand me a cup of water or something as I pass by.  Smile and nod, pat me on the shoulder so I know I’ll see you on the other side.  Just don’t slow me down! This is where I’m going, I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but know that its a good good place.

3 Responses

  1. Your comments remind me of Dr. Richard Feynman. He was a Nobel laureate for his work in physics (quantum electrodynamics, aka, QED), but he was also a drummer and a painter. In fact, he liked to take classes just for the shear joy of learning.

    I think that if something interests you, then you will study it. I don’t see any point in trying to force it. You are who you are.

    Meanwhile, I signed up to take General Biology this semester, because the only honors class available to me (in a class I haven’t already taken) is Honors Biology Lab. This won’t help me a bit in completing my declared degree plan, but I wanted an honors class before I graduate, and I was toying with the idea of taking Biology, anyway. I don’t recommend such meandering on a regular basis. You could end up as a 30-year undergraduate, like me. Even so, this Biology class opens up new opportunities for me. As much as I like physics, I am not getting anywhere in it, and I’m a bit old to enter that field. Biology is wide open.

  2. I always enjoy your linguistic style, but have to say I don’t think I have every read a more artfully crafted example of someone writing passionately about something without actually saying what that something is…..congratulations (I think)

  3. “Friends close to me caution me to seek balance, which is so this generation. I never hear anyone saying work harder, be better, that’s going to take more effort, etc. We’re likely to tell each other to take that vacation, spend the extra money, be diverse, or you deserve to be happy.” Yes. I hate it when well meaning people basically exhort you to be mediocre. People tell me I’m working too hard and I have to tell them “this is just what I do”. I have to stop short of saying “Maybe this would be hard to you- it’s not to me. I like the challenge, I sought it out, now kindly stop telling me to quit”. Enjoy the rabbit hole 🙂

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