Living with Yourself

What life really comes down to is an individual journey. No matter how much you can depend on your friends and family, no matter how many times your parents have saved your ass, no matter how much time you’ve spent with other people, you are a single entity- no more no less.

I was chatting with my close friend David Chang the other day. We were discussing the harsh reality of separation between childhood friends when adulthood arrives in the early twenties. Three or four years ago, we experienced a preview of this separation when we graduated high school. Although a good handful of us stayed in California, either to mooch off of the California public school system or to mooch off of our parents, a good number of us were still scattered in colleges across America. Now, at the end of our college career, we’re entering the job market, getting scattered in companies across the world, possibly. Some are getting married, going to graduate school, and even to the front lines in Iraq (we’ll miss you Nick, and welcome back Susette).

You can be married to the same person for fifty or sixty years and, although they can predict your every move, they just won’t know exactly how you feel. Other people cannot eat for you when you’re hungry or go to the restroom when nature calls. Other than the exception of a mother carrying a baby (or two), each person is a single entity. Yes, even when couples are making love (how can I say that? Well if you’re a guy, do you suddenly grow boobs while making love? I sure hope not!)

Your experiences are unique. Even for twins, the two of you cannot exist in the same space and time. Therefore, even as infants, one is always looking at things slightly from the left and the other slightly from the right (or vice versa). The random events of life would’ve led you to see different things, hear different things, and with such unique experiences led you process life differently. It is no mystery that everyone has just a slightly different story, especially when it comes to disputes.

As a single entity and with unique experiences, we are always facing the world alone. The only true companion you will always have with you is yourself. Young adults of our age (early twenties) must realize this and learn to live with ourselves. It is just my opinion, but I believe that if a person does not truly know themselves, they cannot successfully take on the real world, the people in it, and life in general.

Would you know what you want to do with your life? And if so, do you know the difference between what you want to do and what you can do? Many adults still do not know, that’s why a lot of middle-aged cubicle operator are wishing they were doing something else or had less problems at home to worry about.

Would you know what you need in a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife? Too often people only focus on what attracts them to the opposite sex- good looks, fun personality, rich. For there to be chemistry and for love to blossom, attraction is a must. Another important thing to look for in your potential mate is whether or not they complement you. Spouses are often referred to as a person’s other half, and the spouse completes the a person. Obvoiusly people are not perfect, but people can be made better with a spouse that complements them. The hard part is that no one really knows what personalities and characteristics complements you- other than yourself.

To do this, you must take the time to get to know yourself. Know what you’re good at and what you’re bad at. Maybe you’re just bad at buying real estate, don’t know why and don’t care. But your spouse might have good luck with real estate so the two of you might have a life much better off than when you were single. Maybe what you need to make your life your dream life is to have someone to go mountain climbing with, even if you’re a couch potato right now. It might just be that you haven’t found the right partner.

These sample questions that I’ve used to demonstrate my point are just a few that one might ask to get to know themselves better. Most people would have to get to know themselves sooner or later. If not, they would just live a reckless life and, in the end while lying on their deathbed, not feel closure because they didn’t live a life that was meaningful to them.

There have been stretches of my life where I’ve lived as a hermit- not because I want to but because that’s my life. People such as myself with severe allergies and asthma are confined because anything in the environment is potentially deadly. I am unable to go “hang out” or “partying” as often or ever as most people my age often do in their spare time. The good thing I got out of being confined to my house and my room (if the word good can used to describe this situation) is that I got to really know myself.

My friends are often surprised at how mature and wise my outlook on things are, even though they have experienced more situations and met many more people than I have. This doesn’t surprise me, however, because when people are in groups they stop thinking for themselves. They discuss things, but they may not really be thinking but just tossing questions and topics around for other people to do the thinking.

Still, we live in a world, a world with people…lots of people. Furthermore, one person cannot think and understand everything. Interaction is definitely a major part of life. “Living amongst People* would be the followup post to this one.

Till then, your comments…

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