What’s easy? What’s good?

So I’m back at college now. Back in the purple bubble where everything is familiar and safe and comfortable. And at the same time, scary and unknown. It’s hard settling in again, when everyone else has had half a year to adjust and you are dumped into the middle of it all and expected to join in as if nothing has changed.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is reconciling this conflict between what’s easy for you and what’s good for you. There are simple things, staying in bed all day going out vs. and engaging with the day, getting drunk to forget about your problems or dealing with them head on. (Then again, maybe these aren’t so simple). Other things are a little more complicated, you could apply for that easy job or pursue that dream job, you can avoid the problems in a relationship or have the tough conversations. I think that life is full of tough choices like these. After all, kids are taught to literally study themselves to death so they can go to that top tier college and get that “successful” job.

Maybe I’m being negative, but it seems like its rarely the case that the easy things are the good things and these days, I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle that may or may not be worth it. When I arrived on campus, it first hit me that I’m going to be graduating next year and this sense of unaccomplishment has been following me like a lost puppy. This past week I’ve been dragging myself out of bed and throwing myself at clubs and professors and long-lost friends and I’m actually doing all my readings (which has never happened before)

It’s really hard. Sometimes it feels good, I get some short spurts of happiness. But mostly, its just really fucking hard. And I’m happiest (or at least most comfortable) when I’m lying in bed not doing these things. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be worth it in the future. I guess I’m a little tired of waiting for this so called reward.

But it’ll come. It has to. Otherwise what are we doing?

Life’s meant to be scary

So after a fourteen hour plane ride, I arrived in Tokyo last night, the beginning of my semester abroad studying Buddhist traditions in Japan. On the plane, I was a major wreck. There was nothing I wanted more than to turn back, to be safe and snug back at home or in the purple bubble on campus. After working all summer, I had had exactly three days to get everything together for my trip and none of that time was spent preparing myself mentally for spending three months in a country where I understood about two words.

But I pictured myself being back at Williams, facing another long year of classes. It would be safe, sure, but how much would I really be growing as a person? How much would I really gain? I think that a lot of people spend their lives trying to get comfortable, trying to make enough money to live comfortably and finding the right people to live comfortably with. But honestly, life is about pursuing the scary stuff. How much life are you really experiencing if you aren’t a little bit scared?

This morning, I am traveling to Kyoto from Tokyo. At the airport, I ended up at three different check-in counters on three different floors before I found the right counter. And then, I almost got on the wrong bus, which would have taken me to the wrong plane. Whoops! But now I know my way around the Tokyo airport so wuddup.

I’m still scared out of my mind. But that’s how I know that this is a good thing. And trip could still end badly, I could have a terrible experience. Obviously I’m trying to stay optimistic, but either way, I refuse to regret taking this opportunity. I’m only looking forward from now on.

And to quote my favorite singer, life’s for the living, so live it, or you’re better off dead.