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Thursday, September 11, 2008
Welcome to the 75th post of The Adventures of Funkyman. I'm BAACCCKK!! But my mind is heavy.
I am not getting ready for a mid-life crisis, but I can relate.
A mid-life crisis would be defined as the moment in a person's life when they looked back on their life so far and deeply questioned their choices and whether they were the best person they wanted to be. This usually occurs around 40, being that the average lifespan is 77.5 - 80 years. NOT a long time at all, but I digress.
Anyway, I'm slowly (somewhat slowly) approaching 40, and the reason I know I am not in a mid-life crisis is that I'VE ALREADY BEEN IN ONE FOR 12 YEARS! (Thank you Sam Kinison.) If you're anywhere close to my age - 37 give or take 10 years for yourself - you know exactly what I'm talking about.
How is this possible? Easy - we were lied to. When we were kids, adults would say "What do you want to be when you grow up?" We said doctor, policeman, president, lawyer, fireman, astronaut, etc. But what they didn't tell us was that none of these professions, noble as they all are, are what we want to be when we grow up. They are jobs we do to serve mankind and to make money, hopefully in that order. They do become a part of who we are, but they do not define us. The definition of who we are as people is written as we go day by day, thinking thoughts and making choices in order to truly fulfill our real purpose. Our real purpose is . . .
You know, before I get to that, I need to highlight my absence from this blog recently. A lot has happened. I saw a lot of movies that I won't bore you with because they were all pretty sub-standard, except for Iron-you-know-who. I know you're saying, "Funkyman, come on - BATMAN DARK KNIGHT, DUDE!" Yes, the movie was good, but I have a bitter taste in my mouth from the glorification of the villain. I'm sorry if I'm disturbed by the commercialization of the Joker's character on lunchboxes, T-shirts, and toys. This character thoughtlessly kills innocent people and we glorify that as cool? Bottom line, name one villain in the history of comics that has received such praise? (Gangsters don't count; I'm referring to stories targeted at wide audiences including children) I think we're glorifying Heath Ledger's performance of the Joker, and not the Joker himself, but still, not all kids can fully appreciate that. Give me Superman. Better yet give me a good Superman movie, SOON, SOMEBODY, PLEASE! But anyway, I digress again.
I spent my summer days working on Confirmation's new CD project, playing a for a modern dance troupe at the Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge, and spending every remaining minute with my wife and daughter - whom I both adore. We are happy and healthy, and every day I get to experience that is a extra cherry on the sundae of my already blessed life. Finding time to write thoughtful entries for the Funkidiites was difficult, but guess where I am right now? Study Hall - I'm back, baby!
Anyway, as I referred to earlier, I've been in mid-life crisis for 12 years because when I was 25, I felt like I had lived a life filled with blessings that I neither deserved or asked for. God has allowed me to see beautiful things that many people have fought and died for.
I am healthy.
I am not a slave.
I have the right to vote.
I eat every day.
I have two parents who love me and provided for me.
I have an education.
I am surrounded by people, students, and colleagues who appreciate not only the talents God gave me, but me.
I am married to the person God consecrated for me.
I am the father to an angel (in training!).
As we look around the world and see so much hate, war, and lies, I have to be crazy to look back over my life and question my choices, my career, and my very existence, right? Well, not exactly.
If we do not consistently take inventory of what we're thankful for, we will get lost in the mind/spirit game of not knowing the fabric of our existence. What is our purpose?
Religion says our purpose is to worship and serve the Lord.
Humanity says our purpose is to serve mankind.
My parents say my purpose is to take care of them when they get old.
My wife says my purpose is to take out the trash and do whatever she says to do. :-) (Just kidding!)
My daughter says my purpose is to ensure that she makes it to adulthood in one piece.
All of these things are good and true, but they still don't answer the big question - What about me?
The reason we're analyzing our purpose, is because we're really trying to ask the question - What makes me happy? Every decision and mistake we make in life is based on the attempts to answer this question, and we often put ourselves before family, humanity, and God. But notice what all five of the previous stated definitions of purpose have in common - serving someone/something else.
Does happiness and true peace lie within only doing things for others? No, but without these things, we will not know complete happiness. The cool part is if we serve others, we will receive as well.
And the mistake we all make is trying to achieve that happiness on our own WITHOUT serving. We want control, but it never seems to work out does it?
No, it seems the way this life works is - do unto others, and good things will be done unto you. We don't get to control it. We have to humble ourselves and allow the good things to come our way.
So, I'm 37 years old and I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but that's O.K. I know what I'm supposed to be doing, and I know where I'm supposed to be.
That's enough, and the "crisis" doesn't seem much like a crisis after all.