The NPR show This I Believe asks listeners for a paragraph summarizing their core beliefs. I haven’t integrated everything I believe into one cohesive unit – I’m not that together – but I can handle a potpourri-style list of major points.
- Problems are challenges, not problems.
- God exists when there’s a real problem.
- Money is how I survive. Money is good.
- I don’t need a boyfriend – I need a hero.
- Why can’t I fly when I wake up?
- People come and go – love them while you can
Just a few points, I’ll probably add to it later on. That’s the fun part about beliefs – they grow.
There is this glossy magazine cover of a life that some people call adulthood. Get a significant other/spouse. Get a better job. Get an apartment. These expectations for myself are not so much life goals, as they should be, as they have become status symbols. Have I fallen in love yet? Have I found my true calling? Have I decided where I want to establish myself and my eventual family? Not quite. Who decides what year is the appropriate year to answer these questions? I may never answer them, or I might answer them tomorrow. Either way, I want my responses to be for myself, not motivated by some false sense of responsibility to public approval. The reality is that everyone’s life has to follow its own path. In fact, the pressure to conform can suck the joy out of what would have been a unique and joyful life. A song by David Wilcox called “Leave It Like It Is” says it well:
Now most folks suffer in sorrow
Thinking they’re just no good
They don’t match the magazine model
As close as they think they should
They live just like the “paint by numbers”
The teacher would be impressed
A life-time of follow the lines
So it’s just like all of the rest
Life should not have a an end that’s completely up to me like those choose-your-own-adventure books. I want a surprise ending.