Sunday, April 23, 2006

never settle for the path of least resistance....

Among the great struggles of man---good/evil,
reason/unreason, etc.--there is also this mighty
conflict between the fantasy of Home and the
fantasy of Away, the dream of roots and
the mirage of the journey."--Salman Rushdie

ok its a bad day. 1000 pages of international political economy, market liberalization, the role of china, japan, korea, ASEAN, APEC, and asia in general as it relates to mutlilateral regimes, bilateral agreements, the acession into the WTO and its rising level of importance to the international community as a whole. Its relevant to note my disposition is not good.

i was struck, however, quite hard by something i have been ignoring since i arrived. I have a friend, who shall remain nameless for the sake of confidentiality, whose life seems to be spinning wildly out of his control, and yet, he can't seem to figure out why. It seems apparent to me, and lets face it, to most people even mildly removed from the situation what some of the problems are there. And upon consideration the hardest part would be to convince him that it is in his reach to do some spin control and put himself back on track. The only thing is, he's not even really sure he's off the track. Momentary admissions of instances beyond his control are the most dedication he can muster to trying to determine what is going on that has hijacked (for lack of a better word) the course he imagined for himself. And here I am contemplating how to tell him, and what to tell him, and how to let him tell me (because to some extent he very clearly is aware of how he lost control in the first place), and how to help him build a bridge back to the destination of his choosing. I'm contemplating this when what i'm "supposed " to be concerned with is the rise of china, and this voice in my head is telling me i'm studying all the wrong things, and my career paths are diverging, awfully rapidly, from where i know my interest lies to this vague unknown of how to make a life-long career choice with which i will be happy. But can i change it all now? Give up what i've built here, re-arrange what i've started, re-think, re-organize, re-plan, re-live? So its easier to keep pushing forward, keep researching democracy in world politics, and australia's role in mediating the hypothetical conflicts between china and the US that are BOUND to arise, and constructivist, neo-liberal, critical theory ra ra ra.

all of a sudden i know why people "sell out." Dreams change on a whim, in a moment, with no warning or direction. Today might find you happily pursuing what it is you want only to discover, mid-morning, another path, a more compatible path, one you hadn' previously known or thought of. Or maybe you had but weren't convinced til now. i can't complain, my options are numerous and none of them is bad--but that's the thing with decisions, afterall. what i choose to do today influences everything, so how do i know which door to walk through when both hold promises of things i can't yet imagine?


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