Friday, July 30, 2010

Reason needed

Note - this post isn't very good. I wrote it last night while drunk and lamenting lost loves. I'm posting it anyway because it's largely true and has 2 or 3 solid jokes. That and it's the first thing I've written in 3 weeks.

Listen - This blog is about to get douchy.

People need a reason why they do things. If I’ve learned nothing else watching cop shows on TV, it’s that everybody has some sort of motivation for the actions that they take.

Sometimes, as an Athnostic (yeah, I’m even on the fence on that one) I’m sometimes jealous of religious people. Their outmoded voodoo caveman ways of looking at the world provides them a sense of purpose, a sense of faith as they call it. They believe that if they behave in ways that follow their given set of beliefs, they will advance, and if they fail to follow this code, they will decline. I try to do what I can to be a good person (I recycle) and avoid committing acts that I feel would make me a bad person (I’ve never killed a hooker for sport), yet I’m fairly sure I’ll wind up dead either way, with no chance of parole.

Beyond these loftier meaning-of-life sort of questions, I really never do anything for a reason. If I did, I imagine I would be farther along in the life scale than I am. That is not to say I’m some indecisive ninny. Choosing the next bar? Picking a radio station? Looking for advice on a trans-Pacific flight? I’m your guy. I have answers.

Still, I cannot give a single reason, logical or otherwise, regarding most of my major life decisions. Senior year of high school, I chose to matriculate at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. I still don’t know how I chose such an obscure, rainy school. I received unsolicited mail from USC, Miami, Georgetown, NYU, and others. Surely any of these places would have been more fun at age 18, not to mention more prestigious. I never even applied to these schools.

At the end of my freshman year, I transferred from Puget Sound back home, to KU. Again, I have absolutely no reason why. At UPS, I had a girlfriend that I was really into, a radio show, a couple good buddies, and contacts in most every aspect of the university that I was interested in. I also really loved the Pacific Northwest. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was happy, but I was hardly marching into Valhalla at KU.

While I never understood why I attended or left UPS, I’ve made plenty of questionable decisions since. I’m not really sure why I moved to Chicago after college. I had ample reason to quit my corporate job in Chicago and I’m glad I did, but I don’t know why I did it when I did it. I certainly don’t know why I left Chicago - I really never wanted to. I don’t know why I decided to move to Korea after Chicago. There are 195 countries in the world - South Korea is a bit random. Most people move to France. I also don’t really know why I left Korea 2 years later. I liked living in Korea. I can wake up at 12:47 pm every day and go on exotic vacations. At least coming back here makes sense.

Since I’ve returned to Korea, I’ve made a few health-conscious decisions. I try to limit myself to McDonald’s once a week. I eat more vegetables. I don’t drink every night anymore. I lost 15 pounds last winter, and have kept it off. I go to the gym. Again, I don’t know why I do any of these things. In theory, they are self evident, for the sake of health. In all honesty, I don’t care that much about my health. I’ve been going to the gym for 7 or 8 months, generally 4 or 5 times a week. I hated going the first week. I still haven’t gotten used to it. I hated going today. I never want to go again, but I know I will. I just don’t know why.

This brings us to smoking. I think I really need a reason on this one. Previously I referred to quitting smoking as breaking up with myself. It might be worse. Quitting smoking, where I live, in Asia, convenience store in my building is as nasty as I thought it would be. Worse maybe. Chewing Nicorette, chewing straws, or smoking herbal cigs (as I took to doing today because I was going crazy) is brutal. On the break up scale, it’s like choosing to use crappy 1995 porn (with a crappy dial-up modem) while the ex is sitting naked on my couch.

I need a reason to not smoke. I know it will make my mother happy. I know it will prolong my life. I know my clothes will smell better. I know 51% of girls now prefer it. I know I will save money. I know I stand to make upwards of $100 on bets. The fact is, at 3 a.m., none of these reasons matter, and when you’re me, it’s 3 a.m. a lot.

This post sucked. Let’s never speak of it again, I’m going on vacation. Within 12 hours, I’ll either be in Bangkok, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, or southern Korea. It’s that kind of vacation.


Jan said...

Very insightful post. If you're looking for reasons why we make life-changing decisions, check the fear factor. It is what usually motivates us--fear of change, fear of failure, fear of abandonment, etc. If we can push aside the fear and push past our comfort level, our choices could be a lot more interesting. Personally, however, I believe you can never go wrong when your motive is that it will make your mother happy.

Anonymous said...

...and you no longer have to clean ashtrays.

Anonymous said...

pretty interesting! One question is what else you don't know why :)? You have done many good things!