Culture Magazine

The Changes Over My 37 Years

By Realizingresonance @RealizResonance


Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.

I was born a few months before America’s bicentennial, March 10th 1976, 100 years to the day after the first telephone call. A lot has changed in the last 37 years. I remember growing up in the 1980s, sometimes afraid of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, but most of the time listening to tapes on my walkman. Now in 2013, less than 50 years later, the Soviet Union is long gone, and if I get an itch to listen to an 80s song that randomly gets stuck in my head I can download the digital copy for about a dollar and listen to it on my smartphone. Computers and phones have both come so far that now they are combined, and I work at a computer terminal for a firm that provides broadband speed wireless internet service to a touch screen terminal in my pocket. The world has changed so much in such a short period of time, and I can’t help but wonder at how my existence has been shaped fundamentally by these transformations.

The revolutions of the world at large convert the context by which we live our lives, while our immediate environments often directly alter the course of our personal journeys. My parents were divorced when I was young, and this certainly had profound significance for my path. When I moved with my family, from Oregon to Southern California, from Southern California to Northern California, and from Northern California to Washington, not only did I have to acclimate to the weather each time, I had to enroll in new schools and make new friends. The only semester in high school during which I achieved a 4.0, was the semester right after we moved from Salinas to Redmond in the middle of my tenth grade. I know it to be a fact that the main reason for my great performance was a complete lack of friends leaving me with nothing better to do.

More recently the dates of September 11th, 2001 and September 29th, 2008 mark events that changed my life, as well as those of many Americans I’m sure. Prior to the terrorist attacks in 2001 I was fairly apathetic to politics, but now I have a degree in politics and am keenly interested. So much that I write about it on a blog, including a few articles on the subject of terrorism. The second September date may be a little less familiar to others, but it’s the day that the House of Representatives failed to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on their first attempt causing the DOW plunged 777 points, the largest one day point loss in history. This was also the exact day when I began a Money and Banking class in which I was to track and analyze financial data, plus discuss financial news reports, all in the context of studying the history and theories of money, banking and financial crises. American economic history and the Federal Reserve are now common topics for my blog, and issues of political economy are now some of my strongest passions.

I was thirteen when I got my first guitar, and learning to play it was a choice made with will and persistence. It made profound differences in my life experience for sure, from the aspect of listening to, playing, and writing music, but also playing in bands and performing. Pursuing my college education was at least as impactful as playing music, clearly it has gotten me to what I am doing now, and I did it while working full time. A good choice, but with real opportunity costs (at least in the short run). Proposing to my wife and getting married is the biggest choice I have ever made, and the one I am most happy for. Choosing a new job will come this year, and this will be a big change with incredible implications obviously, but I think that choosing to have a child soon will be even bigger.

The image of the future that I held as I made my most formative life choices, and the image I will hold for future choices, is one of pragmatic optimism. I am hopeful for my future and the future of the world, but I recognize that many things are out of my control. Often we must make the right choices for ourselves, contingently. Every now and then though, we need to go with our heart no matter the circumstances. Learning to play guitar and going to college were sacrifices, but before that they were opportunities. I control the sacrifice not the opportunity. I don’t want to say that getting married was a sacrifice or an opportunity, so for this I will reframe my image of the future as a leap into love. To me love is both fate and choice, because falling into love is something that happens to one without the direction of will, it requires a surrender of will, yet the exercise of will is needed for love’s fulfillment. My image of the future is one in which I live a happy life, with philosophical reverence for what has been presented to me by the world, and I will make the most virtuous choices that I can. These are my thoughts as I reflect upon the change over my 37 years, so far in the world and so far in me.

Jared Roy Endicott

The Changes Over My 37 Years
 Subscribe in a reader

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog