One of the things that I wanted to do eventually was to answer the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind, and as there was nothing particularly thrilling that happened today (other than class -- but my head still hurts from all the yelling about an author that we weren't reading and 75% of the class had never read) I figured I could start out with a few of them and make a starting dent.
1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I'm not sure. I look younger than I am, and I'm back in school, so I'm alternately feeling much younger than I am (but also much older than a lot of the people around me). So if the question is how old do I feel? Probably 25. Out of school and a little experience, so right there at quarter-life crisis mode. Which could explain why I decided to quit a job and go back to graduate school.
If the question is more what age I'd like to be if I wasn't tethered to my actual age, probably early 30s. I dunno, I know that most people are scared of their 30s, but I'm kind of looking forward to them. Hopefully be gainfully employed again, with some discretionary income (movies, I miss going to see you), settled in an area, living in someplace that feels like home.
I could always just lie about my age, but I've never been able to do that. I don't see the need for me to. I have no shame in my age and I don't really fear getting older.
2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
This is a hard one for me. Because on one hand, I hate to fail. I beat myself up and I take things that I'm unable to do as very personal failures. Failures of character. But for things that I don't try, I will linger on them, linger on the 'what if' for years, if not decades. I have a hard time letting things go. I think that for someone who's inclined to hold on to 'shame' it's easier to pass of things that you didn't try because of whatever factor that's true or not than to acknowledge the fact that you tried, and failed.
But right now I'm living one of those 'are you going to try even if you have the possibility of failure', so while my first inclination is to say that failing is worse... I think not trying would've been worse for me right now. At least I'll have the experience.
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Because there are things that we have to do, and that's life. The idea of being able to choose to do things that we like is a question that assumes the asker comes from a level of privilege that I'm aware that I have, but am also aware that MANY people do not have. We do things we don't like because sometimes that's life and you have to put food on the table and clothes on your children and gas in your car to get you to work. Life is too often made up of making the best of the hand that you've been dealt.
Why do we like so many things we don't do? Because the grass is always greener on the other side. Because if we've never done then, we can assign whatever value we need or want to assign to it. Because sometimes it's easier to talk about something and want it than it is to go out and try for it, and risk failure.