How do I find myself?

Jack (@tokinblackguy) 8 years, 7 months ago

I’m in a state of confusion and unease as to finding a true sense of happiness. Right now, I’m studying a computer engineering and science degree at a prestigious university and have hit a crossroad. For all my life I have been better at maths/science subjects that require a logical, ordered, left-brained style of thinking. I picked the highest level of maths and science in my last year of high school and did much better in them than English and History subjects. But after deep thought (and weed) I’ve begun to realize the impact that society and family have had on influencing me in that direction. It sounds so stupid when I say it now, but I now understand that I picked those subjects in the first place largely from believing subconscious things like “I want to impress my parents” and “It’s cool to be good at maths and science”. I’m beginning to realize the major reason I didn’t like the artsy subjects was because I never put in the effort or had the motivation to try to learn them.The last couple of years seem like a blur of dissatisfaction, which I can see now was caused from being driven by decisions that weren’t truly my own. I’ve since moved away and am living on campus at the university, which has given me a chance to really think for myself. Its been difficult, and I have been hit pretty hard with the reality that this life is short, and mine only, to do what I please, otherwise, i’m just not going to be happy in this world.

I seem to be starting to get out of this seemingly everlasting streak of unhappiness through doing a lot of wide reading on the internet on mind expanding websites such as this one, reading some recommended books such as those by Eckart Tolle, starting to meditate, attending some inspiring speeches organised by a Buddhist society on campus every week at an attempt to focus and find true happiness. I also dropped half of my workload (a computing subject, and a math subject) because after coming to this realisation, I soon noticed how unhappy and stressed I was when studying through how I felt and the ways I found myself trying to cope. I feel good about my decision (even though my parents don’t), but I hope to finish the rest of this semester as a part-time student, do a lot of reading and continue meditating in my opened up schedule. At the beginning of next semester I’ve already decided to pick classes such as psychology, philosophy and biology so I can get a better understanding in what this complex system of reality and consciousness I find myself in.

Are there any of you who can relate and maybe give any feedback or suggestions on what other things I can do to explore and find my true passion, stop wasting my life by being unconscious to the manipulating effect of the system and to progress to a state in which I am truly happy?

thanks for taking the time to read this and for any feedback.

April 21, 2013 at 3:06 am
Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@tokinblackguy, I am pretty much in the same place as you!
Although unlike you I have studied English literature and Linguistics for 5 years now (instead of choosing philosophy which I love more than anything else in school) I studied English because I thought it would make me get a good job. Up until the last minute I was very hesitant on what to choose but I picked up English because well, I thought I’d do pretty good at it. The end result was that my grades were pretty average! Right now I am writing my MA thesis on something that I like (not my favorite topic but something I somehow enjoy) motivation in Second language acquisition, which I guess can help me in one of my passions which is learning languages ( When I chose English I thought I loved English, the language, because I was pretty good at it but after learning German and Russian I realized that I love learning languages and not just learning English) Most people told me to choose a topic in literature but I ignored them because even though it is easier than linguistics I don’t like the way it is dealt with in the Academia. Philosophy is by far the most interesting discipline to me! So What I decided to do is the following: finish my MA, get a job that I like (either teaching or working with an NGO or an Ambassy- but not translation, even though I am pretty good at English, French and Arabic, I don’t want to have a career in translation, I can tolerate some work but not doing it as my work) and registering in either an MA in philosophy of language or a BA in either philosophy or German or Russian language and literature. I am also going to take music classes because I’ve always wanted to! I will write my PhD dissertation on the topic I want even if my professors wouldn’t like it.
THe point is, do what you love and the money will come!

[Hidden]
Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@tokinblackguy, Also, I wanted to add something.
Since you have already started studying what you are studying now, why don’t you continue and then do something else? How many years do you have left?

[Hidden]
IsaAlvarez (3) (@alvarezisabelina48) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

Love yourself- get to the point where you are doing all you do in life for you before anyone else and understand that things usually work out well. I found myself in Russia doing service after one really bad year I stopped and figured out I needed to find my own path so I found a program to teach English with and took off running. I came back with such peace, not just from the traveling but really a kind of peace in my heart that in the end the worst that could happen is death and even then how bad could it be. Consider your degree tracks already though, organize all the things you know you don’t want and start from there.

[Hidden]
eamon (13) (@eamon) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

Hi, Sounds like the process self awareness has begun, trust your instincts; be aware that there are no mistakes and every thing is designed to get you there, don’t trust your mind it will bring conflict, happy is in you, you will find it when peace and contentment become your natural state. Trust the process, the confusion and restlessness you feel provides the energy to move you along. Be gentile with yourself, have faith that you’re exactly where you need to be. Watch your thoughts and remind yourself everyday that you’re getting to discover who you are. You are becoming conscious, its better than Lotto. Meditate, of all the spiritual practises meditation and its silence are gold.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@tokinblackguy, you are where you are, doing what you’re doing. not good, not bad. just is. Your education and background in the sciences and such may bring you into relationship with similar scholars and as you “awaken”, you may find yourself planted with such people as a guide/teacher to them about “life” outside of academics. Their receptivity may be greater towards you because of that subject/field link. For sure study other disciplines and subjects. Look into esoteric things, meditate, and connect with the buddhists as you “feel” led to. Buddhism, to “me” at least, is not a religion, but a psycho-spiritual philosophy of life, so to speak, ha! Sorry, words are hard to produce for that which is wordless. No one group, or religion, even the Buddhists, are “it”. “It” resides within you where it has always been over lifetime after lifetime. Nothing outside of yourself can give you enlightenment. Not even a realized master can give it to you. It is only your own realization. But, books, buddhists, and realized masters are helpful. Yes. They can offer you sparks or hints of “truth” which work in the process of your self-realization. As well, relax. There is no hurry. No rush. I just came to be connected with a living teacher towards the end of last year at the age of 57. You say that “…I’ve begun to realize…” There you go :0) . It has begun. You’ve even made some concrete moves in your life due to this. Marvelous! Move forward. As tempted as we are by our “minds” (hint: egos), and fascinated with knowledge and getting drunk with explaining “profound” things we have realized……………………………..that’s not it. As to things on the internet, books, even this site……….. you may go through a LOT of haystacks looking for the golden needle: It’s not there. Wishing you the best, and peace, love & light ~ ricky

[Hidden]
Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@rickyferdon, Thank you for this… reading it had a therapeutic effect on me, which I really needed at this point.
I am feeling the same way. I am doing my MA in English linguistics and I somehow feel regret for not having done something else. I am worried about the future, and I feel like I will never be able to be free, to live away from here, somewhere where I can be whoever I want to be.
I feel like all my choices were not mine because I had no choice living in a country like mine where you really can’t follow your dreams…

[Hidden]
Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@kidvisions, “I am worried about the future…” worrying about the future is like sitting in a rocking chair: you’re doing something but not going anywhere. Consider the misery you can produce for yourself worrying about something that does not exist (future), nor ever will exist (future). There is only right >NOW< . And it unfolds into the next one, then the next one, then the next on unto infinity. By the time I put the period on this sentence, the "time" it took to type the sentence no longer exists. Seriously, when one can find peace in each and every moment – each breath – then arises contentment. Can't help it? Of course you can :0)

[Hidden]
Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@rickyferdon, It’s so easy to say this when you live outside of Tunisia!
Here, you can’t even live with the person who love if you are not married and you can’t get married because you can’t afford it or you don’t have a job!

[Hidden]
Kripi (313) (@kripimehra97) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

Just close your eyes,
Start thinking about yourself, about this world.
or try to find that power which is inside you!
That power will tell you who you are.

Make a connection with the nature.

And always think of that time is going on
And think every day as a last day.
Then just do what you wanna do!

[Hidden]
Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@kidvisions, you are very correct! It is easy for me to say, living in America. But, how real are the limits you claim? Sure, they may be extremely real where you live. now what?

[Hidden]
Anonymous (2,654) (@) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

Take a deeper breath.

[Hidden]
Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@rickyferdon, all I can say is that I tried to go beyond the limits, but sometimes one has to admit that there is nothing to be done and accept things as they are hoping that change will come eventually.

[Hidden]
Jack (2) (@tokinblackguy) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@rickyferdon, Thank you everyone, your words have truly soothed me. I understand that I need to stop having faith in any of the repetitive activity that goes on inside my mind and I am starting to catch myself worrying which i guess is progress. Also, ricky, to get to a fuller state of consciousness/ awareness would it be best to continue meditating and maybe dedicate more time a day towards the practice over time? I’m really enthusiastic about it, because I want to break this part of myself down and build myself back so I can truly be happy and enjoy life.

By the way, good for you Hitomi for having some sort of plan, I’m at the stage where I still really don’t know what it is exactly that I truly and honestly enjoy. I just finished high school and started university at the beginning of this year; 18 years old.

Thanks again everyone for your incredible words!

[Hidden]
Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@tokinblackguy, sure, continue meditation. me thinks the key to meditation is that it removes one, so to speak, for a period from all that is the hustle and bustle of living and interacting in the “world”. it’s a pause, not from reality, but unreality! one can use meditation time to consider and seek to solve a problem or answer a question. one can use meditation to just be centered in self, and get some clue as to what that is. i would say it’s more a practice of getting in touch more with our primordial nature. and you already are happy – born that way. just like the vast, clear sky is always above us, it may be covered with clouds, but it’s always there. :0)

[Hidden]
Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@kidvisions, “…that there is nothing to be done.” Girl you just hit a homerun!

[Hidden]
Taz Nall (42) (@tazrick) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@tokinblackguy, Good vibes to you, you’ve really begun the journey to self awareness. I was in your shoes once, although I started at a young age, and from this point on, you will find so much more fulfillment in life. Continue to take the path that the present points you to, and remember that in the end, you will be the best human being you can be given the circumstances. I’m always filled with pride when I hear another human is making this kind of spiritual journey.

[Hidden]
Anetuki (35) (@whiteblueberry) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

Actually I’ve been starting to think that I as in me, my personality, don’t even really exist. That I have tried to fit in, to please some people too much and for too long that all I am is a reflection of million other people and things. Might sound weird, but sometimes I don’t feel myself. Or this is just PMS talking, lol. Anyway, I understand you and would also like to hear some suggestions or experiences.

[Hidden]
Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@whiteblueberry, “That I have tried to fit in, to please some people too much and for too long that all I am is a reflection of million other people and things.” ah, that which realizes this is not this! i’m wondering if our wanting to be accepted or to “fit in” doesn’t go back to school days, especially around the age of puberty onward. no one likes the feeling of being rejected and we dress and act to be accepted. has to do with a lot of aspects. and, for sure, our culture reinforces everything, via money of course, that is necessary to be cool and accepted.

[Hidden]
Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@rickyferdon, winter is coming! :p

[Hidden]
sidthekid (12) (@shakhtar) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@tokinblackguy, I’m also in somewhat of the same place as you, my dicscussion is here if youd like to comment, or to anyone else on here

A very much needed WAKE UP call

i’d very much appreciate the advice

[Hidden]
TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@tokinblackguy, I can relate for sure. When I grew up, math and science were stressed. There was this sort of unspoken understanding that those who seemed good at math and science would have all the money and live comfortably, and those who were good at the arts or not good but interested would lead the lives of “starving artists” and not even get to practice art really, because they’d have to spend all their lives working at some shitty minimum wage job for the ones who were good at math and science. Except of course for the lucky ones, who would just become the new celebrities. I don’t know if it was just me but there was a lot of fatalism growing up, it was a really toxic environment and I wish I’d never been exposed to it. Like you, I was pushed towards math and science because I was told that’s where the money is, and that I will probably be bored but at least comfortable, and not encouraged to be artistic, told that only those with luck/genes/God-given talent would get anywhere at things like drawing, music, or writing (my interests the whole time!) and the rest would starve and freeze. So I never tried to be good at those things because I figured I just wasn’t born with enough talent, and like you said, I realized later that the real reason I wasn’t good at them was because I didn’t put any effort into those things because I was essentially told not to. Eventually after years of left brained studies, I realized that I didn’t want to go through the rest of my life jealous and bored.

Nowadays, I think that balance is the best thing. It’s good to know some left brained stuff, because that’s how the body survives, that’s how the practical, physical world works. But we are not machines, and the right brained, imaginary world is how the soul survives.

[Hidden]
Anetuki (35) (@whiteblueberry) 8 years, 7 months ago ago

@rickyferdon, Hei. ”that which realizes this is not this”. Well, yes, that was quite a bad moment for me when I wrote that comment. But yes, puberty is the most confusing time of all. I think as those are the maximalism years, teenagers tend to think that in order to be someone, they have to be very specific. They have to act specifically, have to do specific things. And yes, probably to fit somewhere. Ad it’s so easy to get lost. You might think you have found yourself, that you know yourself deep enough, but with all that is happening in this world, with so many influences, trying out different ”personalities” is normal. You just have to notice the ”you” that you tend to go back to the most.

[Hidden]
Viewing 21 reply threads
load more