Finding magic, and a touch of personal philosophy

Or “I could have very easily gone for the low-hanging fruit and said ‘Phil-osophy’, but I’m usually not that awful”.

This is going to be a surprisingly serious post, which I realize is somewhat unusual. Don’t worry. The usual safety net of snark and cynicism will still be there. Moving along.

I strongly believe it’s possible to find magic, at least some sort of magic, in all things. I don’t mean this in the you-got-a-letter-to-Hogwarts way, though that would certainly be cause for celebration. The sort of magic I’m talking about isn’t a new discovery, either, but it’s something people have always enjoyed. Things like reading a book outside on a nice, just-warm-enough-but-not-too-hot summer evening; seeing a friend for the first time in years; perhaps learning something new about yourself as a person. I could easily go on for a good while with examples just like those.

When I was still living in Edinboro, there would be nights I would just walk for hours. I’d wander, on and off campus, just taking some time with my thoughts. Mostly appreciating the stars, especially on the fortunate few clear nights. It was just me, the typical cold breeze, and a view of one of the handful of lakes around Edinboro.

There’s something really awe-inspiring about the vastness, and just how amazing and terrifying (sometimes in equal parts) the Universe can be (see also: Life and Everything). I’ll have the occasional odd thought pop into my head, especially when I’m driving along William Penn Highway with all of its amazing mountains. Those thoughts usually go along the lines of how crazy it is I’m driving up the side of a mountain, and then how it’s almost brain-hurtingly difficult to comprehend that the Earth is such an enormous place it’s impossible to perceive that it’s round.

While all of this is very interesting (to me, at least, which is what matters so far as I’m the one who writes these posts), it’s not quite what I wanted to write about. Before I skip to the other, hopefully enjoyable, bits of this post, I want to share this gem from YouTube.

As part of my efforts to better myself, what with all of the goals I’m setting and so on, I’ve developed a sort of moral code for life. Everyone else has one, save for the sociopaths and psychopaths of the world (and those are groups I’m not keen on being a member of), and so I decided it wouldn’t hurt me too much to work up one of my own. It’s a pretty simple one, and though it’s far from revolutionary thinking it has served me well in the past months. Here’s how it breaks down.

Part One: Spread Kindness When Possible

I know. Very do unto others meets pay-it-forward. I tend to worry a lot, and with that worrying comes the sort of thinking about how life is fragile, you never know what tomorrow will bring, and so on and so forth. It was a big part of what kicked me in the ass and got me to start focusing on writing more and talking about writing…well, about the same. The important part there is it got me writing more. I’ve worked in a customer service capacity for over eight years now. It certainly contributed (and contributes) its fair share of wear and tear on my outlook on people and their behavior (the phrase “give me” is used rather liberally). Going home feeling drained got old pretty fast, but I moped instead of thinking of solutions. Eventually, I decided to go with kindness. Not killing with kindness, mind you, but just kindness. It’s a sort of situation where I give whatever positivity I have to offer, and even if an interaction goes poorly I know I did what I could. More importantly, life’s too short to not spread a little happiness whenever possible.

Part Two: Don’t Be An Asshole

You might very well point out I’m typically a bit of a smartass, and you’d be correct in that. A big part of this year in improving myself is working harder to not being an ass. Yeah, I joke around with people. I don’t see that changing. However, I’ve been making sure to dial it back at times. Going back to the previous point: life’s too short, and I want to make sure whatever impact I leave isn’t an unpleasant one (if one at all, obviously).

In any event, it’s hot and I feel as though this post has lingered longer than I’d meant it to. The tl;dr version is 2014 has been a big year for looking inwards, improving myself, and working as hard as I can to become the writer I wanted to be all along as opposed to the writer I say I’m going to be.


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