“So Dennis, if I asked you what you need, what would tell me?”
“Food, water, and shelter. And mucho dinero. Gotta stay stocked up on my comics and anime. And there, my life is fulfilled.”
“I see. Nothing important.”
I remember that I’ve had many happy moments in my life, but I also remember that the happiness lasted only a limited time. Getting a report card with straight As is great, right? Well, I started to think about all the struggles I had to go through to make it to that very moment. Doesn’t seem so great anymore, right?
An equivalent of that feeling is passing by some cute girl and fantasizing about her, then realizing that you’ll never know her name and likely never see her again. Whoa…
As far as I can remember, I don’t think that I’ve ever experienced a “real moment” in my life. But how am I defining a “real moment”? I guess you could say that I’ve never really enjoyed anything to the fullest in my life. Nothing in life so far has appealed to me “fully.” Really?
Maybe that’s saying a bit too much.
I do find myself enjoying many things, such as playing sax, or drawing. But after playing a huge concert or drawing for hours, I start to think about the amount of work that I had to put in to get there. Just like with my grades. The main question: was it all worth it?
For the music and drawing, I guess you could say that I thought it was worth it, simply because I am somewhat passionate about it. But getting 4.8 GPA back then? That was hell. Sure, people praise you for it, and you feel good for the few moments when they call you “smart.” They have no idea what’s going on. Are they able to feel how you feel? Stress how you stress? I was forced to sacrifice many things to do what I did. And I succeeded. But in the same mental state? Who knows?
On the topic of needs and moments and wants, I remember learning about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, one couldn’t be self-actualized until they had their bottom needs, from physiological needs to safety to love (or feeling of belonging) to esteem to self-actualization. But sometimes there were exceptions, such as Mozart, who didn’t have financial security but had a genius musical brain.
It occurred to me that even though I was exceptional (I’m trying not to brag) in numerous different areas of expertise, such as mathematics, music, and art. However, according to Maslow, there was an absence in my needs . I feel like I certainly lacked some love. My eating habits are probably not the best. But I knew and still know who I am. I have self-esteem, and maybe self-actualization as well, but like I said, my mentality is in question… But who knows? It might’ve been just those couple years.
Looking back, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was the right step in examining our desires, but it’s much more flexible than he believed.
Going back to the earlier question: “was it all worth it?” Hmm…is it still worth it (the grades)? 50% of what colleges care about is you GPA. If it means you’ll be successful one day, and get to buy all the comics you want and eat at all the fancy restaurants you want, I guess it’s probably worth it.