Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Defining Life

What is life?

This is a common question we hear or ask. As a biology major I spend a lot of time thinking and discussing this question. You see, life is everywhere. It's in you and I; it's in your neighbor with the annoying kid down the street; in your dog; in the squirrel in your yard; it's everywhere. Life is everything we know and more. Life is valuable and precious and I absolutely think you should take every moment for what it's worth. Our society is so fast-tracked that few people live in the moment. It's hard between social media showing us everything we've missed in the last hour when we checked it at lunch or between all of the meetings we may have.

When we are born we all have a blank canvas. Let me take a moment to give a quick 20th century art lesson. This guy named Jackson Pollock was a pretty big deal in the 20th century, you may have heard of him. His paintings are worth a lot of money, and one day I hope to own one. A real one. He used a unique approach called drip technique by which he splattered paint on his canvases as he leaned over them. It didn't really matter if random objects got in the paint and some have his cigarette butts in them. Back to the discussion of life now.

We are born with blank canvases. As we grow into toddlers and learn to talk and walk and ride bikes we start experimenting with the drip technique. We put a drip here and a drop there. As we get older we start making longer drips and the piece starts to come together little by little.  Everyone's is different. While mine may have a blue streak in the upper corner, my roommate's may have a few orange drips in the upper corner. Everyone uses different colors and has different experiences which contributes to his or her painting in different ways. By the end of our life, we have created a whole Jackson Pollock of our own. I use the Jackson Pollock example because his art is so chaotic, yet beautiful; an accurate representation of life.

It's easy to see the lives of the Kardashians (hopefully you have more class and higher standards than that) or see the lives of the incredibly rich and successful and want that. I'm not in any way saying I don't want to be rich and have nice things, but that's not all there is to life. I want to grow old with someone and have kids and grandkids. I want a nice house with a wrap-around porch that I can sit on. I want to have days when I can just go fish or take my kids to the zoo. I want the simple things, too. Don't get so caught up in what other people have that you forget what you have. Your life is yours. You can make it what you want and do what you want. Do that thing that makes you happy no matter how "cool" it is. It's all about you and you only get one shot to make it what you want. I know this is all incredibly cliché, but it's so true. So go out there and listen to Miley Cyrus and Luke Bryan and "do your thing".

So stay classy and look up to the Hepburns and Kennedys and Reagans, or the Kardashians and Mileys if you choose because it's your life. Go live it up guys.

xoxo, B

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