That is the Question

Main Entry:  zest

1 : a piece of the peel of a citrus fruit (as an orange or lemon) used as flavoring
2 : an enjoyably exciting quality : piquancy <adds zest to the performance>
3 : keen enjoyment : relish , gusto <has a zest for living>

Zest for life: founded in appreciation through curiosity and questioning?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rollercoasted through my life.  As I’ve mentioned to a few people, I live in stages.

Everything I do comes and goes in stages.  I’ll eat the same foods for months on end, then not touch them for years.  I’ll use phrases daily for a few weeks, stop for another few, then use them again later.  I know I’m not the only one to do this, but the pattern is so frequent for me that it’s become a main part of my self-description.

No matter how many lows I encounter, I always seem to end up finding a high.  Not through drugs, or any other fake stimulants, just with time….. and thought.  I’m not sure why, but people seem to be afraid to spend time thinking.  A lot of people I know try to escape it, either by keeping themselves insanely busy, or by going out to get drunk, or by getting high.  These things aren’t necessarily horrible things in and of themselves, but when I hear the reason given as being, essentially, to escape their thoughts, I can’t help but be disappointed.  That’s the same kind of reason addicts give, and I think a pretty unhealthy one, even if it’s commonplace.  I don’t know many people who deal with their thoughts in a positive way.  It’s not often I hear of my friends painting something, or drawing (with the exception of one person), or writing (with the exception of another person), or even just going for a long walk on their own to think.  Hobbies are more and more becoming group activities, as if people are afraid to be alone lest their thoughts become audible.  Yoga, in groups.  Meditation sessions, in groups.  This isn’t bad, of course, it’s just indicative of a mentality that seems to be creeping in on people my age (if no one else).

Today I was told that my mind races a mile a minute, and it’s true.  My thoughts will run from practical to insane, sometimes even just with the same topic.  I could ask questions 24/7 to people who interest me.  I used to play “Truth or Dare” over the internet with people I was just getting to know (and of course, “Dare” was never really an option, so it just became a game of “Truth”), and was always the one left asking questions, because inevitably the other person simply ran out.  Even if I ask the same question twice, in slightly different ways, I feel like I’m searching for that extra little nuance about their personality that might tell me something deeper about them.  Other times, I might get a second answer that creates a seeming inconsistency with their first answer….. which I can then probe further and determine if they are confused, lying, or really do have an interesting take on an issue that isn’t black-and-white.  I find people immensely fascinating, and I gather nothing proves that more than my incessant questioning.  I guess part of my interest in others is that I find myself boring to listen to, like now, when I feel like I’m typing just for the sake of typing.  I hope that’s not the case, and that something semi-useful or interesting was said here.  Just in case, though, I think I’ll wait to post this, to see if it’s even worthwhile.  I hope it is.

Anyway, moral of this story: when was the last time you just sat and thought?  Does the idea frighten you?  Do you worry that maybe you’ll have thoughts that embarrass you, or that will defy the personality you thought you had?  Do you worry you will lose control over your thoughts, and you will venture into darker depths than you may be prepared to handle?  Do you worry you’ll be confronted with a new you, and the decision whether to accept or reject it?  Do you simply worry too much?  Are you afraid you’ll find problems in the life you have become comfortable living?  Are you afraid of finding out that maybe you don’t know as much as you think you do?  Are people just becoming so independent and so self-satisfied that they develop the cocky idea that they do not need to seek answers — that they know enough?  I don’t know.  Maybe you do.  But I’m tired with all this thought, so I’m going to sleep now.  Goodnight.


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