Life: An outline with no picture?

Last week, NY Times published an article about how 20-somethings are not moving on with their lives — not making themselves “into something.” It’s scary. That is to say, becoming “something” is frightening. How does one decide what to study, where to work, quality of life versus quantity of pay, where to live or where to visit, who to date, who to spend your nights with and what it all might lead to.

Maybe they should be simple questions, maybe the stress is exists only in my mind. Maybe I make it too difficult. Is it all connected? Or is each scenario its own separate entity, completely detached from the next decision?

There’s the “be here now” sentiment I’ve heard and read for years — Take it as it comes, see where it goes. “It’ll all work out… or maybe not.”

I started reading my third Milan Kundera book late last night. He’s a Franco-Czech novelist with an impeccable way of observing and drawing out complex dreams and intense emotions.

It’s not static reading, Kundera induces some serious thought.

This passage is powerful:

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come. Was it better to be with Tereza or to remain alone? There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can live be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, “sketch” is not quite the word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture….”

-Milan Kundera


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Melissa Crowe

I’m Melissa, an adventure-seeking, budget-crunching, internet-loving journalist. Along with covering local government at Victoria Advocate, I write a weekly music column for Get Out and freelance for University of Houston-Victoria in my spare time. In this year’s Texas Associated Press Managing Editors awards, I won first place for star breaking news report of the year, first star online package of the year, first community service and first deadline writing. I also won third place for team effort, honorable mention for freedom of information, and honorable mention for star investigative report of the year. I also took first place for best breaking news story in the Local Media Association Editorial Contest, a national contest. Last year, I won second in the TAPME contest for star online package, third for star breaking news report and honorable mentions for star investigative report and team effort. The Local Media Association awarded me with an honorable mention for best breaking news story. I grew up in rural northern Texas and graduated from the University of North Texas. After working for a family-owned paper in the eastern corner of the state, I took an opportunity to move south. When I’m not filing FOIA requests, I enjoy spicy Bloody Marys, kayaking the Guadalupe River and exploring South Texas. Would you like to hire me to write or edit something? Or ask me a question? Or send me a link to a funny GIF? Email me!

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