- On Religion: Many of the comments in that thread talk to a single moment where a person realized that there was no God. I never had such a revelation because I never believed in one. I intensely realize, however, the moment I became a Discordian (albeit a non-theistic one): I was reading the Illuminatus! Trilogy and I realized that, despite my interest in order which drove me to engineering, science, etc., chaos was equally valuable, and should be respected. Of course, that doesn't mean that everything must be chaos (those who follow the purely Eristic path worry me), however, but instead that chaos has its place, and that creation/destruction is the sides of the Sacred Chao I'd rather worry about. Around this time I met shoujo_mallet and shortly after I met malaul. Taking into these two important people, along with the "Enlightened Nihilism" I picked up from faboo, helped form much of my personal philosophy, such as it is. The fact that there is nothing that I have to do, except die, is something that I needed to learn during the more stressful portions of college, and I still need to remind myself of it often (c.f. my time troubles in an earlier post).
- On Adults Being Wrong: Although often being told to take bullying by not responding and failing, I never considered this bad advice from my parents. The worst was when I was in first grade and I got a math problem wrong. I started crying (I cried a lot in elementary school, now I nearly never do) because my Dad had checked the work, and he should have caught any mistakes. I remember once being upset and loud about it when my mom screamed, "What do you want, my blood?" That shut me up quick and I felt how badly I was hurting her over nothing, simply by complaining. There's one more, and it involves riding back from Rochester with my dad, and talking with him about it a few weeks later that I'm not going to go into here, but a lot of you know this story, and if you're curious, drop me an email or a text.
- On Mental Health: I was sent to a child psychologist twice when I was a kid. I never understood why, until my mom told me as an adult that it was because I was asking about suicide. The question I was asking was about English, actually. It was "What's the penalty for committing suicide?" See, that word, commit I'd only ever heard on TV law shows, committing purjury, committing murder, committing a felony, &c. She said that it was its own punishment, so I asked why anyone would do it then. See, committing murder makes sense, because you get some gain out of it (revenge, or sating a compulsion or something), same thing with stealing, or lying. To be fair, however, I was/am depressed a lot, and I was bullied a lot until about HS.
- On Failure: In college I had a lot of angst about my first withdrawn class. Did this mean I shouldn't go into EE? Was there anything I was good at? I talked with my advisor about how it would look on my transcript, and he said, rightly, that one or two W's is not a bad thing—it shows that you know when to cut and run, and when to ask for help. Making a habit of it, however, is another thing. I never made a habit of it, and here I am.
- On Success: When I earned my First Degree Black Belt back in 2000, I felt an intense sensation of having everywhere to go. I felt that I had so much to learn and now I was able of at least beginning along those paths. It was euphoric. Trivia bit: at every black belt test, your teacher comes up and says a few words about you, and at every one of mine, Howard has used the phrase "gentle giant."
- On Speed: One time I was rushing off the train while I was still working in Chelsea, and the door hit my ankle as it was closing. I can still remember time slowing down and I thought: "I could do this to avoid falling, but if I screw it up, then I'll hurt worse and have more broken electronics on me than if I fall flat correctly." I fell flat, and I'm sure it looked very undignified, but I landed right and had no major injuries. Bonus story: While rollerblading at RIT, I took a turn a little too wide and had to hold my outside skate over the mud to avoid falling. I did OK for a good five feet, but when my wheels sunk in and got stuck in the mud (I had detachable wheels at the time) I did a roll, shoulder to hip, and came out unscathed.
- On girls: This may not be accurate, but I feel I lost a girlfriend (back in college, not anyone I'm currently dating) due to a lack of libido on her part triggered by hormonal birth control. Since then I've been a little quick to assume drugs' influence on others' lives. This pisses off Erin when I jump to such conclusions about her.
OK, that's enough ridiculous introspection for one shirking from work day.
Big question: What would you say was your "life-changing" event? Or perhaps events?