Onism – n. the awareness of how little of the world you’ll experience
I spend a lot of time scrolling mindlessly through dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com and looking for words that inspire me. This time the word that popped out at me most is onism. I realized recently that for a website about me I do not tend to share much about myself, so, hopefully, I will do some of that here.
Just a few days ago I moved in to the New Jersey Institute of Technology where I plan to major in Mechanical Engineering. This was not originally part of my plan, not the right college, not the right major, not even the right state, but it works in with my plan okay, or, at least, okay enough to continue on. I adapted, it’s what people do. My plan starts at college, for which I have no actual plan of how to survive now that I am here. The plan glosses over those four years like they are nothing, skipping straight to the exciting stuff. After college, I hope to join the Peace Corps. Every piece of it has appealed to me since I discovered it was even an option. For those who do not know much about the Peace Corps, I would spend two years in another country, helping in whatever I have been assigned to help with, learning about the surrounding culture.
So that’s the next six years. Seems quite a bit to have planned out, especially the way I have planned it. Two years out of the country, probably somewhere remote with no outside contact, does not exactly allow for many connections to be made where I live. Upon returning I will come back and have to practically start from scratch, from a social standpoint, and that is pretty much exactly what I want. Aside from that, I hope to come back and start grad school, work with Engineers without Borders, and eventually design and create robotic prosthetics.
But to get back to the original thing that started this rant about all of my plans for the future—onism. Engineers without borders reaches 45 countries and the Peace Corps reaches 64. It’s amazing all the places they help, some places I barely knew existed. And while, yes, the ultimate goal of me joining these programs is to help people, to touch as many lives as I can in the most positive way possible, I also want the chance to see as much of the world as I possibly can. Something about writing that feels selfish to me, the urge to explore, it feels so small with all the problems around us; yet, I cannot seem to help this overwhelming urge I have to see everything.
Since starting college I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting some incredibly intriguing people. I met two girls born in India who lived in Ireland before moving to America, a guy who was born in England and lived in Singapore before moving to America, and so many people with so many amazing talents I can’t begin to describe, like a guy who has the mysterious ability to wake up in a different city each night with no recollection of the night before, and a bunch of people with impressive artistic ability, including a guy who “accidentally” painted a beautiful picture of a woman while attempting to paint an owl. My roommate speaks somewhere around four languages if memory serves, and is proficient in I believe another five. I met people who know where every party is by some black magic and people who truly believe themselves to be invincible.
In short, I feel inadequate, I feel unimpressive, but most significantly, I feel jealous. Some of the people I have met have seen more than I could ever dream, while my best stories are all fictional. My greatest adventures come in the form of books I have read and stories I have written. Yes, I suppose college is the best time to rectify that, but I cannot help but feel I have wasted my years so far. If I live as long as the average woman, I will be impressed, but I still will not have had the time to experience all that I wish to. I live with this onism constantly, and I think no matter what I end up experiencing in my life, it will never be enough. There are universes to explore, but I will barely see enough of the country I live in to be satisfied. I suppose that’s all there really is to this whole mess of thoughts I just vomited onto this screen: that I will simply never be satisfied.
I know I have said this many times before, but I honestly plan to write more, (though, the best laid plans of mice and men, right?) whether it be about my college adventures, or more fiction to keep the peace in my mind through the haze of classes, or more angry rants instigated by stupid people. However, my first class starts in mere hours, so I must part from my keyboard and my thoughts and try to get some rest before everything starts happening too much all over again.