This first blog post is to describe a little bit about myself, to show why I am interested in philosophy, and to give some personality to my work. If you are more interested in my philosophical musings, then you may skip ahead.
I was born in Socorro, New Mexico. There has been not much importance in my upbringing from there, as I do not remember much from before my family moved. The key things I do remember are incidental, such as slamming my sisters fingers in the door on accident, or the time my sister and I were looking for bugs under rocks, and flipped a giant rock over onto my foot. When I was 7, my family lifted its roots and moved to Missoula, MT. I did not have many qualms about moving, as I was not too attached to the town, but I remember the move being difficult for my sister, who is four years older than me. Even up through 5th grade, when I was 10, I do not remember much of my memories. There are vague memories that come to mind when I think about it. I think about my friend Josh Morris, who would come over and we would play in a giant dirt pit behind my house. We would etch off part of the dirt over the edge of a 5 ft "cliff", so that there was enough soft dirt down there to jump off of the so called cliff. One time we built a fort on the hill, with pieces of wood and scrap we found lying around. We covered the fort in dirt, would have a fire out there, and even stayed the night out there in the cold because we found it exciting. One day, the fort was broken, and we immediately blamed the jocks who lived on the other side of the field. I also remember my friend Blake, in fifth grade, sitting on the swing in the play ground having a personal discussion with me. He had told me he was sad, and that he did not know what to do. Being 10 years old, I did not have any sympathy or knowledge on the matter and was not very understanding. I remember distinctly the words "you don't get it, sometimes I just want to die". My response, which haunts me to this day, was "yeah, me too man". It was a quick way to dismiss his problems by saying that we all had depression and he should just get over it. I am sure he does not remember this moment though.
We moved to Australia when I was 11. My dad is a world renowned chemist, and every seven years he gets the opportunity to travel to another country and live there for a while to exchange information with other people in his field. We were living in Tasmania, the small island below Australia which Australians qualify as being a bit weird. I learned a bit about the culture while I was there, which alerted me to the fact that I could be an outsider. I was never left out for being the American, and though it was my first experience in being bullied I wasn't targeted. Unlike the American bullying system, where the larger and more insecure children take their frustration out on weaker children who are unsure of themselves, Australians seemed to take turns bullying each other. Though there were some people who got bullied more frequently, it generally changed daily who was bullying and who was getting bullied, so I wasn't targeted. I had a good friend Max from the Caribbean who I would hang out with regularly. We would go to the graffiti riddled skate park that was in the middle of the woods, and practice our scooter tricks. I remember joining the gymnastics club there, and not being a fan of the team mates. They seemed like they were too cool to have normal civil interactions for some reason. I also remember my first crush being in Australia. Every time she was near enough to me, I would get sick to my stomach, and light headed. It took me a very long time to get the courage to ask her out. She Was sitting with her friends during class, and I was near enough by to decide this was the moment. I held back the fear bubbling in my belly with every step, walked directly up to her and said the words "will you go out with me". She gave me a funny look and said, no.
Upon returning to the US I really learned what it was like to be outside the cultural progression. I had spent sixth grade in Australia, which was a strange time to be gone from my school progression. In Missoula, children have a choice of which middle school and which high school to go to. This meant at the beginning of sixth grade, all my friends had spent time deciding where they wanted to go, IE which friends they wanted to be with. Upon returning to the states in seventh grade, I knew Josh, and Caden. Both of these friends I knew from gymnastics. Josh had a unique quality where he did not fit in to the social cliques, and yet somehow fit in to all of the social cliques. Every recess he would walk from group to group, making people laugh and being friends with everyone. I was always in amazement at the ability he had to flawlessly slip in and out of these situations. I would follow him around, learning about the goths, jocks, nerds, band nerds, sexually exploring, sexually sheltered, and everything in between. Later on I told Josh that I had always looked up to him as he was growing up, and to my surprise, he told me those feelings were reciprocated.
My philosophy started in these years. I do not know if it was the experience of going to another culture, or seeing the interplay between the different social groups, but I started wondering what the point of it all was. I would come up with different theories as to what we were meant to do here, and each one seemed to host a different sort of depression. I though maybe the point of it all was to make people happy. Of course, this meant every night I would criticize my actions, and ruminate over all my conversations till I cried. I thought maybe it was love, so I grew an immense dependency to love and being loved, which created unhealthy relationships. By the time I had moved to high school, I had enough torture over not being able to satisfy what I thought was the whole reason to be alive. I had reserved myself, wore big ugly jackets to cover the muscles that I developed in gymnastics, ate mainly alone or quietly with a group of friends, and let the world pass its time. I remember how monotonous the world got, and I would take a different set of staircases to each of my classes to add some variety. I remember everyone being surprised by who I really was, the smart kid though I always slept in class, The sensible one though I always goofed off in history, The cool kid though I was a socially reserved gymnast. No one really knew who I was, and I liked it that way. I did not want people to see the failure to resolve this pressing issue which I thought everyone had solved. Though I did not get answers from these primitive philosophical ponderings, I am grateful for the contribution to my further studying of philosophy it provided. I was used to having no answer, and to thinking long and hard on a question that brings existentialism into suspect. It often surprises me that people do not want to bring up philosophical topics, because they fear their knowledge is wrong and all the suffering is for not. To me, it seemed that the suffering was for not, unless you could figure out why you should suffer. Since then, most of my friends have been held because they are asking the big questions of why and how.
Thank you for reading the summary of my formative years. Since then, I have developed an interest in music, and have graduated with a mechanical engineering degree. I have been interested in philosophy consistently, and think of new revelations every once in a while. I am hoping for this blog to have a weekly or monthly posting of an idea I have about philosophy, along with the questions I have. If you would like to be a part of this discovery, and have some meaningful conversations, then follow my blog and comment your ideas. Thanks again,