I had a patient today that I used to see and hadn’t in a little while. He’s a physician for Kaiser and he always talks — a lot — what was different this time wasn’t him so much as me: my brains are full of mashed potatoes. He, as usual, was talking about intelligent things. As a physician he’s always interested in conditions and such and will work through in his brain out loud and I would contribute with my own brand of intelligence to keep up. However. I couldn’t. I couldn’t come up with the words, the proper names, the medical terminology. I’d mentioned in the past that since I don’t use that kind of information anymore, in dealing with patients (basically I dumb down the words so that people can understand me), I don’t need it and my brain doesn’t think like that anymore. It can be extracted, but that takes effort to find and dust off the cover. I simply cannot believe how far gone it is. Stuff that I’d always been on top of, quick off the top of my head, information, terminology, intelligent conversation, even things like spelling, are gone, poof, into hiding. Even looking back at old posts from college when my brain was top notch and most powerful, I can’t believe how my recent posts pale in comparison in spelling, grammar, accuracy, vocabulary, flow…. And content! Good gravy the content is drivel and inconsequential.
Amazing how little time it takes. You would never know, if you talked to me, that I was always academically inclined. Top of all my classes. Great student. Peers would either respect my prowess, compete, or be jealous. True, I may not have pursued a degree equal to my capability, but that’s by choice and partly by necessity. Now I’ve become what everyone has always assumed of me: an average person with an average job and average intelligence. Not to say that’s a bad thing, not at all, and not to say, either, that I have a powerful need for people to respect me (in fact, I’ve always preferred for others to think I am less than I am), but it does bother me sometimes. Then I sit and wonder what would make me feel validated, then, and how nothing would and why the heck does it even matter on the whole, anyways?
Earlier, I was just pondering about how futile life really is. How inconsequential our lives are when you consider it all. People strive constantly to make a splash, to have a family, to aspire to great things…what’s the point of it all? I get to watch as the kids in my practice grow up and start their own lives. I watch my older patients grow even older and eventually die. Even seemingly healthy patients, happy with life, job, kids just suddenly pass away. I listen and observe as my co-workers and peers rush to get married and have kids before we grow older, ourselves. My mom and grandparents slow down and experience health concerns. Family, patients, friends and myself, all asking me if I’m planning to go higher, to attain higher status. We are currently in December, and yet another year is coming to an end. It’s like it’s all occurring around me and I’m just here watching it all play out like a spectator. My own time and life are slipping away from me. If I were to die tomorrow, people will grieve, but their lives continue and they move on. Is all I’ve done, then for naught? My one little path in the infinite web of life, crisscrossing, meshing, destroying, straying, inspiring other paths of the web…cut abruptly. There are too many other lines to really care about little old me.
Many times I’ve thought about why we are driven to have children and continue that cycle of life. Force them into this world, whether they like it or not. That in and of itself is selfish as it is. We continue the cycle of life, but to what end? There’s no end goal, no finish line that we’re aspiring too, at least that I’m aware of. Why are we and animals and life in general so obsessed with continuation of life? Ha. Maybe I don’t want to know. Maybe, there really IS and finish line and an end game and our evolution over the years is to produce the end product or some specific need. We fear death because we do not understand and do not know what it holds, and yet we live and fight to stay alive even though we neither understand why nor know what the future holds. Life is therefore just like death with the minor exception that we’re, well, alive.
Deep stuff. In the meantime, I’m super sleepy and tired. And I got my Christmas cards in the mail! Also, my left ear really hurts.