When I was a child I was fascinated by the stars. As a child I would often lay in the grass behind my parents house and gaze at the constellations, trying to comprehend just how the universe was created. My parents, from a very young age, always encouraged me to decide what it was I wanted to do with my life, so at age 10, I decided that one day I would be an astronomer so that I might some day make a career out of gazing at the night sky. I remember my parents, my father especially being proud that one day they would be able to tell people that they had raised an astronomer. That Christmas I clearly remember all my presents all having an astronomy theme, including a new home telescope, which I often took outside the observe the moon.
My father was someone whom always wanted the best for me, and as soon as he was able to, he took me on a trip to the observatory at Cornell University where I remember standing atop a tall warehouse ladder looking through a very large telescope gazing at the rings of Saturn, while my father casually spoke of scientific pursuits with the other scientists and astronomers. And for several minutes, it seemed as if time stood still, as if whatever was happening here on planet earth was put on hold as I observed the rings of Saturn glimmer ever so slightly against the black abyss of the night sky.
I’m sure that little ever changes when Earth is viewed from the sky, much in the same way as how the night sky remains generally unchanged when viewed from planet Earth. What is it about the stars that is so amazing, that keeps us star gazing? Ever since the beginning of time, human beings have been fascinated by the stars. Over the years, I’ve been fascinated by a great many things; from stars that fill the night sky, to freight trains, the electro-mechanical devices I built as a child, and now to the Internet and the dawn of the information age, my intellectual pursuits and curiosity are never ever truly satisfied. The night sky remains exactly the same to me now as it did when I was a child, while things here on Earth seem to change exponentially faster and faster as the years go by. The one thing that never seems to change is the warped opinions uttered from those closed and simple minds, that unfortunately will never change. I often wonder how some people could possibly live their entire lives in such ignorance.
When I was 10, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life; now I’m 37 and I still don’t know for sure. When I was young I thought I knew everything, but now that I’ve grown older and wiser, the more I know about something, the less I truly understand about the world, which only makes me wish I knew more. There are a great many things in the world that defy logic and are beyond my immediate comprehension. I have found in my life that there are some things which most people choose to overlook, or simply deem unimportant or uninteresting which deserve a much closer look. All I really know for certain is that I in a physical sense, am extremely small, and the world is bigger than anything I could ever possibly imagine, and science doesn’t always hold all the answers.
Little do we realize that as human beings, how small and truly insignificant we are, yet we are all truly one of a kind. Unfortunately, conformity and uniformity has become a social and societal staple of our existence. Despite our differences, we subconsciously choose to blend in to the crowd, try our best to fit in, and mold ourselves into the person others wish us to be. Modern society has taught us to shun one another for our differences, our intelligence, or our lack of conformity to what we have been told is ideal.
When I was 10 years old, my mother and father told me that I could be anything I wanted to be. I saw my future the way I wished and dreamed it to be, not realizing that one day I’d face regret that, even today I still haven’t figured out what I want to be, or what I wanted it achieve. Parents who teach their children that when they get older can be anything they want are essentially creating a fallacy where children actually believe that the meaning of life is to follow ones dreams as one day they would eventually come true. I followed this fairytale for the entire duration of childhood, and into the first many years of adulthood. But times have changed, society has suddenly became more competitive than ever, leaving me with a very dim outlook for the future of modern society, my hopes and dreams now forever scarred in dismay.
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