May you live in interesting times and May you find what you are looking for.
This is a quote that is often portrayed as some sort of ancient Chinese curse, but it actually first came into writing in the 1930’s or so, in the US. Its value still holds though as a curse. There is actually a third line that goes, may you come to the attention of powerful people.
At first read, you consider how this could possibly be a curse. Sounds like everything any ambitious person could ever desire. I was one of those, still am, sad how I haven’t learned my lesson yet. Luckily through my travels my memory is short now, which aids in my stupidity. I lived in interesting times when we were in the desert and the mountains.
That’s one heck of an understatement. For such a short time it is so completely packed with stories of every color and amplitude. It was something that defined me, something that aged me, something that has forever dated me. It was a difficult and hard time. It has forever changed me.
May you find what you were looking for. This is the real rough part of the curse. When I signed up for the military, it was a time a war. I was signing up for that adventure. I was signing up to prove myself. I was signing up for the war I thought I wanted to go to. Well, I found what I was looking for, too my amazement it was a whole hell of a lot more than I thought it was going to be. I found every bit of what I had been looking for and then the first week was over and I still had 51 more to go and then a 15 month tour later to make it through. What the hell was I thinking, go to war it will be cool. Holy crap if I could teleport back I would kick myself in the head for joining for that reason. That said I would have still joined, just not for some damn adventure.
And so the made up Chinese curse goes. It’s interesting just how little I have learned. I am always looking for that adventure, that adrenaline, that challenge, and more often than not when I find what I am looking for it’s like sticking my tongue in a light socket.
Case in point a triathlon: I thought I wanted that challenge, about 200M into that open, choppy, salt water bay, I just wanted to be on the beach with a beer. Then there was that half-marathon, lol, mile 9 I seriously considered getting a cab. There is always some satisfaction at the end. Always some joy mixed in with the pain, I guess that why I never learn. But I think it goes deeper into that messed up thing about being an adrenaline junky.
So what am I close to finding, marriage. I am about to get married in about half a year. I finally found that one for me. We live a really interesting life, filled with tons of stuff to do and responsibilities. We are starting to have a really good network of friends. That’s right we have filled out all 3 rites of the made up freaking curse or at least in progress to that last thing. And you know what, I couldn’t be happier about it, so to hell with it. I think it’s just something kind of funny. We as former military don’t really bother to heed warnings, and don’t panic when our make-shift raft capsizes in the middle of a hurricane. So this little Chinese curse is actually more of a set of instructions to live by. It’s like the adrenaline junkies manifesto. If by living on this it allows me to live my life to the fullest and find those little islands of fun and happiness in the ocean of junk, it sounds about right to me.
So I issue this Chinese curse(that Americans made up really turns out to be a blessing if you just stop dwelling on the hard side of it), may you live in interesting times, may you find what you are looking for, and may you come to the attention of those in power. Kick some ass and embrace the suck. You want egg-roll with that.