Sam Gimbel

Tech, Beer, and Strange Thoughts.


What's the relationship between who we are and what we do? Why is it that sometimes we open ourselves up to the moment seizing us and other times we try our hardest to close ourselves off to it entirely?

I look at someone like Louis C.K. and I think about the fact that he's a depressed comic who made it to age 40 before he told the world how he sees himself: as a fat, less-than-successful version of himself who consistently gets dealt the shittiest hand. He even pokes fun at his own ability to subtly put himself in these crappy situations by being passive, anti-masculine, and a general sad sack towards everyone he encounters.

How did a man who feels that way about himself get so successful? Did experiences happen to Louis that got him to that point, in spite of his depression? Did he power through every miserable moment, making his own fate? Is it possible he didn't realize how shitty he felt until later? The last one seems a bit unlikely given the content of his jokes, but beyond that I haven't a clue. Do successful people plan to be successful, do they plot out decisions that will get them to where they want to go? Or does it just happen to them and they just get lucky?

I should clarify. By successful, I mean successful from the perspective of the soul: fulfilled, respected, and capable of interacting with the world in a way that leads sometimes to satisfaction and rarely to deep despair, except when appropriate. Successful means living the life you want to live, one of balance of health, heart, brain, and body.

That sounds like utopian bullshit. Do I even believe in that? Does it even make sense to wish my life were better? Do hands get dealt to people? Do people make their own way within the constraints placed on them, and can they ever really defy those constraints? Is it possible to find a place where you can understand the balance of things happening to you, things you can change, things you can cause to transpire, and opportunities that are worth pursuing? Is that how things work? Or is this just one piece of cloth, dyed many times, fading from color to color with no beginnings, no endings, no causation and no chance to raise your hand and say "Hey I prefer X to Y?"

Or maybe it's just about presenting yourself to the world and letting yourself mold it and it mold you. You are a part of your environment in much the same way your environment is part of you. We affect our surroundings in so many ways. What if the river is determined by the shape of the rocks in it? Focus on polishing your edges, finding your way of being that works and that feels OK sometimes and rarely overwhelming, and the years will wash over you, rounding your corners for sure but changing your shape just the same.

'People say "Seize the Moment," but I think it's just the opposite.'

  • Boyhood