September 18th, 2023

Lately I've been thinking of what I want my ultimate goal in life to be. Of course it's difficult to pinpoint such a fluid thing, and even if I were to it would probably change in just a few year's time, but I can hardly do anything without an overarching goal or ambition, so I'll try regardless. The further down this sustainability rabbithole I go, the more I find myself fantasizing about living in some sort of village. For now at least, that is what I want from life. I want to live in a small village, constantly surrounded by nature, where each of us contribute something to the village as a whole. Say one person's a woodworker, so they build furniture and things for people, while another is a potter, and another is a farmer, etc. It's an impossible goal, I know, but it still something I dream of. A community of people I care about, all working together to help each other. I can see it in my community around me, that some people also yearn for that kind of life, and yet they too know it's an impossible goal, so they settle for what they can get. Instead of building a shop in a village where they can make a living selling cakes or something, they sell their cakes at a farmer's market, or even more common, they apply to work at a bakery.

Another thing I've been thinking about, and something I've been struggling with personally, is choosing between spending my time in real life or online. I've noticed I've begun referring to it like that, I'm either in reality, or I'm on the internet, like they're not the same. It certainly feels that way, and I think it's helpful to look at it like that. Anyway though, the only real interaction I get with friends anymore is via Discord, and I've grown to hate it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being with and talking to my friends, but I don't want to stare at a screen for hours with a headset on in order to be able to do that. I recently read a Youtube comment (I know I know) about how kids have changed over the generations. I'll see if I can find it, no promises, but if I do I'll put it at the bottom. Back to what I was saying though, I want to actually HANG OUT with friends, not join a call for three hours every night. I want to go out and spray paint something, sneak into places I'm not supposed to be in, and just do general mischievous things that teens used to do before they became so docile. Sure you're bound to get in trouble doing things like that, but that's kind of the point. A couple of years ago I got caught trespassing in an abandoned factory, and sure I could've gotten some sort of record from that I believe, it at least taught me to look for No Trespassing signs next time I decide to do something like that. I gained life experience from it. No matter what, I will never gain ANY life experience through the internet. If I want that, I actually have to go out and live through something. That's another thing I've noticed with kids my age, they don't really have those life lessons engrained in them. Take shoplifting for example. An old boomer will tell you that shoplifting is bad and that you shouldn't do it, obviously. However, why do they think that? Because they shoplifted when they were a teen, and they got caught, and they learned the life lesson. Kids my age are tied inside to their computers, so instead of going out and stealing some candy or something and getting caught, they're reading articles or posts online about how people who shoplift are just poor, unfortunate souls who just don't have it as good as everyone else. I'm willing to bet this is why the limit for larceny was raised from $400 to $900 in California, because chronically online people who don't understand the fundamental elements that are in play when someone steals something are the ones voting for those kind of policies. Maybe I'm just rambling, but I'm sure if you were to sift through the schizo rants you'd be able to find some sort of meaning in there. I'm just awful at getting my thoughts across in words, so they always sound more harsh or extreme than I'm really intending.

I found the comment I was talking about so here it is:
I'm 50 and have 3 teenage sons and am so worried about them. The way young people live right now is really frightening to me. When I was in high school, I was constantly with my friends, finding creative things to do, sometimes getting into trouble we needed to figure out how to get out of (which in retrospect was an important lesson). There were dances and Rocky Horror every Friday and parties and walking the mall to meet people and shows by crappy bands some guy we knew was in and going to the graveyard to pretend to see ghosts. The minute any of us could get a driver's license we would do it and work to save up for a crappy car so we could drive all over the place. We were almost never home. Now my teenage sons - and it seems every single teenage boy they know - just sits on the computer and either games or talks to each other on an app. And anytime I hear them talking about anything but gaming, all these guys just make fun of each other. Like that's their socialization. None of them seem interested in girls (or boys, whatever). They hardly do anything in person. None of them get into trouble, ever - and on the one hand, I'm glad I don't have to worry about them or have no idea where they are. On the other hand, I feel like they're missing out on something - they don't test boundaries and limits, they don't experience the exhilaration of sneaking out, they don't learn how to handle a situation that's scary, shady, or risky. And as a parent, you can't really do anything. Because what am I going to say? "Hey you aren't rebelling against me enough!"? And if all their friends are online, I don't feel like I can even force them off the computer, because that's where these kids are socializing.