Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Majoring In What We Need?

I had a friend mention the other day that she believed people major in what they need. Her example, she says, are the countless people who go into counseling and actually need counseling. I thought this was fascinating and immediately applied it to myself (When I tried it with things like my engineering majoring friends, or computer this or that, I started drawing blanks...go figure). Jenette's undergrad major: History. Jenette's grad major: Museum Studies. Is there something that draws me to these majors? Aside from the interest factor, I think there might be something to my friend's theory (for me, anyway...).

I am fascinated by the past. And particularly the material culture left by those in the past. You've heard the phrase, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." And so I ever so hopefully look to the past. But increasingly realize that the same mistakes are made over and over and over again--and often by cultures that study the past! Yet I am still fascinated. Fascinated enough to want to work in a museum where the aim is to NOT let go of the past. And so, here's the tie to my life... I am fascinated by my past. And I search my past trying to make sure I don't repeat the same mistakes, but anyone who has read my journal (which, incidentally, is no one but me), will see I repeat the same patterns over and over. And I don't let go. I don't let go of a lot of things I should. I wrote this little thing in 2004. It applies to my life in 2009 even more...

Letting Go
Holding on--until I cannot move
from what I thought would save me.
Fastened forever to an ideal that wasn't real--
Holding back from the beauty
that could be my life.
A flash of lightening--briefly--
exposes the mountains
To show me a new beginning.
But to get there,
I must let go.

So, amidst this lame attempt at poetry (?? ha--don't judge too harshly!), I find my dilemma. How do you learn, let go, remember, forget, and move forward, all at the same time? Impossible... but I am moving on from the year of two broken hearts and an uprooted life. Let's hope I have learned from the past.

Other random history quotes I found, which I enjoyed immensely:
"History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again."
--Kurt Vonnegut

"The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different."
--Aldous Huxley

"In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future."
--Alex Haley

"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past. "
--Edward Gibbon

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."
--George Bernard Shaw

1 comment:

Tams Family said...

Thanks for the great post. I often wonder myself why I am so attracted to the past. I loved the quotes you found. Thanks for enlightening me.