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Philosophical Ramblings and Advice on Life After College

Updated on November 13, 2015

Mice and Minstrels, The Coward or the Fool

Packing my bags and moving to LA after graduating college with no immediate job prospects and very few connections in the film industry is the easiest decision I've ever made, as well as the most foolhardy. There is something to be said for appropriate recklessness when one is confronted with choosing between the known and the unknown. The known in this case being returning to live at home, the unknown being my current cliche lifestyle in a studio trying to make my bones.

Let's consider these two scenarios. The first option presents a positive familiar environment with support close at hand and greatly reduced expenditures. The second option presents an unfamiliar environment with far less support at a distance and greatly increased expenditures. In my scenario, LA is a great distance from any family, however one could argue that the digital age has lessened the impact of distance as a factor. Despite that, given the benefits of the first scenario, why would any rational person willingly choose the second option?

The answer is rather primal in nature. Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, man creates his own habitat that often enough proves more dangerous than the wild. The simplest metaphor, often used by encouraging parents, equate homes to nests. For better or worse, depending on countless factors within an area and a household itself, we learn our earliest habits in these environments, typically most influenced by those we interact with. Most of these habits are built around our dependency on family.

The kicker is quite simple. We are most likely to hold to ingrained patterns of thought and action in these environments. Patterns that are imprinted on the earliest part of our psyche, conscious or otherwise. Unless one has been groomed or driven beyond the norm, living at home is akin to a slow death of new experiences. I have rarely seen those so disciplined at home that they are capable of truly pursuing a career and still enjoy the fact that they draw breath.

I've heard that necessity is the mother of invention. I've also heard that sometimes you have to reinvent yourself. I've never correlated the two before but one has to admit it's not too difficult to connect the dots. Putting ourselves in a new environment creates the necessity.

As with all things philosophical this is strictly my viewpoint drawn from life experience and not applicable to every and all cases. I cannot speak for those destructive households, nor those truly positive environments that pass along trade skills for example, thus initiating a career. I speak merely as one in a vast horde of college students who studied something unrelated to their parents experiences and have begun what will most likely be a lifelong struggle of trying to meet financial needs whilst pursuing a desired career.

If ever you doubt your conviction in this matter, keep in mind that there are millions of us who have the same doubts. Whether you believe it to be the worst mistake of your life or the best decision you've ever made, rest easy knowing at least a few of us agree with the latter.

© 2014 Goose


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