"I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe."
-Jango Fett, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Truer words are seldom spoken. Most of us are out here on our journeys and paths, trying to navigate and find our way in this crazy world. Hopefully along that road, we discover purpose, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. Some find it in faith, some find it through their deeds and acts, and others find it in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. That's not to say those are your only three options, dear reader. It's a vast world out there, let alone universe, and it's up to you to figure out what you're going to do with the time you're allotted.
Some people have it easier than others. Some people like to pretend we're all born into an even playing field, but these are usually people who have lived good lives themselves without much as far as strife goes. I believe the field is very, very uneven. I also believe that I've been luckier and more fortunate than the majority of people out there. This isn't me gloating or dumping on people who are struggling or having a hard time - this is me recognizing my incredibly fortunate position of privilege in life.
Here's why I'm damn lucky:
I was born healthy.
I grew up with two intelligent and hard-working parents who loved me very much. They showed it to me regularly and they raised me and treated me very well.
I was not impoverished as a child.
I received a college education that landed me in a career/field with job security for the foreseeable future.
I make enough money to pay for my costs of living, some occasional travel, and also the occasional unexpected expense.
I still have my health.
I have amazing friends.
I have an amazing significant other.
All of this would be absolutely wasted and moot if I did not recognize these blessings. Very few people get to have these boxes checked. All of these things can serve as safety nets and means of resources that ensure success in a person's lifetime. (Additional thought: Is that the only way a person can be successful or live a good life? Of course not! There are many admirable, respectable, self-made people who came from little to nothing.) And while I like to complain about not winning the state lotto drawings, as far as life goes I've won the king of jackpots.
Things can change at the drop of a dime and you can lose a lot. I'm constantly reminded whenever I'm at work in the ICU. People who do everything right - eat their vegetables, do charitable work, return their shopping carts, use crosswalks - still end up in the hospital. Count your blessings while you have them because even if you do it all right, it can go away very quickly. And then what? Well now, I suppose that's the million dollar question, isn't it?
Like Jango Fett said, we're all just a bunch of simple people trying to make our way in this universe, aren't we? Our only real option is to continue moving forward and seeking out the fulfillment and pursuits we value with what we've been given to live our lives with. Find fulfillment in yourself, not through your envy of others. That is an ugly thirst that only gets worse if you drink from that poisoned well.
I recently stumbled across a YouTube channel created by a fellow retro game enthusiast like myself. Quirky, funny...something familiar about a lot of these qualities...hmm.
He's making his way through this universe. And he's lived a bit. His passion for games and quirky humor are a language that I speak. But instead of being a medical dude like myself, he's been on the other side of that bed railing - as a patient. Something about this really hit home to me. You can read more about his story here.
Patrick Davis (PatmanQC) creates some of the most enjoyable gaming documentaries and history lessons that I've stumbled across.
As I mentioned, life can change at the drop of a dime - any one of us could land ourselves in the ICU all while trying to mind our own business. Life comes with few guarantees (death and taxes anybody? Get your death and taxes here!) and there's no promise that the world I live in today will be the world I wake up to tomorrow. But what is powerful to me is doing something meaningful no matter what that world may be. I hope I can be that person if or when I find myself in that situation.
If you're an enthusiast like myself over the stuff Patrick covers, consider subscribing to his YouTube channel or supporting his work via Patreon. Time is a valuable commodity, and he's put a lot of time and work into shaping his passion into something that I can say I really appreciate. I think a good number of people out there would also appreciate his work if they discovered his content. I know I'd love to continue seeing more content from him.
So this entry is dedicated to one particular man out there in the universe, making his way. I'm glad my path crossed with his. Get that bounty, Patrick.
Also, in loving memory of Jeremy Bulloch
The original Boba Fett from The Empire Strikes Back
The first Mandalorian to be on screen.
(2/16/1945 - 12/17/2020)
SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...