An Unknown Legacy

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about legacy. As in, the lasting effect you have on the world. The funny thing about building a legacy is that – much like any goal or ambition – it changes over time. My overall goal has always been to change the world in a  drastic, all-encompassing way. But the details and methods used to reach it are…muddled. Not many years ago, I would have taken the most direct route and opted for warfare. I grew up reading about the lives of guys like Alexander The Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the impact they had on the development of human civilization. Let’s face it: A lot of humanity’s technological developments were the result of some kind of conflict. The borders and countries we have today aren’t the result of just treaties and negotiations; wars were fought and countless lives were lost in the process. You think 21st century protests are bad? Try reading up on the French Revolution; those people changed things the hard, bloody way. Game of Thrones has nothing on what went down in medieval times. The development of the computer and literally every electronic device you’re using right now? You can thank Alan Turing for laying the groundwork, and for his efforts during World War II. NASA and moon landing? We got there based on rocket technology from the aforementioned conflict, and as the result of a little thing called the Cold War.

So yeah, warfare is kind of important.

It took me years to realize that it wasn’t worth it, though. It’s too messy, complicated, and utterly devastating. I love strategy and the thrill of competition, but taking over a country – let alone the entire world – would be a huge moral and logistical nightmare. I used to justify it by saying that, while the actions and decisions taken were horrifying, at least the people who made them would be remembered. Incredibly shortsighted and selfish, I know. But if I’m going down in history, I’d rather it be for doing something huge and worthwhile without violence. I wish I could be one of those old-time explorers who ventured into the unmapped jungles and islands, or climbed mountains just because they were there. Someone like Edmund Hillary, for example. I’d like to discover some new species, map out the ocean floor, or perhaps develop a new kind of synthetic material. Maybe invent something important, like an engine that doesn’t run on fossil fuels, or a seismometer that provides more of a warning time. I’d want to retire in a nice, secluded house with a massive library, where students and weary travelers could come seeking stories and insight. I want to be remembered for doing something that could change everything, and doing so in a constructive, positive way.

If I can’t accomplish that, then I’d at least want to be cherished as a famous author. Wishful thinking, isn’t it?

Predictions

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about predictions. Specifically, where you’ll be on July 30th of this year.  I have no idea, honestly. Everything’s so much up in the air right now, it’s not even funny. Suddenly losing my job near the end of 2013 kind of threw a monkey wrench into what little I had planned. However, it also forced me into actually making some long overdue changes; without such impetus, my growth as a person probably would’ve continued to stagnate. Now, the map of my life’s journey is entirely uncharted. And by no means am I in dire straits yet. However, I’m not naive enough to believe I can maintain this situation for any extended time. I can – and will – do better than that. The main priority for the coming months is finding another job.

To that end, I’ll most likely be in a classroom (physical or virtual) on July 30th. I’ve recently found out about an online technical writing program through the UC Berkeley extension, and to be honest, it’s very intriguing. Writing has always been my strongest skill, so it would only make sense for me to obtain the education and a second degree that best complement it. Going back for my M.A. isn’t entirely off the table, either. That being said, the prices for the individual courses are pretty ridiculous; I don’t want to sink thousands into something that’ll end up going nowhere. I’d much rather do self-education; information is out there, and I’ve done way more studying after getting my B.A. If I’m going back to school, then I’d better have at least some sort of meager income backing it up.

Assuming that my wishful thinking pays off and I find good work, then I might be traveling abroad on July 30th. A potential trip down to Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay was in the works last year, and I’d loathe to throw that away. I try visiting a new place every year; it gives me a chance to change up perspectives and have new experiences. And considering all the pictures on this blog, you can probably tell I’m a serious camera fiend. If I’m traveling abroad, it’s practically guaranteed that thousands of photos are coming back with me. If I can afford it, I’d probably pick up a better camera as well. But if my South America plans fall through, I might settle for Comic-Con or E3. I’ve been wanting to go to both for years, but never had the time. Now I have all the time in the world, and I don’t want to waste the money on them.

Funny how that works.

Regardless of how things turn out on the job and travel fronts (and I just noticed I completely disregarded any notions of romance, which is technically a possibility as well), I’ll be reading. At this hour on July 30th, I can safely assume I’ll be reading a book. Most likely something from Alice Munro, whose bibliography I’ll be tackling throughout this year. Gotta keep the time filled, after all.