Where/how did you get so wise? I don’t mean that ironically. In concrete terms, please.
Well, it sure as fuck wasn’t in church.
I’m not quite sure how to answer this really, because accepting the premise of the question makes me kind of a douche. Not that I’m one for false humility. I’ll admit that my IQ is probably higher than my credit score, but wisdom and intelligence aren’t the same thing.
Part of my charm comes from the fact that I grew up ugly and poor in the dirty south and now I’m cute as a fucking button on the west side of paradise. That contrast alone keeps me sharp. Plus, unlike the 85% of Americans who don’t even have a passport, I’ve seen a bit of the world.
But that’s the cheap answer. The real one is a bit more fucked up.
Whatever genuine wisdom I have comes from having faced my own mortality at an age when all my friends were preoccupied with sorority rush. I was forced to contemplate the very real likelihood of my own death without the benefit of having lived a full life, and I had to acknowledge some cold, sticky truths about the meaning of it all.
At first, all I did was freak myself out. Peering into an infinite regression is some scary stuff. Eventually though, I grew comfortable with my utter insignificance in an unimaginably vast universe, and I found that I had no need or desire to supplicate myself to a higher power. We are tiny specks of talking meat on a wet little ball in the middle of nowhere, and I’m perfectly okay with that. The pursuit of happiness is enough.
It’s a difficult concept to communicate, but all the athiest soldiers and godless cancer patients out there already know what I’m talking about. There is a freedom that comes from letting go, after you’re forced to completely jettison your ego. You can’t fake it, and if you’re lucky enough to live, it always stays with you.
All right, enough heavy shit. I’m off to the pool.