Today I was minding my own business at work, when a colleague informed me that i have “the same head as [Phillip Seymour Hoffman].” I’m not entirely sure what this means – his clarification insisted that if the backs of our heads were in close proximity, we would be brothers – but I don’t totally hate the comparison. Most often I get Seth Rogen; I guess my voice sounds like his, making the physical resemblance more obvious. The Rogen one is a comparison that I do not enjoy, and – even though Hoffman was not an attractive man – it is refreshing to hear something new. Because Hoffman was a true talent, gone too soon. Who knows what responsibilities drove Hoffman to the depths he reached, but that doesn’t really matter because I’m turning this non sequitur of an anecdote into a segue to my review of the day: being responsible.
Responsibility can be truly crippling, and it can lead people to do things they might never have considered otherwise. As we emerge from our adolescent cocoon we are met with the responsibilities of adulthood. One can choose to embrace them, or one can choose to flee. For a long time I was running, choosing instead to bask in the glory of unfettered youth, but as I enter the second quarter of my life I find myself accepting more and more of these needling little demands that give life meaning.
Responsibilities (“responsos” from this point forward) come in many shapes: financial, professional, emotional. It is easy to neglect any one of these, but too many would be a foolish thing. Quality of life is determined by the effort you put into it. You get out what you put in. The grass is always greener on the other side. Other cliches.
If this comes across as some self-important screed, coming perhaps in the wake of a drug-fueled revelation, then it has at least been somewhat entertaining. Nothing so life-changing happened to me today. Instead I just realized the benefits that actually caring can afford one. We have weekly staff meetings at my place of employment. They are often the most boring part of my week, and (despite the fact that at least one person I work with might read this) I am willing to admit that I often pay little-to-no attention to the goings-on. This did not change all of a sudden – I still have very little interest in the logistics of testing and activity planning. But wen we split up into departments I found myself forced to participate in a way that I had not expected.
My of my fellow department members volunteered me to lead the meeting and though I treated it as a joke initially, I quickly realized that I had more than a few opinions on the subjects we were talking about. Strong opinions, actually. And I could not help but share. It felt good to express my feelings. Feelings. Who knew I even had those? Most of my passion doesn’t even reside in the field where I make a living wage. If I have that kind of interest in something I do not really care too much about, imagine what I could bring to a field that I actually like.
Now I don’t want anyone to be under the impression that I’m going to start being a reliable and conscientious member of society just yet. These things take time. But I do plan on being more aware of my responsos and how I can best accomplish them. And maybe I should start by going back to calling them “responsibilties.”
Nah. “Responsos” works just fine for now. I still have times. It’s not like I’m in my thirties.