Monday, November 20, 2006

thinking hard.

Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding. - Ambrose Bierce

this is a quote that i like a lot. one of my favorite thoughts about my own life is that i was a lot more together at age 13 than i am at age 31. that's not necessarily because i was wiser then or knew more about life, but i certainly FELT like i did. i had all the confidence in the universe that i had it together, that i was on track, and that i was going to take the world by storm. today, i'm a perfectionist. i won't utter a word that i haven't totally filtered and purified and verified as the best choice for the occasion. i hate to make weighty decisions because no matter how much research i do, i am aware that there is so much i don't know. i always hope that "that which i do not know" is really not going to be the crucial piece of information that would've tipped scales in a different direction.

that all makes it sound like i'm paralyzed with indecision at even trivial choices like which can of soup to buy at the grocery. of course, i'm not. every day we all make approximations and do our best to make the "good enough" decision when the "perfect" decision is not within our grasp. i just feel it more intensely than i did years ago. my education hasn't hurt me, on the contrary, it's better prepared me for everything i've undertaken since. well, it's better prepared me for almost everything. in spite of all the shakespeare and bronte sisters they make you read in school these days, i still feel woefully uneducated regarding love and romance.

anyway... education, in the best of circumstances, makes you aware of how much you don't know, and fills in a tiny bit of knowledge. i'm glad i've got it, but there are days i'd like to return to the confidence of my uneducated self.

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