“Happiness is only real when shared.” – Into the Wild (film)
I remember thinking when I watched Into the Wild: wow, I want to do something like that. To cut away, go off on my own, and just live. I’m an INFJ after all. I can do solitude. I mean, the film’s final revelation about sharing happiness was deep and all – but it was kinda sappy too. And really, it felt more romantic (how narcissistic), more exhilarating and more strong to just opt for the solitary path less travelled.
The loneliness of work last semester made me realize that I’m not as much a solitary soul as I would like to imagine myself to be. I missed my study group. While I was doing electives that I chose largely from interest, and while I was pursuing my own paths to my own goals, I missed the common fellowship of year 1/2. I missed reserving seats for each other and traipsing around before and after lectures. And it makes me afraid that work in the future will be as dreary and as shackling – my passion for the work I do inexorably worn away by looming expectations of clients and bosses, unsustained by friends who aren’t colleagues and colleagues who aren’t friends.
I cannot discount the possibility that all this was God’s way leading me through the wild, to this precise realization that ‘what you are doing’ is less important than ‘who you are doing it with’ (what a communitarian idea). It makes me wonder if the adages that we throw at the high-schoolers – don’t do things just because your friends are doing them – is really all that wise.