Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Desire To Be Intellectual

I find myself craving to become an intellectual. In all honesty it has completely caught me off guard. My my it amazes me how people can change so much. It wouldn't necessarily call myself shallow, but it's a character I can easily portray. It's a character in many ways I have forced upon myself due to family beliefs. I know that in my family many people, but not all, expect me to play a certain role, the "beautiful" but troublesome child. The one who knows how to create utter havoc but can also be charmingly deceitful. While my sister is the slightly awkward brilliant intellectual who goes to Oxford. A few months ago I may have resigned myself to that role quite comfortably, picking up people magazine or Cosmopolitan. But now I find myself having urges to discover more beyond that. I find myself  overwhelmed with wanting to know so much more about the world but I have no clue what I want to know or how to find it. Yes there is the obvious New York Time & the internet, but the concept of an intellectual is so broad it's overwhelming.

Knowing that I want to go to an English university has made me realize that I need to change in many ways, broaden my horizons. Maybe put down the star magazine and pick up the economist, but it also totally terrifies me. What if I can't keep up with the english kids? What if they think I'm just some dumb loud American? And maybe this is all just really stupid. Could it be that the girl who thought she was all grown up really isn't?

This weekend my dad told me about how when one of his brothers was my age and taking physics he was "getting high off of the stuff." At first I didn't understand what my dad was talking about, and thought he possibly may have been high himself or was implying that my uncle was getting high and then studying. But then I understood. My uncle was so in awe of the material he was learning, understand how the universe actually works, that he was getting a high from it. And I completely and utterly understand. Physics is one of the hardest classes I've ever taken, but there's a certain "high" one can acquire from getting a problem right or understand what happens when a person in a car slams on their breaks and is thrown backwards. The high is very different from previous highs that I've experienced, but in an amazing and epic way. I miss smoking I do, but this is so much better. Sometimes in class everything just clicks and when it does I get this insane urge to learn more or do another problem. I haven't felt like that in a long time. Could it be that my path to becoming an intellectual does start with reading Plato's Republic or Machiavelli's The Prince but with physics?

In many ways I find it incredibly difficult to broaden myself intellectually because it makes me most vulnerable. And that is why it is so easy for me to portray a fake and superficial individual. Perhaps the first step to becoming an intellectual is by admitting a desire to be one.

No comments:

Post a Comment