Yesterday was my birthday and today is my mom’s.  I turned 27 and she would have been 50.  She always told me that I was her best birthday present.

In many ways, life seems as absurd as ever.  The realizations I had upon first reading The Stranger when I was 17 have stayed with me.  There is no implicit meaning in life, but you can make one (or many).  Shortly afterwards, I began to study Buddhism, and came to regard Existentialism as a Buddhism-lite, spawned from a modern, European context which already seems like some bygone age.  Later, I read briefly of Epictetus, and was pleased to see essentially the same lessons enumerated in a disparate time and culture, also ancient.

The thought that internal self-cultivation has the power to transcend external conditions is one that continually sustains me and gives me hope for the future.

In my life, I am mainly motivated by the sense of flow that comes from continually learning and adapting, and from helping other people.  For the most part, I don’t have too much need for money or things except to the extent that it aids in these goals.

This is an interesting birthday, being as I am in the middle of a stasis point on the verge of exponential change.  In six short weeks my Taiwanese life will begin.

I would like to do something tonight with my mom in mind, but I don’t know what yet.