My first subject of observation for Project Sunshine, is Lewis.
He’s of average height (for a male) and build, his face (on most occasions) armed with a grin, his big blue eyes brimming with happiness. I rarely speak to him because I never know what to say, despite that he has always made the effort to acknowledge my presence with a curt nod or a nice ‘hello’. Although, when we do speak, our conversations seem to hold a certain depth to them which I haven’t had with many friends in my three years in the UK.
The most memorable conversation I’ve had with Lewis occurred at 4:30am on a Thursday morning, following the aftermath of intoxicated Alice and her various arguments with various intoxicated people, and the creation of a mess in the kitchen. Obviously, this didn’t bode well with my sleep deprived state combined with my OCD and uptight personality. With a black face, and anger radiating from me, I stormed out of my room into the kitchen, where I saw Jack and Lewis. Upon first look at me, Jack wasted no time in removing himself from the situation, while Lewis asked, “what’s wrong?”
I couldn’t now tell you all the things we spoke about because I don’t remember much of it, but what I can share, are the interesting and insightful thoughts of Lewis that struck a cord with me.
This is Lewis’s theory on life (based on how I remember it):
Firstly, humans are animals, and like animals, we’ve got a natural animal instinct.
Secondly, our purpose in life is to survive.
Our animal instinct directs us to the things that we need to survive – in Lewis’s case, it’s food, sleep, friends, family, travelling and football. When we find the things we need to survive, we are happy, and since life is short, why focus on the things that aren’t within the scope of what is necessary for our survival? Rather, focus on the things that are necessary for survival and then we’ll be happy, right?
I don’t think I do justice to his theory, but basically he implies: life is short, do what makes you happy. His theory and mantra on life is evident in his plans to “fuck off” to Australia after graduating university this summer, with no future or back-up plans or even a plan for his future, he intends to play it by ear.
Hearing Lewis, it did ignite in me a fire to fight for my own survival, but with that came difficulties because unlike Lewis, I’m not as equipped as he is to fight for my own survival. I’m lacking in friends because I struggle to make conversation with people, and because people don’t see me as their first choice of human being to approach anyway, and without friends, I feel scared and alone. Secondly, my values go against this very carefree nature that Lewis has, because my parents sacrificed their money on my education not so that I could “fuck off” after university to fulfil my dreams of travelling while I’m still young. They did it so that they could invest in my future. Undoubtedly Lewis’s parents would have done the same, and I’m sure Lewis realises this but the fact that he isn’t getting a job after university does not sit well with me.
So whilst I respect and am inspired by Lewis’s take on life, the key problem for me is how do I survive given my very nature of human being?