Over the years I have divided up my needs into two categories. Real needs, and wants. This sounds basic enough, but it actually took quite a bit of digging to find out which was which. In my earlier years I had quite a bit of trouble differentiating between the two, assuming that what I wanted was somehow also a need. As time went on, I realized my list was dwindling. I also realized some things were far more important than others.
Certain things, which I knew I needed, have become even more important. And I realized I could find them in ways I never knew possible. They may not always manifest themselves in the ways I expected, but they are there nonetheless, and in their actual existence there is beauty. To paraphrase Nietzsche, I can celebrate them as they are.
The things I wanted may not be so important, and looking back now, they seem like trifles. As if I was daring the universe to provide them for the sake of it. I don’t need these things. I don’t even know if I want these things.
Then there are the things which I do want, but in light of everything else, I can easily live without. This is called compromise.
Then there are the things that I need, but if I should not get them, then I can still survive. It might be more difficult, it might even be painful, but I can manage.
Yes, I have reevaluated my list. It is amazing how time changes priorities. Yet it doesn’t really change them, but rather changes the perspective. To quote Keats, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” Yes, beauty is truth, truth is beauty. And when beauty shifts, it takes truth with it.
The truth of what I have always believed has not changed, it has only shifted to accommodate my beliefs. As my needs and wants have rearranged themselves, so have my beliefs of where I should find beauty in life. The two remain inextricably tied. As they should be.