Inside The Heart Of Oblivion

I have pursued the essence of greatness for a large portion of my life. With no clear understanding of how I will achieve it, my heart and mind push me forward in the endless expanse of darkness hoping to achieve this obscure and nonspecific goal that, to be honest, is one of the few things that keep me up at night.  I can say that my singular greatest fear in life is this fear of oblivion. The idea that everything that I ever was and will be was destined to be lost into the analogs of time as generations pass forgetting my existence entirely.  It feels then that my life is only ever really just sand sitting on the shore. If I were to become a castle, in time, the walls would collapse and this seeming foundation I had laid down will be crushed and crumble underneath the waves of time as all sand does, becoming an indistinguishable part of the ocean deep. I want to make the castle of my legacy out of metal, stone, or crystal so I may, at least, have a chance to beat the test of time in which I am pitted against. Problems arise from this, I do not know the path I want my future and legacy to take. Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s quote describes this point perfectly ” If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Without direction, I am doomed to wallow in an indefinite expanse of the ocean of life,  drowning  trying to determine which way to the surface.  The other problem is that finding a direction, by no means guarantees my survival in this big world, only that I know the heading. What will happen, I am denied by the very heading that I choose.  Of course, I am getting ahead of myself, a great deal of pessimism is drawn from something I haven’t done yet. Where does this come from? I ask this to myself when I am faced with the existential crises about the where my hand in life will lead. Only hoping I can achieve one of the greatness Shakespeare spoke of long ago.

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. ” – William Shakespeare

Now life has a cruel sense of humor, making me dance to this song to desire and admire greatness but has ridiculed me for trying to achieve it.  It started early on, though, this training that I was not the ones who would achieve anything.  Through the slight urging of my teachers at school, I understood that I among others would be left and forgotten.  Passed over so the best of us can move on.  By the time I had entered my middle school years, it was evident that some would be set to rise above others, at least, the teachers made sure we knew that. Unfortunately, those they raised up were placed upon the hunched back of those trying and praying that we would be graced with the opportunity of being able to look up at the spotlight above. Month after month, year after year the same people being rewarded, hoping soon it would be my turn to be recognized, but with each passing day, the unworthiness of my position seeped into my skin poisoning my mind.  Head to the floor, hoping to keep my sanity as my eccentric nature and the raw edges my personality were forged into something more suitable for their liking.  Stones in their path to step on.  I had become afraid of who I was, hiding so that even now the thought of someone knowing me in entirety terrifies me.  Things I had difficulties with, became amplified to represent who I was. My worth became what weaknesses were, and I could tell in eyes of my peers, it wasn’t much. I even believed what my teachers were showing us about where my position in life was. Reinforced over and over again, the chances to defend myself or grow was an endless struggle through the packed dirt of a beaten path.  I can tell you, that being in the same class with exactly the same people for years at a time only works for those people who are liked and are popular.  Never being able to change the image people had of me. Feeling like I was worth nothing, these things it ate away at me until there was nothing left. Learning to keep my head down so I wouldn’t have to suffer as much. My fear of oblivion  began to arise as I realized I was to be passed over and forgotten. In my heart, I felt my destiny was to become nothing, achieve nothing and slip out of the minds of those around me like a passing fad. All I wanted was someone to tell me that I would become something, that I was worth something… but that person never came.

I turned inward, finding solace in video games and anime, where meaning could be given and derived from the characters within.  Healing and new purpose began to arise, watching and reading diligently for the first time in my life. Heroes arose and showed me a different way of looking at things and as I entered high school I was given room to grow. To these characters I am eternally grateful, without them I would be still lost. Though never really being popular with teachers, I was at least acknowledged by my peers for knowing something, I was finally able to believe that I may have a chance in this world.  Building what I had hoped to be a world of stone for the tower to the heavens. Even now, I keep building without knowing where my plans will lead me. It is surprising to me as what I have become, an unraveling of myself that finally had room to see the light of day and grow.

I still have trouble feeling worthwhile, never asking for help because some part of me thinks I am not worth it. I am afraid that I am lost, not going to amount to anything and all of this wanting and moving towards that goal will be for naught. I can’t help but build and build this Tower of Babel, hoping to make it to the heavens. My goals are not without purpose. Wanting create give the world something more, something that will improve the lives of others. I want to relay the message that people can be worth something, and that the anyone one can achieve anything. I still stand by the statement I am not anyone special, but in that means, when I do achieve something, so can anyone else.  It is the same thing idea my boy scout troupe would say to me at the end of the night to get us to clean up (way back in the day before I left the boy scouts).  Leave a place better than I found it.  Slowly building creating the world bigger and better that before. I know it’s silly sometimes but I hope to create a lasting change that will fill this heart afraid of oblivion. I don’t know what fate has in store for me, but I can’t keep still and hope that something happens.  Do I fight against the fate that people have shown me, or do I set down my sails and travel into the unknown hoping to arrive someplace new?

I don’t know where I will be or what is in store, but this obsession with becoming something of worth will, at least, keep me moving forward.  I have hope, that I can, that I will, and that someday I will reach the heavens so I can reach down and help others to reach upwards too.

 

 

Advertisements

Recent Quiet Reflections

I have changed a lot in my life, to the point when looking back at a photos more recent friends comment about how I don’t look like the same person in the photos. Change has been important to me and its a continual struggle towards progress.

Moving towards goals in my life has led me to fill my time with great things. Friends, family, work and Dungeons and Dragons. I haven’t as much time to sit and reflect on the things in my life, and the things that are obvious problems in my life are taking a back seat to the progress I am making forward. This is both good and bad, good that the silent battles in my mind become less strenuous and easier to handle but bad because like my work is not done, the work ironically will never really be done.

It feels as if I am in the waiting room, hoping that my name gets called and greatness will happen, knowing full well there are only a set amount of tickets to the goes down in history show. In the next couple of months, I will have to make a decision about how I want to proceed with the next couple of year my life, what path I hope to choose or which path I will have open to me. I know it’s the calm before another storm, hopefully, next time I will know what to do when the water and winds come.

I just wanted to take this short post to thank you for those who have been reading and by no means am I going to stop. Things will change in what I write about, but I hope to keep pushing myself to write.

Absolution

Unlike most of these posts, this one has been one I have been meaning to write a while, but I hadn’t come to a resolution about it until recently. I also have been debating how much I should divulge through these posts. I want to push myself to open up more and do what I can to live transparently.

The power is in the pardon, is what my dad was telling me for weeks as I waited for my car to arrive. About three weeks after I had signed all the paperwork for it, I finally received my car. Now, for me there was no issue, I knew that there was no ill intent behind my car not arriving, and forgiving the dealership was easy. The problem is, those words stuck with me. Resounding and reverberating in my head, I wasn’t really prepared for what they would soon mean to me.

I really don’t enjoy being angry. Fortunately, I was born with patience and a long fuse. Even when I get angry, I am quick to come down from it. I even learned a Buddha quote for the occasion  “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

It was weird then over the last couple of months had this growing fire ignite inside me. These sporadic situations, making me scorch internally. A hot intensity that I knew had dredged up history along with it. I found myself burning for things that I thought I had moved past.

Now my frustrations were founded on the external things happening.  My life has been taking unexpected detours that have been throwing me off. I could not have possibly seen where things would have been going six months ago. With breaking up with my girlfriend after a couple months of hardship and tumultuousness. Being angry with how the world didn’t change fast enough after I graduated. Being frustrated with work and my new accommodations.  That is where the first ring came though, forgiving all that was and all that had happened. My heart had felt lighter and felt like I right side of things for the first time in a while.

Then came to what I thought was the largest piece of this pissed off puzzle. My past that the anger has simply decided to dredge up when I was perfectly content to leave it where it was.  All the bad things that happened to me and all the mistreatments I had overcome over the years started to burn like an ache in my side.  Being in close proximity with family and the way family works brings out the things long forgotten. How could these have come back to hurt me, I thought I had taken care of the wound long ago. But again, the ring came and I forgave it, moving forward as to what I can do with the future instead of rehashing the past.

Then came the mystery guest, someone who I didn’t know was playing this game. This one was by far the hardest because I had to forgive myself. I am hard on myself, harder on myself than anyone else.  For me, it’s easy to forgive others, but when I look myself in the mirror, I know have to live with the decisions I have made. The small things that eat away at me. Things like, how can I have let myself fall so far, if I was only stronger maybe things would have turned out differently. How could I not be angry, how was I suppose to forgive the single entity that can really be held responsible.  I have to let go, not hold onto the burning coal.  I have forgiven myself for all the failures and shortcomings. I certainly know others are not perfect, so why do I expect myself to not make mistakes. The final ring came, and I forgave myself.

Over the last couple of months, I realized I say sorry too much for who I am and what I do. Then after reading and contemplating it a solution, what I realized I always really meant is to say Thank You. Thank You for being there, thank you all for allowing me to be me around you. Thank You all for being patient and all the memories and Thank You for letting me learn from my mistakes.

Thank You.

 

When Did I Become A Weaver?

With all things in my life, they start with a story, a time, a place, and a situation. This story starts when I was younger.  Whenever I had gotten in trouble, which I found myself a lot, my father would always push me into giving him an answer as to why I had done something against what he said and at the time, like most children my answer was “I don’t know”.  This didn’t sit well with my father, he continued to prod me until I looked deep down within myself for the reason, never taking my excuses as an answer.  Trust me when I say that when you get into trouble a lot, and you have to go through this process a lot, you end up good at introspection. An unlikely side effect of trying to get me to listen to the rules. Needless to say, it’s played a large part in how I operate in my life, thinking over and over as to my motivations of things.

The story doesn’t stop there when I was leaving Glendale Community College I had one of my professors call me into his office. He told me that I had a lot of potential. Then the next thing he told me was that it wasn’t a compliment. He being a huge sports fan used Kobe Bryant as an example. He told me that no one talked about Kobe’s potential because he lives up to it, and he asked me if I wanted to grow up to be known as the guy who had a lot of potential or someone who lived up to it. Needless to say, I took that to heart.

Now the reason I rehash all these memories. I realized today that I am a descendant of weavers. Not one who weaves fabric but one who weaves stories.  I have been taught to weave stories through going to school, taught to create stories for myself and others.  Its easy to remember the ones I have weaved for others, be them true or false. What I have spent some time doing is finding the stories I have weaved for myself with the help of others. Stories about what I can and can’t do.  Stories about where I should be, and that it’s okay to only try a little. Stories about what I should accept for myself and others. Each story I have weaved has clouded my vision until all I can see is the world that I have stitched together.  With this warm world, I have created, I have lost the passion for the simple things in life, becoming bored and static in this beautiful ever-changing world. I ask myself why, why am I doing this and what can I do about it.

So I reject this answer for myself, I will not simply become complacent with the reality I have weaved.  I have become too comfortable with it, and part of improving is seeing the world with my own eyes instead of this quilted reality I am coated in.  Stories weaved can become a blanket to keep warm in this sometimes cold world, but by no means were they meant to hold me down. I want to break the strings that I have bound myself with. Tear down these stories I have weaved because even though they may keep me in a safe and comfortable place, they also keep me stagnant.  I want to learn to tilt, put my everything into what I do. I want to become the person who takes action, the seeker of answers and adventure, and someone who can live proudly for all that I do.

I know it will be hard and painful, and I will not always succeed but just like exercising I will have to go through more hardship and pain before I can improve. Blood, sweat, tears will be a plenty, but I will be able to look at myself in the mirror and say that I am living up to all I can do and weaving stories as memories instead of excuses.

I want to end with two of my favorite quotes that keep me going.

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

-Albert Einstein

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

-Mahatma Gandhi

 

Cloud Running

I found myself watching clouds today, seeing shapes and stories within its wisps. I know what a cloud is, but knowing that doesn’t give me half the story. What I want is the truth. A cold hard truth, unwavering. For me, it has a weight to it, a value that I very much enjoy. No confusion, no sway, and certainly no illusions. There has always been a comfort in it, especially when in my life the ground felt like sand beneath my feet, I could turn to these small truths and know at least these things are consistent.

It probably is what propels forward, finding out these truths. It’s ironic though that my passion extends to a science where 95% confidence is more than enough and the phrase “it depends” is a legitimate answer to a question.  People are at best, a hard thing to pin down.

I realized that my truths don’t extend that far, that they are a veil in which I decide to see the world. One with consistency and one with a particular perspective tied to it (though these facts do have substance in them, generations of people crafting and discovering the way the world works).  It gives weight to my perspective and allows me to sleep well at night.

The problem is that my truth is not the only truth out there. My way of seeing things is not the only way to view them.  How am I supposed to prepare myself for multiple right answers if all I have been taught from the start is to only choose one?   Over the course of the last couple weeks, I have had to come to face to face with an issue that I felt like I least understood a little. Picking up the pieces, the clues that were left behind only to find that I have a bigger mystery on my hands than I thought.

In life, I wish I had a non-invasive observer to play back the events in my life to tell me how really went down, not this one that was coded and colored in emotion. A simple way to read back the transcripts and let me know what happened, instead of having to search, and reach a closure on a precept that isn’t true, only to have to do it all again when I find out something new.

But it is like cloud watching at the end of the day, there is no right answer for life, just the most right I can try and be for me. I just have to be open to change, and do the best I can as truth be told clouds can cast a shadow on my day, or other be an endless playground for run and play. I just have to decide what they will be for me.