A Dampened Expression

This happens every time! Something good happens, and I should be jumping for joy and be screaming to the heavens, but nothing moves within me.  It were much colder and calculated wondering about the next step to take. It’s infuriating!
Not to mention the slight overhang of matters of emotion and the hearts that seems to overhang like an overcast day, why won’t you at least let the sun in for peak of how bright the future might be.

I find this whole emotional state to be incredibly bothersome and a bit of an annoyance. My body is tired along with my eyes and yet with the mere mention of what should make me happy I feel nothing. Maybe it will hit me later when I least expect it, but intuition is telling me to wait for the clouds to pass, for the wind to come and blow them out of my otherwise bright sky and then finally I will be happy with the ray touching my face.

Maybe a good nights sleep will do it, free me of this mood, free me from feeling as happy as everyone seems to think I should be.  Allow me to be excited.  My heart controls when I get excited, unfortunately, and it will only move when it wants to. So for now, I wait to see if it will move for me or perhaps someone else.  Either way, it doesn’t change the amount of work I need to do, I will keep at because I am finally starting to hear the winds of change.

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The World In The Life Of A Guy: Part 3 – The Cost Of Connection

Back at the end of high school, I remember how beautiful the day was when I asked a girl to be my girlfriend for the first time.  The rosy moment was dampened when I was informed that some of her friends had thought I was gay.  I laugh about it now, because of its ridiculousness but it highlights a whole can of issues about being a guy.

You have to understand, I grew up surrounded by women, let me tell you, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.  I remember coming home from school on a regular basis to Pride and Prejudice playing on the tv.  It was my sister’s favorite movie at the time, and she played it every day.  Now whether she watched it or not is an entirely different story, but it was always playing.  She would get mad at me if I turned it off or changed the channel, so I ended up learning to enjoy it.  Though it makes for a great story, it doesn’t actually work toward my “man points” when I can name all the major characters from all the Jane Austin movies and quote some of the lines. I have stories and anecdotes all throughout my life like this, ones that without context make me sound very strange or somewhat effeminate.  I have struggled with that balance, at times hiding these things that I might be part of my past or who I am just because it doesn’t make me out to be a tough guy.

With that, there is a lot of pressure to forgo things that are seen as girly, a lot of pressure to act tough and harden your skin.  As a guy, you’re supposed to take it, shoulder it, carry it, deal with it. That’s what you grow up with, pressure to stay strong and stern.  It shows in our relationships, girl talk about their feelings, how they’re doing, and confide in one another.  Guys, at least in my experience, don’t talk much about feelings and emotions, and there’s a struggle to finally divulge information to one another. There are many things are left unsaid, hell, my father and I don’t even end phone conversations with I love you (I know he does so that’s not a problem).  The point is there is a barrier to connecting with one another on that level. It permeates our activities and even if something crosses that line if both people aren’t willing the event will leave a hole in the friendship. It’s seen as strange to act that way and only when special times arise are you actually allowed to connect on that level.

I just remember watching the show Scrubs back in the day and relating a lot to the main character JD.  He was a bit more effeminate and was treated as such because he was in touch with his feeling and acted with some “girly” mannerisms. The thing I liked about him is that he was unabashed at showing that part of himself, unafraid of going in for a hug, talking to people about what they meant to him. Sure some of his likes weren’t really tough or strong, but that didn’t really matter, he was who was he was.  It was a very different type of strength that he showed, a strength of character.

The point being that we’re not all wood working, car fixing, super outdoorsman like Ron Swanson, nor should we be.  Just because I know how to cook and at somepoint want to be completely and incandecently happy with someone doesn’t make me strange or gay it just makes me different.  There are things I do like fix electronics,  and being handy around a house that would be considered much more manly but what I find is that these labeles we give things only get in the way of us being who we want to be and limiting outselves.

After many years being this way I’ve come to accept these differences in perception of who I should be and am okay with how I am.  I just hope that these labels and pressures don’t drive people to the edge and that that people know its okay like both westerns and flowers but what do I know, I’m “just a guy”.

Night Tour

There is something night, the calm coalescing of the late hours that extend seemingly forever.  It’s in the stories of great thinkers and artists, in the modern fairy tales of entrepreneurs and innovators. It’s a symbol of both frustration and hard work. The image of a team sitting around a table tired and overworked, squeezing out ever last drop of thought in hope it brings some sort or revelation has a kind of romantic twinge to it. The lonely soul walking the empty byways illuminated with the amber streetlamps and neon signs searching for some sort of solace has a sweetness to it. Truth be told, passion is just not as dramatic at 8 am.

I find myself wandering the night more regularly now, be it in my mind or in my car.  The night allows me to wander in a sort of anonymity.  The constraints I would have around my thoughts weaken, the tasks I had to do are all but done. So it then falls to me to let my mind saunter into the imaginary, to blur the lines of what is acceptable. There is something about the state of mind, that is so tired that it decides to focus solely on the one thing before you.
The unfolding nature of night strips away these waking selves which we so carefully prune  ], it allows us to interact with these quiet mental forces that would normally never have a voice. All the thoughts unfolding and opening into a much larger scope and view. All the questions and discussions that happen after a certain time of night, without fear of reprocussions. In thought, we find purpose, we find motivated frustration, a swell of emotion, a connection and destruction of relationships, and a time for truth from within and without.   When driving down those dark roads, the world becomes tangable metaphore for life. Seeming endless roads with hundreds of avenues to travel down but can only happen one at a time, much like our choices.  There is an ease to it, no expectation of making the right choice, and when you find youself face to face with a dead end, you just turn around and start again.

When I find myself behind the wheel there is a sort of serenity to it.  Seeing the city lights pass me by, the neon signs lit up into the night even after the stores and buisnesses have all been closed. The people walking about, all trying to get somewhere but taking their own time to do it.  We can observe the autonomy that continues to exist in the night without anyone around.  The way the lights sometime change for no one. There are endless reason to escape into the night every once in a while to free yourself.
I am fortunate enough to live in a city driving is a way of life, so I learned to enjoy the countless hours I may have spent behind the wheel going somewhere I don’t know yet.

Sometimes we need these moments, these moments when all things deconstruct and we are left facing ourselves. The moments where we can let off the burdens and find a sense of peace. The moments where two people can really connect and go beyond the facade of our lives. The night isn’t a miracle cure but it’s something that ushers in the new dawn and another chance in the form of a new day.  Perhaps all you need to change is a night tour.

Limit of Words

I find myself in a situation where words don’t seem to be enough. The sentences that I have strung are a falling short.  What more can I do, this text is my specialty, the expression of emotion and feeling, and yet it’s stopped short by the stream of consciousness. Broken apart by simple things like time and situation. I’m a conversationalist and yet if I can’t talk then how will I get my point across.

Is there some other way, some way beyond my skillset to demonstrate the feelings and ideas.  Is this how a modern dancer feels when trying to invoke emotion from an audience who is uninterested.  Can I detail out all the way the heart can pour onto a page and be heard? It’s this almost disconnectedness from the words that tells me that I need to double down. The author’s experience of bringing reality to the reader, drawing them into the world in which they have never been, making people feel like the text on a page is little more than a portal to a new universe.  How do I draw people in, how do I so express myself that people want to read? These are words to be heard, these are expressions that I want to be felt.

I can paint a picture with words the smell as sweet as spring. I can pull my heart out of my chest and place down on a page and yet there is such a limitation to it.  There must be an another way to reach you, and maybe it’s just a challenge to do so.

An Ode to A Room

Of all the religious beliefs out there in the world, the one I have always resonated with (aside from the religion I belong to) is animism.  Animism is the belief is that all things from animals and plants to rocks, rivers, and words have some a life and spirit to them.  There is an agency to them, an intentionality of their existence and that they all have their own wants and desires.  It is considered of the oldest types of religion, and that most other forms of religion stemmed from this idea.
For me, this is a familiar feeling. Much to the chagrin of my mother, I tend to hold on to things.  Once a memory is attached to a certain item, then it feels as if part of my very soul is connected with it. You might say, that’s just because you are a sentimentalist. I can’t argue with that, but for me, I have always wondered if everyday objects have wants and desires.  If when using them for their creates purpose they are delighted and fulfilled, and when they are left to sit unused they feel dejected and alone.
All this personification aside, objects within our lives that have traveled with us take on a particular personalization.  Like well-worn clothes, they seem to fit the curves and angles just right, or a pen starts to feel familiar in your hand.  Now I want to tell you a story about one of these objects, one I’ve been with longer than most things in my life.

When I was told that I would finally have my own room, I was ecstatic. Finally, I wouldn’t have to share a room with my sister (at least not all the time).  My five-year-old self didn’t understand the concept of privacy or the later significance of four walls to call your own would be, I only knew I wanted one.  I was taken to my new room, a small multipurpose floor with sliding glass door to the outside, and an even smaller closet. At the time, I was the one who took up the least amount of space it made sense I would get the most modest space (that logic didn’t persist when I became bigger than both my mother and sister). I remembered being terrified of my room in the beginning. There were 4 doors in it and all of them held the boogieman.

Eventually, the glass door became nothing more than a window, my bed became larger along with my clothes.  The fears of childhood left me, and I went from playing with blocks and legos on the floor to watching movies and reading on my bed.  Being someone who spent a lot of time at home, my room was the most familiar place to me in the entire house.  It became a sanctuary, a refuge for my the long nights and growing pains I experienced.  It became a place to hide away when talking to other people was simply out of the question.  It was my fortress of solitude where I could have any thoughts I wanted and not be judged. It was a consistency in my life, and the only time I would be separated from it was when my family would visit, and I would have to relinquish my room to my grandmother.
My room continued to evolve with time, filling with trinkets, nicknacks, and pieces of my life I thought were important at the time.  My small room began to fill with memories I created, mixing the old and the new to make up who I was. In a way, it was a reflection of growth and proof of existence.  Furniture came and went, it moved to different settings, feelings, and configurations but never grew to beyond the scope of those four walls. The room never changed in size or color but at times felt entirely new and different. It’s all I could ask for, and it made me happy.

By the time I entered college, I had started to feel the limitations bearing down on me.  My spirit wanted more, and I was growing up and wanted to get a space without all the rules of home. I got my opportunity came when I went off to school.  Only when I would come back to visit would it see me again.
My mother used the space as a spare bedroom for anyone who needed a place to stay in the meantime. It was then my room became stagnant, that it stopped growing with me and became a reflection of who I was before I left. This why after to years of growth and change we were thrust together again.  It became flooded with new memories, and a new desire for it all at once and I was thrown back into my life before I left.  I had finally realized what it was to grow beyond the 4 walls and now the space had felt like a prison. It confined me to the person who I was before I left, I know it didn’t do it on purpose, and it meant well, but the box was already open.
The room offered me a home, as it always had. Even through all the hardship, it was the familiar place to go back to at the end of the day. I learned all those hard lessons within its embrace, it sheltered me those dark sleepless nights.

When my mom told me I needed to look to moving out, I knew that my time in my room was over.  Over the course of many months, I started to dismantle what my room was, piece by piece.  Took the pictures off the wall, removed the items from my top shelf, emptied out my closet and bookshelf.  I slowly began to see the white walls again, and the feeling that it was slowly becoming less of my room began to set in.  At the end, all I had left was my mattress on the floor and empty bookshelf, and now even that is gone. All there is left is the memory, the marks on the wall, the patches in the paint, the stairs that lead to nowhere, the small marks and indent on the floor from my furniture.  These are all memories etched into this room’s surface.The physical manifestation of time passing and lives being lived. I’ve had this room just short of 20 years and it is marked by our time together.
Eventually, when some else lives there, will they understand the dents in the wall, the scratches on the floor, the life I had in this room? To anyone else, these are just imperfections to be fixed, like how someone sees another person’s scars.
I am happy to have spent all this time in this room, and now that I am leaving it’s only fitting at taking a second to pause about the experiences one room can hold.
This room will probably not miss me as I miss it. I wanted to send my words out into the ether, hope in some strange way that it understand that I loved it and I  couldn’t forget it even if I tried. Thank you for giving me 4 walls, a floor that I could spend so much of my life in. Seeing you empty even now feels so strange, but I hope that whatever you become next is filled with as much happiness, love, and memory that my stay there did.

Thank you for all the years, goodbye and good luck.

A Sound Dissonance

There I was, sitting in my car parked in the mud, fog all around and the thick beams of light dashing by as the road was illuminated for only a moment then dark again.  I had hoped to come to some sort of resolution sitting there, away from it all but I couldn’t concentrate.  I tried writing, but everything I wrote sounded like a shallow drop into the bottomless bucket. I felt so off inside, and I didn’t know if anything I did would make me feel any different. I was desperate, and I continually thought “I can’t live like this, this can’t be my life, I have to change.” It was then that the tears began to flow, and I could finally hear my heart once again.

I’ve spent much time on the edge, the brink of my personal existence and for a while, there was a disconnect, a dissonance, between where to be logically and where my heart and soul wanted me to be. This dissonance, which I can only describe as what it would feel like to be a 3D movie without the special glasses.  It just feels wrong, nothing is in the right place but so close to where things should be that it’s hard to tell where things should actually be.  It was brought about but the lack of self that I have so neglectfully not infused into my action. I have only done, but never acted on my own accord.

This began because I have spent so much time trying to learn how to follow the right path that I have ignored the path I was meant for. It’s only now that I realize that the ways of other people only go so far. My desire for a good life obscured my true self behind the good intentions of others. This is not to say life will not be easier if we follow the solid advice of others, but there is a type of medicinal quality to making decisions for yourself. A genius is least likely to understand the steps and process it takes to get to an answer.  The answer simply makes sense to them, then as to people who have come across the answer and have lost connection to what it took to arrive at this solution, the answer just is.  So in following the solid but seemingly unsubstantiated advice, it ends with action that is has a sense of emptiness behind it.  A life that is lived solely on the suggestion and path of others will allow you to avoid troubles, but it also removes you from what it is to be a person.
This is in no way to say that advice should not be heeded, it’s merely to remark that in every piece of advice that we take, we must infuse a sense of our own essence into action. Do this or it will feel as if you are are not actually living life, and you will lose the passion and the path.
Now for me, it is to find learning through listening but also doing for myself. I am the only one who can live my life, and if I am emulating other people then how will I really get anything done.  It’s the conscious effort towards what our hearts want and our minds dream of that we can in some way feel fulfilled as ourselves.  It’s that friction of living a life untrue to ourselves that weighs and bears upon our soul.  We find that sometimes we cage ourselves in the institution that will ultimately lead us to success in a material sense but ultimately starves the soul.  If we live a life that doesn’t belong to us, we are in some way doing a disservice to ourselves.  I know if I were to walk through a life that had no passion or no promise of future would feel like dying continuously until all that would be left is hollow.
At this point, I have no more excuses, I have expended them all. All they are now is a way to avoid life and be okay with it.  I have to stop and listen to myself and with the aid and advice of others step forward into a new dawn.

That night I spoke to my heart, we had it out, I began yelling at it, and it started screaming back. It was all to keen to expose what I had pushed away, what I had been ignoring. It told me about all my worries and my fears. We argued my excuses, wounds, and shortfalls.  As time went on, and the conversation deepened, I felt like I was finally letting go.  Letting go of the reins that I had held on to for so long up to this point. Letting go of all the troubles I had been dragging along with me. My heart could not be with me because I had filled myself with debris.  I finally to broke the fast that I had unknowingly put my heart through.
When my tears dried, I felt one with my heart, as if it was right there back within my chest. I felt like I was where I was supposed to belong. Like how a small child out exploring hardly ever feels lost, instead a feels a sense adventure, the world once again felt like the grand adventure I knew it to be.

We can’t avoid making mistakes, and traversing familiar lessons but thats part of being alive, we just do the best we can out there. I understand the a great fortune to be talking about the ability to choose and the pusuit of dreams.  At the end of the day, I can only speak to what my heart tells me “Follow your dreams or die”. It really is just as unreasonable as I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A Train of Thought

I spend all this time writing and thinking
truth be told
Sometimes I want to remain silent and listen
But my mouth gets in the way
how will I ever learn if I am the only one speaking
It’s a habit I mean to break
Maybe I should just decide.
That seems to work well
can I just decide to be different
is it really that easy
Will the unrelenting force of nature and habit quiet them just based on a decision
I don’t want to be a half measure
but am I really able to make myself immune to the coming tide but saying I will not be affected
that seems naive
but maybe that’s what I need
to be naive
to lack that understanding and go full force
to go beyond who I am and just let the world happen
to become exactly what I want by choosing to be that way
maybe that’s what separates people from being great and grand
that we wallow and can’t just choose
I want to be great
so I must choose
to be great
and to do
great
things.

It would be easy to leave it up to the future
to let my future self
make the choice
but will they really?
because they are me and if I am unwilling doesn’t that mean
they will be too
maybe that’s the secret
be the future self you are always looking towards to get stuff done.
If I put it that way
it almost seems like I am a hero
the hero I always needed
be the man you always wanted to be
by doing the things you’ve always wanted to do

I hope I don’t lose this lesson
I hope that I can hang onto it
but even if I do
if I found this place once
it will always be easier to find this place again
there is always hope.