That Warm Feeling

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I was recently listening to a story on a podcast about two people falling in love.  It pulled at the heartstrings of mine and even though I don’t like to admit it, it actually made me crave that loving feeling in my life again. Almost as if it was a chink in the armor that I wasn’t aware of, or at least I was ignoring.  It made me feel like if I had a romantic relationship around again, it really wouldn’t be so bad. That I wanted it, that’s how compelling the story was,  it made me feel like love is something I needed because at least from what I heard, it can make you feel like anything before that was not a really the height of the feelings.  My memories tell me that the heights achieved when love is in the air are almost exclusively reserved for love and high achievement.  Now I was thinking, may I need love to make me feel whole.

I know that’s not a right way to think, but I got lost in the habit of doing so anyway.  I learned the lesson on this a long time ago when my good friends (now my ex) laid it out for me. You can’t get into a relationship if you feel like it’s what you need to fulfill you.  If you are doing this because you find some part of your life lacking, then it’s probably not a good reason to.  Relationships should be a complementary influence, not a supplementary one.  If the relationship only fills a particular void or is the missing piece make yourself feel whole then your really only creating one thing, but if you had two whole people, people who may have their problems but are at least working towards fixing them, then you might actually create something more than what you started with.
I’ve honestly taken those word to heart in more ways than one and even though it’s an important lesson it does come with a bittersweet price tag of remembering the one who gave me the advice in the first place.

With each love high comes a love low and with it creates a situation where two wholes might deteriorate into halves.  When you try to multiply anything by a fraction, you get less than before, which is not okay for anyone.  That’s the price of admission to this love game, that if your team isn’t working together or if someone gets hurt you will lose your ability to play as well as you used to.

Anyways, the story continued as the realization of love came much before the confession of it.  I think that was the part of the story that intrigued me the most.  That their love began to grow well before they thought they were able to express it to one another. That each one in their own way was inching closer to that point where their heart couldn’t stand it but they would take small consolations through it all. Small battles as their friendship formed.  I don’t know why that sounds so appealing.  I understand that in this situation you feel like a supernova ready to explode inside of you at all times. The immense weight of it all bearing down on you as you hope and pray for the opportunity to speak but hold off so that you can maintain the peace.

It’s obvious where their story went, the final confession followed by many years of happiness. You usually don’t hear about the alternative, but at least this one gives me hope. The reason behind why these two worked out and that the time they spent forming this relationship outside the confines of romance probably made this work for them.  Who knows really what works, I don’t really think anyone knows with absolute certainty.   Each person needs and wants something different. I can say it is beautiful in that way.

All and all, I’m not looking, I have enough on my plate that I can barely take care of myself let alone a relationship. I’m also not the kind of guy who does this whole relationship thing half-assed. What I do say though is that I’m okay with life taking its own way, I’m not in any rush, and there really is no reason to be.

Stupid Thoughts

I have a bleeding yearning
A picturesque promise of pain
My heart bounds at the notion
That makes me feel all but lame

The stench of love wafts by me
In now the season of death
When our impulse should be to find shelter
And try to eliminate threats

What timing do I have
That these feelings start to well
With no home to anchor
And no way to quell
So they feel like they want to fester
To grow fat in the absence of purpose
It is dangerous
For feelings that were spurned without purpose
Look for a place to attach
Then it is love without meaning
Like a well in a swamp

I hope that in my troubles
That I am able to let this feeling pass
To move towards a future without sorrow
Or chance of relapse

I want to change but to change requires discipline
Discipline to say not to what pains me
To think, measure, and act
I want to strike this balance within me
And not worry about what I may lack

I hope I am busy tomorrow and the next
I hope that I will be stressed
That way when I come across it tomorrow
I don’t have time for it even on my breath 

my breath

Help And Aid All Day

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A world made up of heroes and villains, a world of fantasy that over lays itself on our own.  People far and wide look up to heroes and want to be like them. I think the world loves its heroes not because of the flashy way they go about their lives but the idea that someone of an almost mythical quality can come an take you away from the problems you have.  I’ve always wanted to be a hero in someway, someone who can save people, change their lived in an instant, and inspire other to carry on doing great things.  Its not exactly that straight forward though, it doesn’t just happen in a moment.

I just want to help others, lessen as much of their suffering as much as I can, but it doesn’t always work out the way I want.  I can’t save everyone on my own, but does that mean I should stop trying. Never. It’s a matter of understanding what I can and can’t do at the moment. The limitations that I have, and what powers I can use to lessen a problem not create new ones.

Situations may arise where it turns out I am simply not the right person to help, that in no small way am I the hero in their story, not the right person to be telling people advice or helping them along the way.  That there is someone more meaningful or impactful that in their heart of hearts they hope they see. Do I keep at it then, it’s a bit of a slog over time. Perhaps I should help find the person that would be most impactful for them, being an intermediary hero. Maybe I need to maximize my impact by excelling in my own way so that people can look up to me, perhaps they will listen then. Then maybe I can become this right person to help them along the way.

There is also the saying of “healthy neglect” the idea that people in some way have to struggle on their own through situations so they can learn the lessons and get stronger.  I have a hard time with this because I see somebody struggling and my first instinct is to extend my hand in aid.

Furthermore, I hate that the world has its own plans.  It’s the hard part about psychology, even if you know the problem and answer, it doesn’t mean it will happen or that you can do anything about it.  Each person had to make their own choices because they are the ones who have to deal with the feeling afterward.   Each step they take they have to take on their own.

Who really knows though, I will keep fighting because that is who I am.  I might get saddened by peoples sadness, hope to god that I can just make their life better even if it’s not by much. To create that positive impact that follows you like a trail blazed through a forest.

Chasing Dreams Before They Die

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I think all of us deep down inside have a part of ourselves that calls out to us, calls out to follow down the path we have honestly hoped we were destined for.  A part of ourselves that leaves us deeply unsettled by the continued nature of reality that doesn’t align itself with where our heart truly lies.

I constantly wonder, does the path we travel down require us to sacrifice part of our soul to keep afloat or is it a test to see if we are willing to devote ourselves to our dreams properly.  I regularly ask the question whether I am sacrificing enough or is there more I can give.  Can we strip ourselves down to such a fundamental level that we can devote ourselves so singularly to a cause that it becomes apparent that we no longer are a person but the living manifestation to a singular purpose or ideology?

I find that within these thoughts, in some way contains greatness.  It is the ability to focus on the one thing in front of you that it becomes your entire being for the time being that you exist within it focus until you have accomplished whatever you initially set out to do.  

That’s what I need, that laser focus, something I have never really fostered through my life. Instead, I let my mind wander endlessly from place to place stringing thoughts together like party decorations.  Though I might get to the destination, and it might bring me from place to place by the time I get there I will have all but run out of string.  It’s about using what I have wisely. Picking and choosing all that I do so that at the end of it all I have something that I can look back to and say I have built.

I am though greedy, I want to experience everything so choosing one seems almost unfathomable even though in my heart I know it’s not enough. Variety may be the spice of life, but I can’t sustain myself on spices alone, I need substance.  Where to cut and prune is the question, what to give up and slough off the tree of life so the branches can grow tall instead of being forced down by the weight of barren tree that never go anywhere.

Aside from that, I think what we spend most of our time on actually dictates how we feel.  In that, for us, it becomes then our jobs, a place where we spend most of our days that rule over our existence.  It has the greatest effect and even though in some ways we take every opportunity to spend the time we are freed from our time at work decompressing. In those moments we end up not really ever doing anything at all.

So it is up to us to make the life we want, the life we will sustain.  Our life is what we do and accept having done to us.  My biggest fear is becoming used to these feelings of my soul asking me to change and never doing anything about them. Slowly letting my dream die and dying along with them. Living a life that will never really feel satisfying because in the back of my mind I know that there could have been something more for me to do.  I want to chase the dream, but maybe it would be better to also be reminded that it can die and with it so would my soul.

Live life, and if your not, change it.  In the same way that the world will keep spinning if you are not around, we have no excuse not to at least try to make something new.

Stress bubble

It sits there in my throat
Moving back and forth between my chest and my head
An overwhelming rush of feeling
One that yells “RUN” at me
It throws jitters through my body
Makes my eyes water as if wanting to cry
This overwhelming feeling makes it seem like I am being crushed

I want to hide,
Get away from this stress that I feel
I could end it all
Stop the stress, but stopping doing things in my life
But that’s not how it works
I can’t be active and involved
Without the stress
Change will come eventually
And it’s best to face it rather than hiding from it.
I used to eat through my feelings
I used to throw myself into my hobbies
My games
I used to throw myself into my relationships
all of these things to rid myself of these horrible feelings
but I can’t do it anymore
I have to live with them
Fight through them

For now, I swallow the knot in my throat
Wait for the feeling to pass
Stop feeding the flame
And work toward the future.

I just don’t know when the stress bubble will pop.

The World In The Life Of A Guy – Part 7: Fear and Freedom

IMG_0099.JPGThere is something I take for granted, this ability to move through the world without having to worry too much about how the world will react.  Using only a little bit of common sense, I can manage to not have to worry about much.  Strangers walking down the street, glancing eyes about what I may be wearing, an offhand comment, these things don’t skim my radar.  But for women, this is something they have to deal with every day.

I think the easiest distinction that can be made is with travel.  I was lucky enough to be able to backpack through Europe, going from hostel to hostel, train to train, and airport to airport.  All without having to really think about the possibilities of strangers doing anything to me.  I took the standard safety precautions of locking up my stuff, but in coming back in the middle of the night to my bunk in a shared hostel room, the thought never crossed my mind that something could happen to me.
Maybe I am lucky that things didn’t but in talking about my trip with several of my friends and touting how great and inexpensive hostels are all my female friends had the same consensus ” that simply would be too risky for them,” especially having gone alone like I had.

Now whether or not that is true is one thing, but it’s this general feeling of being paranoid about the world that is the problem.  It’s both taught to girls at a young age and substantiated by how people act as they get older.  In walking in unfamiliar places there is always some dangers, but I never have to be overly suspicious of peoples intentions, and I am more concerned with theft then I am harassment.

I’ve seen it happen too, the unwanted attention or a misread signal leads to women being harassed by men.  It’s crazy in some way how non-stop it really can be, and I don’t envy women for having to be on guard for danger so much.  It’s this crazy situation where the threats are so much greater because it’s not just your things or your life, its other atrocious acts like assault and rape that comes to their mind.  This is something people have to look out for in their day to day life, not even just when they are traveling or abroad.  That’s why groups are so important, and something like walking to your car in the middle of the night can be more of an endeavor than simply walking down the street.

But in the spirit of trying to explain a male perspective on things, I am going to steer the topic back.  Fear is something for a guy that is thought as something to be conquered.  We throw ourselves headfirst into situations where courage becomes the only currency.  I have an appreciation for the fact that I don’t feel in danger all the time, or that I am in a state where I feel like a target is regularly painted on my back.  I think in some ways, that’s why (not to get all white knight-y) we are called to defend. To lessen the fear of others by putting ourselves between the fear and the fearing.  Since we do not have to worry the world constantly, we can spend time helping others feels safe too.

Safety is something that comes from being able to walk down the street and not have to worry about the world trying to harm you, and I believe we all should try and work together to make the world a safe place for as many people as possible.

Linkin Park:​ Reanimated

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Originally there was going to be a different post here today but in light of the more recent events, I decided to postpone it to write about the recent tragedy of the death of Chester Bennington and the loss Linkin Park’s bandmate and singer.

You see, I’m sure like most of the people of my generation, Linkin Park’s music proliferated their childhood. Whether or not you were a fan, their notably different types of music stemming from many different genres made them unique and memorable. They continued to push the envelope and play the music that they wanted to play, even when there was a backlash from their fans.

My memory though stretches back to a Christmas where I received my first ever album for Christmas. It was a band that I really knew nothing about but would soon become intimately aware. My sistered received their first album ‘Hybrid Theory’ and I received their remix album ‘Reanimation’.  In putting it in the first time, it was my first taste of a   musical theme from an artist.  Up until then, most of the music I was aware of was either one of my parents or things I had heard off the radio.  Uploading it to my computer, I just remember playing the album over and over, discovering my taste for that type of music.

The music stuck with me, they were my favorite band for many years, taking me through the hardships of my youth, playing songs on loop until they felt part of my very soul. It was a type of music that I felt understood me. The different vibe it gave with rock, electronic, pop, and rap all squished together made me experience all sorts and different types of sound I didn’t know I liked hearing. I followed their albums and resonated with their songs. Watching for release dates and even downloading their app.

As I changed, so did they.  Their sound continued to evolve into a push into different avenues and for a while, I continued to follow. Eventually, our paths diverged, not out of dissatisfaction or distaste but the venturing into other avenues of music that they introduced me to. I no longer knew when their albums would drop, and I hadn’t listened to all of their songs anymore, and yeah that might make me not a very great fan anymore but I never saw their constantly changing sound as a bad thing. It is an exploration and evolution. Though it might not be what I want to listen to on repeat any more, it’s something I still respect.

With the death of Chester, is the death of part of their sound. I don’t know what the future holds for the rest of the band and I hope and pray for the best for his family.  I do know many people out there have experienced something similar to me in regards to their music. And with the help of their music, it helped save many peoples lives.

Linkin Park will always be my first favorite band, a band most of their albums I know by heart. They will be the band I first felt like understood me, the first one that pumped me up to start to change my life, the first one that helped me through rejection from a girl, the first one to make me feel less alone in the universe.  Their songs live in my memory and in my soul, etched there by many moments I spend listening to their sound.

I want to  Thank You Linkin Park, and Thank You, Chester, you changed my life for the better, I just wish I could have done for you the same. For now, with your death, it feels like that burning inside just got Reanimated.

Moving Through

I feel in this place
A sense of calm
As if I had been lost in the forest
Trying to find a way to get through
And bustling and blustering
And freaking out
But now I see the path
and I am moving to it
As if I am okay with where I am going
And how I am getting there
I just have to get to the path
And I’ll be home free

Lessons On Adulthood

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I think I finally understand what it means to be an adult.  It’s that feeling of not knowing what you are doing, but having to do it anyways. The strange thing is, is that regardless of the training you get, and how much you might prepare for it when you are emersed in the situation it always feels a bit different than what we are told. It’s a matter of then embracing that feeling and doing our best to resolve this situation.  I think that’s the difficulty sometimes, there is no guidance to follow, and when people tell you that they can’t be decided for you that’s because it’s true, how are you suppose to be able to tell someone to live if there are so many different paths to take.  I think that the lessons are how to cope with this abundant change and lack of guidance are the ones we need for the future.

There also comes a time when it feels like the curtain is being pulled back like the whole show is demystified right before your eyes. The magic seems less like magic and more like years of hard work. This isn’t a negative thing because it means that with a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of time, anything is possible. It has a way of trying to destroy the idea of magic in the world, which magic is that can make life a lot more worthwhile and enjoyable.  The other part of that is that at the time when you pull back the curtain you find this everything is built makeshift and in all sorts of different directions. No one really understands why it was made the way it was, but we keep doing it because it always been done that way.

Point being there is some sort of arbitrariness to being an adult. The question as to why something is the way it is a lot of the time comes down to what time and resources you had at the time.  This revelation is something that confuses me a bit because, on one hand, it lends itself to the incredible nature of human ingenuity to come up with ideas and workarounds for our most complex problems. On the contrary, though.. it gives some insight as to what most of our institutions may actually be, a set of good intentions and effort stacked on what we may think we know at the time.  At times decisions are driven by a purely utilitarian nature, something is done that way because it was easiest, or it was done because it conveys a sense of style or familiarity like when decisions are made because someone thought that way is best. As with our minds, we travel and create roads and inpaths to make things more robust, more secure but making our decisions less fluid in the process. We live upon the shoulders of giants, but we are also cursed to live by their decisions.

Being an adult takes a lot of work, a lot of effort to do it successfully.  Even through all its really absurd nature, it’s a challenge that either drives us to grow or defeats us.  As I grow up, I can see that I am learning and growing along the way.  Hopefully, the world doesn’t feel so arbitrary by the end of it all and that one day I can help the next generation grow and learn just like I am.

The End of Madness And The Return Of The Soul

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Here is the second part of the story, the story about the boy with the mask.

Once the summer ended, and his new arrangement secured he entered a strange place, a high school he never planned on.  He had gone from the familiar and  “safe” place for himself to place that acted in a notorious but mythical way.  It was a place that a symbol of all that could go wrong, all that had but this was also his chance to start himself anew. There was a problem, he was lost to who he was at the outset.  All that flooded to him was to act and to copy.  The mask knew that well, how to change his face and make it look like anything he wanted.  So he did, he copied his way through, empty as he could be but appearances are everything so he maintained those as much as he could. He was learning and growing in his own way, without his knowledge things were changing.

For a while, the void grew larger, and he felt emptier than before. The emptiness had started to tear apart his being.  He lost understanding, and motion became all he knew.  Going through the day correctly so no one would ask questions became his objective. Before long he had forgotten how it felt to feel that anguish that drove towards his current lifestyle. He started to forget sadness, happiness, anger, and that pain. It was just a void and him now, and he couldn’t care either way.

The boy eventually grew tired of tired of the emptiness. He looked around and wondered why everyone was so different. The boy wanted to know what it felt like to be like everyone else instead of just a passive observer.  He wanted to know what made people smile, laugh, and cry again. He wanted to feel real again, and not some sort of husk.
Through the motivation this new entrenched desire he made his play. He would take the time to change, take the time to fix this hole in his soul.  The only way he figured that he could remove the emptiness was to fill it with something. So inch by inch and day by day the boy rediscovered the emotions he had forgotten, to learn what it was to be the human he wanted to be.  He had to learn all these lessons all over again like a child, but he grew to understand them.  Happiness, sadness, love, and a sense adventure, with each one he had learned he grew stronger than before.  It may have taken the boy a lot of time, but eventually, he started to act on the feeling in his heart rather than the ideas in his head.

As the void began to fill, within his heart and soul and he started to feel human again. The boy filled his emptiness with the new life he had set for himself.  He filled it with memory, filled it with friends, love, and learning.  The boy became fascinated by what people do and learned to enjoy life. The wounds began to heal, and the scars began to form, but he learned to live with the scars and wear them proudly. He had survived and learned to thrive, escaped the hell of the void and made it out on top. He understood how easy it is to throw your emotions away because they hurt, but sometimes it’s just simpler to face them.  So the boy lived on, heart and soul hoping that through his tragedy, he would create something better and help others avoid the fate he had faced.

The reason I tell this story is that I realized it has been ten years since the start of those darker days and my first real struggle with depression.  I had it for about 2 years in total, before the cloud began to lift and I felt normal again, even then I felt its effects for many years. Now, I know that I can look forward to the future because of the boy with the mask and having learned how to retake control of my life.  Though it may have been hard, I know at the end of the day I am a stronger person because of it (not that anyone should experience that). I hope that this gives people hope in their own struggles out there, and to let them know that though darkness may fall, the dawn will eventually come.