Not Anymore

So I needed to watch a sexual assault awareness video to register for classes
It was called Not Anymore
A long interactive video that seemed to drag
This isn’t the first video I’ve had to watch of this type
It probably won’t be the last
Some of the antics are ridiculous
Some of the acting is crazy
But it makes me wonder
Will this help anyone
Will this stop an attack
I can’t help but to feel that most of the time
Assailants know what they are doing
They may not label it at the time
They may not refer to themselves as a rapist
Or a sexual predator
But there has to be something deep down that had already told them that it was wrong
That what they were doing is bad
But it keeps on happening

Maybe it’s an effect of people believing that they are the exception to the rule
Maybe it’s them being in denial
But I doubt most rapists think their rapists
So will this video help?

This video becomes clear toward the end
It’s not for them
It’s for us
The ones who know right from wrong
The ones who see it happening and decide to look away
The ones who don’t want to have that awkward conversation with a friend
It’s telling us to do something
To act
And potentially be the hero somebody needs
or
To stop this violent act from happening again

So perhaps the video shouldn’t be called Not Anymore
But Now More Than Ever

My Father’s Hands

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My hands are becoming like my father’s hands. I’ve been looking at them as I have aged and they have had these lines I always admired, the veins and creases have started to show up. There is a significant difference though, between us, his hands are worn and beaten from years of work.  They are darker and rougher than mine from all the years out in the sun.  I have watched his hands all my life, and sometimes wonder what it would take for my hands to become like his.

There was a lot to them, a complexity that they seemed to both be visible but invisible. A hidden modesty of hard work.  I remember, they were always big and in watching him type away at the keys of a keyboard that always felt a little too small for his ideas. There were like magic, making all that hard work and long hours look like a walk in the park.

Now I sit in the car, hands on the steering wheel and can catch a glimpse of you, of all those hours we spent in the car, hot or cold with your hands on the wheel driving us both place to place. I remember the summers with the windows wide open, hoping to flush out the heat of the season, driving along the highway listening to news or music.  Hours of time that we couldn’t avoid but neither of us complained about the company.
I remember your hand in the winter, which stayed warm from all those years of having to fight back the cold while I was bundled up and whined being able to see my breath.

Large hands made to hold many things, mainly the responsibility of raising two stubborn kids who couldn’t seem to get along.  They were both the peace maker and the hands of logic and reason. I remember them because they were always cast out in aid, hands made to help others before they helped themselves.

I look at my hands, and I see a bit of you, my hands don’t hold as much, are not as worn or beaten, but in some ways, I hope they will be because I’ve always wanted to have hands just like yours.

Mind Melt

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There it is again.
That nagging voice telling me that I am not doing enough, that I’m not good enough, that I will amount to nothing.  I am so tired of it constantly whispering into my ear these insecurities that I can’t seem to part with at the moment.  I know I’m not alone but I think it’s the consequence of feeling like time is running out, and in the life lottery I might not be a winner. I keep buying these tickets, tickets to hope or future, betting on both chance and my unique abilities to show out at the end of the day but I can’t tell the future, and my numbers don’t feel like they are coming up.  I see the world moving and look myself up and down in the mirror and see stagnation and hesitation. It’s aggravating, but all I can blame is myself.

I know I am lucky, I have the opportunity given to me by the sacrifices of others and myself but each story I come across make me feel like everything I do is merely a half measure.  The desire to pour myself solely into one flask to capture my wide away of interests is missing and all I am left with as many unfilled glasses that are unappealing. The idea of a jack of all trade just seems out of place in the world of specialists.

I want to rise up to the top, make a difference and yet these small voices in my mind seem determined to win this war not by combat but by attrition.  I am tired, each day I awake.  Half energy for a full day doesn’t make for a productive time as I try to navigate my surroundings and make the most of my life.  Maybe I need sleep, and I don’t have time. Maybe I need variety, but I don’t have money. Maybe I need… no, what I need is more discipline, more spirit, more determination.

I am worried I am not made up of the stuff that would make me one of the greats. I am afraid I am not cut out for making a difference. But I can not worry any longer I need to act and act and act.  To do rather than sit, to decide rather than hesitate.  I will find what I need, and if it’s not there, then I will create it. I will have trouble, I will fall, but I will get back up again. I can do it because you know what I am just human and that’s enough. I might not be made of any special stuff, but the stuff I got is good enough. Anyone can be great with enough practice. Excellence is what we do, as so our life prospects do not come from out ability but our actions and our habits.  I will make this world a better place. I will leave my mark. I will find and help everyone I can, and if that goal seems too big for one person then I will grow as strong as two and if that’s not enough then I will look to my neighbor and ask for his help because we live in a world of infinite possibilities and I don’t have enough time to listen to the little voice that keeps telling me that I am not good enough.

Boredom

I find myself falling asleep
I don’t want to
It’s not time yet
but I can barely keep my eyes open
Its because my minds not working
my body has slowed
My heart rate drops
and it expects me to sleep
I am fighting it
Putting my mind to the test
trying to push my way through it all
Trying to do my best
But I can’t avoid it at times
My life had its lulls
But I fight boredom with all of my

Each day is a struggle
But I will win
Because life is wonderful
and it’s a beautiful place within.

Duality: The Search For Meaning

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Meaning is derived from what we believe, from our own values and the values of the society at large.  It’s it is born within and manifests itself through our emotions, are a desire to both create and preserve.  There are some things that hold intrinsic value to them, old photographs, mementos, objects in our lives that matter to us.  Where it gets a bit confusing is when you must choose to give something value that would typically not hold any value at all.  Old toys can be given away and thrown out if there is no intrinsic connection or meaning to them anymore. It’s like putting away childish things, the memory then is the thing that may hold a sense of pricelessness to it.  The interesting part is when we put meaning and value into things we can’t hold or touch.  The value of values. They mean nothing unless we choose to believe in them. They carry no weight unless we give weight to them. What does it say then, are they just a figment of our imagined psyche, or something more that comes from within.

I have trouble sometimes with the idea of value.  What is it? Thinking about it plainly, it’s an agreed upon a statute, one that acts like a monument but folds like an illusion.  It is the same idea behind laws. Laws are an accepted set of rules, that we (and the people that came before) have set up to create a society that we feel is fair, and just in its own way.  Laws work then in the interest of those who have the power over them.  Laws though have a consequence, and thus it is born with weight to it. Without the consequence, the law becomes just a set of words upon paper.  Only followed by the people who believe in it. Those who are not afraid of the consequence, or are truly unaware of it have sort of freedom to act beyond it.

This works too with the laws of a community. What is made to be wrong, or taboo is agreed upon, and the community will take its own sort of justice out on those who break it.  Each community will have its own rules that govern it, with its own sense of punishment and reward for those who abide by it.  Even then, if you are unafraid of the consequences or unaware of it, then the rules have no meaning, and you can act beyond it.

It is then, the values you place upon yourself, what you make taboo, or meaningful retains its value because you believe it too.  You associate value with it, and so it is worth protecting. If you break them, you will feel guilty or in some way punish yourself, but if you are unafraid of the consequence or unaware of it, then these values lose all its meaning.  A rule becomes a statement, and something important may just become a motion.  So then, what value does it have, if it can be broken so easily, is there a value to value.

To find meaning in life, sometimes we create it.  We all have different ideas about what should matter, and what shouldn’t.  From person to person, this will change. Varying wildly in degree and circumstance.  It gives our lives motion, a thing to fight for, without these internal laws we are just an existence that heads towards the end without ever trying to get better. Given meaning, there is a constant evolution of what we hold true to ourselves. So should we change our values, according to the laws of community, generation, and society, or hold steadfast to them. Can we be the rock on the shore or are we doomed to be the rock in the river, slowly eroding away as time ticks by?

I honestly don’t know the answer, something deep down inside tells me to believe, and that’s all I got… maybe that’s enough for me.

The World In The Life Of A Guy: Part 5 – Courtesy Conundrum​

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There’s an interesting juxtaposition of being courteous and being modern. Not that I think these two things are opposing each other, but at times they lay on opposite sides of a very fine line. Let me explain.

Growing up, boys are taught to be forward, to go after what they want.  To be gentle, and kind but in some ways more aggressive. To protect and to fight.
It’s in these things where the social dynamics take an interesting turn.  Imagine this, you go out on a date, to for a guy, a lot of the time, it’s engrained in us to pay for the meal. Not a bad thing, or a thing I am complaining about, but something to be very aware of.  If we don’t, we are thought of as cheap or stingy.

It’s just strange to think about, the system or manners have a certain non-contemporary nature to it.  Most of the rules are in assuming a certain power dynamic between men and women.  With the rise of modern feminism, we need to take a brief look into how these manners manifest themselves.

Paying for a meal, now the best suggestion I have heard about this is either to split the bill or whoever does the asking does the paying (now that does lead first dates to usually lean on the guy but that’s a whole other issue).

Asking people out.  Though it falls primarily on the guy, I feel like now is a time where girls can feel comfortable (not that asking someone out for the first time is easy) asking.

Opening the door for people.  A little bit goes a long way, plus, I would be happy for people to open the door for me but maybe that’s just because I am a bit lazy.

Driving people. This goes according to comfort and vehicle.  I feel like this should just go to whoever feels least comfortable about things. Though it can be a good exercise in trust, meeting someone at the location has never been easier.

Not talking about politics or religion. Probably a good idea in general unless tha’ts what both people are bonding over.  Its great to know people and that is always a fun topic to talk about but the conversation has a lot of other places to go too.

Of course, the easy way to go about things is, just to follow the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have done unto you”.  This makes things very simple in the long run and can prove to be an effective way to approach pretty much everyone you come in contact with. Here’s the kicker though, people appreciate when you enact old time courtesies (the appropriate ones).
The difficulty stems from what to do and where in this environment its sometimes hard to gauge how familiar you should be with someone.  Each person is different as is each relationship.  Learning how to navigate it is going to become more complex as time goes on.  I think as long as you go in with good intentions and the other person well being in mind we will do okay.

I don’t think it will make things any less confusing but it will certainly make it so you know exactly where you stand.

The Little Things

Standing on the precipice of sleep
Working my way to my feet
It’s the little things that make and break me
Each day I go through each day
Trying to catch the good moments
Letting the bad ones go
But being tired makes the whole thing a lot more complicated
Makes me wonder about how good of a person I am
Deep down
It’s the person who pushes through obscurity despite it all
that’s the person to aspire to be
I catch myself sometimes
Failing to do good
Because my body falls behind
And my mind drives me to close my eyes
Wanting there to be more to it all
To return to the land of dreams when the sun is still shining
Keep going
Keep pressing on
You have to pull out a win
This is for you
No one is going to be pulling you along
Drag it
Pull your body along with your aspirations
Drive it with your dreams
It will follow you where you go
Because it has to
Then you can sleep
When you have exhausted all your resources
And gotten the job done
That’s when you deserve it.

Kiznaiver : A Clash To Empathize

I was talking with my dad recently, talking about life and the feeling of being able to go back to school.   The part that I am started to get excited about the most is the fact that I will be surrounded by people who I might be able to connect with in some way. The conversation changed in tone when he told me that life is about finding your people. The people that understand you in some way and that get you.  This phenomenon is kind of a strange concept. A group of people that will understand me in my entirety seems kind of like a funny thought. I had talked about this before, in a way that used an analogy as a tree and its branches signifying how my life stratifies as time goes on reaching out in all sorts of directions. It about that connection, the empathy between two people that really matter.

Now I wanted to write about this for a while, this show I had watched many months ago, it’s called Kiznaiver. This show happened to resonate with me because of the topic that it covered.  The ability to connect people through empathy, now since it was a sci-fi anime its premise was that a group of people had their pain was connected, and through various events, they were forced to come together and understand one another.  Each participant out there struggling to connect with another person in some way but a lot of the time fighting to keep themselves from exposing too much.

It made me think about all of us nowadays.  We are throwing ourselves out into the world using social media and yet the way that the research goes, that it doesn’t make people any happier to do so.  It’s like a shout to be seen but only in a way that there is so little of us is showing at a time.  It’s troublesome because I think it’s these pain nuances that we tend to manicure out of our lives that really allow us to connect.  Though it seems strange, it’s our pain a lot of the time is a glimpse into this part of ourselves that doesn’t see the light of day. It’s touching of the core of who were are so people seek pain to feel real.  The question is if we keep acting this way on our social media, are we hoping our lives will follow the illusion or is it that illusion that sustains our lives. Will we finally be able to connect to one another if we make ourselves like all the celebrities we see or is the good ole’ fashioned way of being present and real with one another the key to living a happy life?

The reason I was talking about finding my people, was because I want to have a chance to connect with people. Sometimes in my day to day, I feel like it’s always I am a fish out of the water, gasping for air, expecting to break. The question is if I act as I do, will I gain the ability to breathe, or perhaps I should find other fish of the sea who might just be a lot more like me. I know when I have found these people in my life, I feel at ease and the suffering for air seems to slip away.  Who knows where all of the people who will impact my life will come from, but I can honestly say, I hope when I find them, I feel at peace because we will know we finally found a kindred soul to connect to.

More Money, More Calculations

Money becomes a huge focus when you seem to have run out of it.  It gets me thinking about the function of money in my life.  I work and I work, then I get paid a certain amount depending on what I put into it.  Now since I work hourly, my time is being bought, hour by hour.  Now that time as a quotient of my day and life is essentially putting a price on both the work that is being done and the person who is doing the work.  Once I have that I start to measure the cost of things in hours rather than dollars because it’s much easier to conceptualize.

Now, take for instance standing in line for lunch, should I go after that sandwich, that will cost me about half an hour, maybe I should pick up those chips, another fifteen minutes, drink will cost me twenty and I can make it a meal for the added cost of ten.  I wish when I came up to the counter they rang me up and said, that will about about an hour and fifteen, but thats usually what I try to do.  It makes me understand how I want to spend my time and money.  Unlimited music a month for one hour of my time, hell yeah!  A nice book, usually runs me about two, same with the interent.  My apartment costs me about 70 hours which is worth it but it does take up a lot of my time. Thats when I get to the problem at I don’t have enough hours to do the things I want to do or I might literally not have enough time.

It’s a strange exchange none the less but I find that there is a great motivation through it. I either find things that will take up less of those figurive hours that I sell or maybe I find that there is more value in the hours I have.  Our goal is to maximize our time output while minimizing the percentage of our time that every day expenses take up.  That way we can reach an equalibium where we feel comfortable with how much time we spend to fuel our lives. That way, we don’t have to worry about about the small things like how much time do I have to work to get a sandwich but think about how many hour we have to work to spend the time on memories, which ultimately are priceless.

The Place Where You Belong

I felt it again today.
That surge of electricity that flowed through my body as if I had been I had been finally plugged back in again.
I sat around that table, flooded with this familiar feeling that had been gone for such a long time.
How could I have forgotten about it, how could I have doubted
I knew that life might not have been going the way I had wanted it to, but if how I felt is any indication of where I should be then it’s the universe telling me that I just struck gold.
I help but be excited
Finally, I feel like all of my zeal and passion is warranted
there I was, surrounded by the simple word peer again wrapped in the frame of cohort.
I haven’t even started yet and the questions began to flow, like a dried up creek after the rain.
I felt as sense of being alive again
Like blood was finally unstuck and my brain was taken off pause.
A sense of self that resumed naturally almost like automation
This is who I am and I haven’t felt this why in a while
My dad and I talked after
he said life is about finding your people
for now, I know these are some of them
maybe this will change in the future
I don’t know
I just know the electricity that I feel coursing through my bones
and the feeling of being alive again
This should be a good year.