The Things Destroying Me.

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The point of this blog is to talk, have a conversation with myself and others about life. Sometimes I worry about this because I live on a line of wanting to show everything and feeling too bashful to explain the subtle nuances that permeate my being that may lie in the far reaches of social taboo.  Slowly I attempt to unravel this as experience give me inspiration to write and press forward.  I guess today is one of those days because my life feels like it’s wrapped like an ouroboros destroying itself while trying to live.

In recent weeks I have reported my progressive tribulations with my inability to work.  My hands have heavy, my eyes refuse to look at screens because they hurt, and from the sudden rise in heartbeat from attempting to open my email I am starting to think some of these symptoms are psychosomatic.  What is the cure to this, I don’t know, but from what I know about most trials in my life, the only way to really become serious about solving a problem is recognizing there is one in the first place.

I feel like I am falling apart, the order I crafted now feels like an inverted tower of Hanoi, building large bases on small foundations wondering when everything will simply topple over and chaos returns. I can’t keep all these balls that I am juggling in my hand, and I have a feeling at any given moment I start messing up and lose one after another. I am starting to forget when things are happening, losing track of tasks I have to do.  That aided with my systems of effort beginning to fail in the heat-drenched summer, I feel powerless to anything except persist.

My time is slipping away right in front of me, and I am letting it.  Under the excuse of needing time to myself, this unstructured period is ruinous for everything I am attempting to do. A push, drive to move forward dissipates in the lack of deadlines and feelings of need. My head is pounding attempting to push forward but the time I sitting in front of my task that sense and ability won’t come. Like calling for a hero but it never arriving I slink back into my chair in attempts to wait it out, maybe just a couple minutes longer and I can finally do it.

I am falling back into the bad habits of yesterday.  This idea that through it all I can find makeshift comfort in the virtual illusion of porn haunts me. This tugging I had no problem overcoming seems now a persistent voice attempting to seduce me into a false serenity built on a growing instability of self.  This force, like most know, is built on a promise of escape and the illusion of intimacy contends with my desire to keep focused and away from what I know harms me.

I feel now dread from the simple act of checking if there anything more to do, waiting for the call of failure in and the black and white textures of an email or text. I dread this failure, but it keeps me still. I try to face it but it overwhelms me, and I don’t know what to do.

I want to slink away, be away from everyone and everything. Just a quiet moment for my thoughts and yet when those times come I can help but surround myself in noise. I want to have control, and I feel like I’m losing it.  I want to just succeed, but all I feel is failure.  Why won’t my body move what I want it to – what I need it to. I feel at the mercy of these things I feel like no control over and powerless to stop.

In all of it I know is two things.

First, I surrender to it, I will fail, fall, and falter.  There are things in life that are bigger than us, stronger than us and to get through them we have to recognize that they have this power.

Second, I have to persist. Strength isn’t gained in a day, and courage isn’t fostered through a peaceful life. I am not strong sometimes, and that’s okay.  Little by little and piece by piece things will get done and time will pass. Things will change and as they do so will I.

I don’t know how this will turn out, but it scares me. Scares me a lot.

Touch The Sky And Fly

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My hands won’t move like I want them to, gracing the keys of my keyboard only as a means to waste the empty time I yearn for. These hands of mine can’t seem to catch that little spark of motivation to light my spirit ablaze and free me of this cumbersome dread that seems to linger. A lingering that fills up with self-doubt and feelings of personal failure.  I keep telling myself, I need a day. A day where nothing happens that I am free for a moment of the shackles that bind me to earth.  I feel the weight sitting upon me like chains stacked aloft wishing to be free of this burden. All I can do is climb to the sky in hopes to touch it and be like the birds that fly above. Maybe then I will be able to unburden these weights from me and float free.  My breath feels short, as the mountain I climb peaks are hidden in clouds, the path ahead is treacherous, but I am more afraid the shattered pieces of a broken will than any jagged rocks I may find along the way.

Is it discipline than I lack?  Motivation is a fleeting mistress that only comes by to entice you along the path but is long gone by the time it actually matters.  I need to pursue discipline than, a being that requires energy to fight back the entropy of the continued universe has on my life. With each rising degree the summer heat saps my energy, leaving me with traces of what could have been produced.  Is the answer simply just to decide to do so? Can it be that simple as just to power through? Most of human nature is left to an infinitely complex set of dispositions and experiences, and yet each of us is faced with the simple dichotomous decision of will and won’t. Is that where my problem lies.  I am simply not saying will enough and letting time pass by and chose for me.

Here I sit in the heat of summer surrounded by fans hoping for the night air to finally cool.  Maybe tomorrow rings in my head, a tomorrow of infinite possibilities. I know I can’t wait until then. Everything is given to tomorrow, so much so that tomorrow never comes because it is scared of the work.  What is better than tomorrow but today. If I start working today then we can find a way to inch by inch climb this mountain shrouded in clouds and finally touch the sky.

Flying isn’t the act of merely finding yourself in the air, but working hard enough to keep yourself there.

Animated Change

wallup.netPhoto From: 5 Centimeters per second.

It was the 1980’s, a time of great change in music, movies, and media. You see, up to that point, this small art style coming out of Japan was starting to make headway with western audiences.  An older generation appreciating the art from the 50’s and 60’s huddled together at small expos and cons to collect as much of this foreign delicacy as they could. What they didn’t know is that a few short years this would all change, and change quickly.

The first change came fast, a new popular show called Sailor moon came out with a roar, bringing young girls flocking for more from animators across the sea. It was such a hit that the transition period between the old and the new felt more like a crash than a movement. Gradually as the 90’s pressed on Americans were introduced to a variety of styles, artists, genres, and stories never seen on home TVs.  These pieces of Anime as is was called presented new ideas and spun the idea of exactly what show could be like. Shows that weren’t afraid to tell a story where the hero dies at the end, where the send-off is bittersweet, and you’re forced to think about yourself and the world around you a little bit differently. Masters of their craft illuminate the halls of an art form that continues to shift and changes with each passing year. New stories are being told, new artforms being discovered, and new people finding this glorious cacophony of beautiful minutes shared across millions around the world.

Why am I telling you all this?

I discovered Anime a little over 12 years ago.  One night, sitting quietly in a room watching a marathon of a show I have never seen before got me hooked.  A show about a soul reaper and a boy with the power to see the dead.  It was easy enough to pick up, even read, and that’s saying something from a boy who never read.  It consumed me and held me it’s magical embrace, so when the opportunity arose I went to my first convention and I hadn’t looked back since. It has a staple of my early July, more regular than my schooling and in some way connects me to the craft I grew to love.

This year demarks my tenth year of going to Anime Expo, and something is different this time.  Year after year, as I’ve gotten older a little less comes with me each time enter those grand halls.
Sometimes it’s friends, I’ve seen my fair share move forward and on from the con.
Sometimes it shows, I’ll feel a little more out of touch with what people are excited about.
Recently it’s been the focus,  what everyone seems to want and buy there doesn’t interest me as much anymore.  It could be from the familiarity from many years attending but it all feels repetitive, distant.

It’s a combination of all these things that makes going back a little bit harder each year. This by no means is it a bad convention. It’s a great convention, with some growing pains but people still get excited about all the new and wonderful things they are experiencing. It’s just me, I’m changing, and my relationship to the fandom is different now.  Like an old man coming back to a schoolyard years after he graduated, it’s more reminiscent of times past than times present.  Things have changed, people have changed, places have changed as they should. It has to adapt to the people it’s still serving, long after we make use of it.  But is it my time to graduate, to move forward onto something new? It’s this conflict that weighs heavy in my heart. When I leave, it may not be forever, but if I ever return it will be different, for different reasons and a different me.

This fight with my personal obsolescence hits me because this con is part of me, my childhood and adolescence.  Giving it up means part of me has changed, that young kid inside though always with me is pushing me forward beyond him.  He’s telling me to let go and find my next adventure.  Let go and choose a new path beyond, whatever it may be. Live life with these memories as wings on my back, not as a tether around my neck.

It’s hard to give up and put away these things.  Truthfully, I will always read manga, and watch anime as its part of who I am now. But I have to pursue my next adventure.

Thank you Anime Expo, for all that you are. You helped introduce me to the heroes who showed me how to give it all I got, no matter the odds.

 

Here Again

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I’m here again, I find myself here every couple of months, feeling so disconnected from the writing on the page that I must destroy the boundary between it an I.  Compel change from within and grow, so here I am sitting in the acquiescent dark of night hoping to reach something or someone out there. Can you hear me, can you hear my heart.

This break hasn’t really been the break I thought it would be.  That gap in expectation and reality is starting to get to me.  Working, going to school, walking through that hall with all empty classrooms knowing most people aren’t here because they are living their lives outside this campus.

I want to do things, have fun, go out, but I am restricted by the weight of my dream. Working day in and day out feels like I’m running a marathon without mile markers to guide my way. This angel on my shoulder keeps whispering in my ear to keep going, it will all be worth it, driving me closer to what it feels like is a cliff where I shall fall into a pit of stress and despair. Teetering on the edge to see if I’ll break before I even hit bottom.

It’s hard, and at times I don’t believe I can do it. Lists of things are piling up during the time I can’t get to them, to the point where when I finally sit down to work on myself I don’t even know where to start.  It’s daunting because it feels both structured and unstructured at the same time giving me a sense of unbalance. Not being able to settle and move forward as I like. Like being chained to a cage in the jungle, restricted and left out fend for myself in my little spot in the wild.

I think what bothers me most is how quiet it is. The hustle and bustle of the semester is left with this silent summer. These familiar faces I saw daily are ones displaced by scenes of somber emptiness as the campus empties in the wake of the coming heat.  The people I am lucky enough to see are all devoted to their separate causes and tribulations that summer has wrought.

I’m tired, and here I am counting down the days sitting in the space of not having enough energy to work but being too concerned allow myself to relax and get the rest I need.

Things will change, as things do. Time will pass and things will and won’t be done.  I speak out, my insistence because I want to live up the expectations of the man in the mirror, and I pray that one day I see don’t see someone hollow looking back.

It’s a Matter of Choice.

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To accompany this recent reflection on purpose I wanted to stray into the arena of choice because purpose and choice have a strange and strained relationship.

You see, purpose in some ways intends for there a set path before us, one that either is given or is created through hard work and dedication. This purpose, be it predestined or manifested creates a dilemma, if we have the path, how could we stray from it, the forks in the road only highlight the false potential of different choice made and different purpose held. If we have what appears to be this true purpose, the choice though apparent is no more than an exercise in false wills because we would never deviate from the path set out before us.

We like choice, or thinking about having choices. It is a luxury of growing up in our time period. Seemingly limitless sets of possibilities unfurl themselves before us, giving us options and opportunities we never knew we had in the hopes that each one will be taken, all roads followed and new roads paved.  Choice comes with a burden of unknowing.  If there is no destination in sight, our hearts hesitate for we do not want to make the wrong choice. To go down the path that leads us astray and lose our most precious resource, time, to the follies of circumstance or indecision.

It’s hard to balance these things, purpose, and choice because it is a matter of belief in how much autonomy we actually have.  It’s these two things that I fight over regularly.  There is a belief in me, coming from ancestors and culture that anyone can be anything, work towards the dream and accomplish what they put their mind to.  This is juxtaposed with the knowledge that people don’t necessarily do that, some people can’t be singers, artists, powerful businessmen. It’s as if our world has to be asymmetric. If there is a winner, there has to be a loser. If someone gets first place, most likely there a second or third. What happens to those people, it’s ridiculous to say that they simply wanted it less, that in their heart of hearts chose to not go to the top. What of choice then? Is it but a game where the rules are defined by the resources accrued and given from birth.  How far we can go, no more of an option of the great limitations erected by time and self-belief. Is this world just the chaos of people running through this maze hoping to find the center and be happy?

As for purpose, it holds that darker reality to be true.  That some people are meant to not succeed.  It elevates and exasperates, instead of being subjected to the will and desire of power or person whom may hold dominion over us.  It’s hard to stomach, that our lives may not have these paths to follow but are more akin to a track which shows us the world but never lets us deviate to explore it. This can be a freeing feeling though, that your life is always going to some other destination that you are always where you are meant to be.  It allows for us to feel and believe that the problems of today are only a part of the journey and the decisions that are made were suppose to be that way.  Though this disposition usually only works when times are well. The great problem of evil is that everything happens with a purpose and bad things happen to good people with no benefit, at which point should we follow this divine power who seems to act in ways we cannot understand to ends we cannot comprehend. What happens to those who are made to suffer their whole lives, never knowing truth or happiness? What happens when destiny forsakes us and dreams?

The reason that this is so problematic for me is that ideologies clash, but don’t always overlap.  We will always make choices regardless of what fate may have in store for us. As a psychologist, my whole ideology is that I can predict peoples live’s if only I had enough knowledge and data, but with that, it can change the path of those to come after into something better.

Can we really be all that we want to be? I have to believe that perhaps I do have more choice or greater purpose. That in the darkness, it is not the end but a chance to change. A freedom to start anew, be whom I envision for myself, and find my way back home.

Time Slip

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The only wasted experience is one you don’t learn from.

I have been saying that to myself a lot lately, especially because of the constant chiming of “what is your purpose” keeps me thinking in during the quiet moments. It’s summer now, but an adult summer, where the illusion of more free time is in conflict with the persistent regular work schedule.  I have fallen prey to this belief, that since I am back in school, I would reclaim those precious summer moments that I adore.  This has lead to this drop in motivation and drive in the hopes of a chance to breathe from the incredulous amount of work required for this program. So what happens, time slips away from me as I meander through the day, hoping for lightning to strike and feel okay again.

So again, what is my purpose right now? What is it that will fuel me to walk up that hill over and over again like the Sisyphusian task it is.  The drive forward is like a marathon, the road stretches outward, and the mile markers are there but until I get close enough to see finish line my legs will still ache for home.

It feels like a promise from my past to my future self, one I know I will be thankful for keeping but ultimately my present self is doing all the work.  So I find myself, sitting, losing this time because my mind needs a break but needing to push forward to prove that I can do it. That my time here is worthwhile. That at the end of the day I have something to speak for.

That’s harder said than done.  Some mornings I wake up in a daze, as if I have pushed to the end and my mind is empty. I can’t do anything at all because everything just seems too distracting.  I sit in my chair, the empty keyboard taunting me, hoping and praying that my fingers find the key and I can keep moving forward.

I’m slipping through time, losing it as a move forward. I need it though because time is the only thing that will save me from this era of discontent. What will I learn from this, and will it all be worth it?

King of the Mountain of Ash and Dust

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Recently I have been thinking about purpose. This strange almost unreconcilable thing that haunts us throughout our lives and yet it feels in some ways we have no ready control of it.  Philosophers of old have taken as many approaches to this purpose as there are trees in a forest. Each person will have this conflict in their lives, and yet what does it mean.

Purpose starts in belief, many religions and ideology will burden us with the purpose to lift our spirits and find a collective purpose beyond one’s self, perhaps into the eternal. Those don’t believe in a higher power thus must burden themselves with purpose, finding and crafting until the mind conforms to it and we feel complete. It’s hard through to reconcile purpose, because if we really were to know, would we spend our whole lives pursuing it to ensure we fulfill it or spend our lives avoiding it, hoping in some way to pursue something greater than what is hoped to achieve.

Then what happens to purpose when we die. What exactly do we leave behind us when we’re gone, a cloud of dust, an empty space, a memory.   What lives on it is not part of us but what others choose to carry on their own journey. Do we impart this purpose onto the next generation? Does this transference of ourselves carry forward infinitely? Is this what memory is, a collective of generations before, attempting to pass themselves forward in the future in neural electrostatic. I don’t think we can ever know, but we still try as hope that maybe we can live on through that forever.

But giving someone a memory is not like giving someone a fruit, it’s more akin to giving someone the idea of a what fruit is. This interpretation is colored only by the personal experience of the receiver, ever-changing as it passes from hand to hand.  Like a long game of telephone, how long will it be until we become distorted and become something we are not. We can’t take this with us, and we can’t pass it on where does this leave our purpose.

We all want to know so I think a great many us desire to leave a mark on this world, our own personal scratch that cries out, here I am, I existed, this is proof.  I think we all see ourselves as something greater, something unique, something in wanting. Maybe it is the human curse, of living long and knowing one’s self that our mind needs to reconcile our time and the inevitable void that comes hereafter. We are then all kings of mountains of things, memories and moments that collect and carry with us in our lives. Mountains that for once we are gone return to nothing but ash and dust blowing away bit by bit to become something new.

Brothers and Sisters

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I am by no means an only child, my parents saw fit to provide me with a sibling from before I was even born, such forethought was reconsidered each and every time my sister and I would fight.  I have been fortunate enough to have many siblings, one by blood, two by law, and all others through experience. I am by no means an only child, I don’t think it suits me.

When I was young, prepubescent. I developed a desire to be left alone most of the time.  I wanted to leave this world and go to another because this one was painful and hard.  It had felt like I had already messed up and I wasn’t good enough to do be special.  It’s a hard thing, special because everyone wants to be it, but only in the way that’s popular or right.  So I spent time trying to create this image (with little success) to aspire to be something I was not, and that’s where siblings burst in. You see siblings are there to keep your head from getting too big or save you from smoothing out all the edges of your personality.  To keep you real, even when that’s the furthest from what you want to be. I think a lot of us have this type of experience with our siblings. We hate listening to them when we know they are right, we fight them over the stupidest things, know how to get under each other’s skin.  But all part of the process of growing up, a kind of practice for the real world with people who are willing to stand up for you because deep down you respect them.

I’m lucky though, aside from the ones tied to me, I have friends who are willing to set me straight. Keep me real, be there when I need them to be.  They are my family too because they are people I would give my life for if they needed it.  They are part of my life regardless of how long it takes between phone calls because they know we will always be there for them.

I know this isn’t deep, or as long as my usual musings but I wanted to take a moment to appreciate all those people in my life I feel like are family. My brothers and sisters who always have my back, thank you. And to my sister, know I appreciate what you have done even when you are fighting for a relationship with your resistant little brother.

Word Bleed

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I talk. I talk too much. This habit of mine of continuing to fill the air with mindlessness is killing me. I don’t know how to stop, all I want to do is listen, but I can’t help myself, I just talk and talk.

It’s getting worse, and I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s lack of sleep or nerves.  This is becoming a bad habit, one I want to break before it even it even starts.  It doesn’t help that I regain this composure in the middle of conversations, too late, even as I try to backtrack the words keep coming, and I can’t stop them from spilling out

It’s not like word vomit, it’s not something I am shoving down within me coming back up, it feels like words bleeding past my lips. An open wound with no bandage spilling from within to without onto the world.  This blood of words revealing everything wrong and inadequate about myself, slowly exposing more with every drop. These words falling meaninglessly onto the floor along with my being, answering questions nobody asks and reporting things people don’t want to know.

I’m starting to feel like all the random facts I accumulated in my head is just a means to cope with this excessiveness.  To always have something to say in even the most obscure situations. But what does that say about me, that  I need to speak, am I afraid of the silence, or am worried at what the silence might reveal, that I am just a man with a dream that he doesn’t feel good enough for.

With each word, I lose a little of that calm demeanor, class, and poise. I shed off these preconceptions hoping that what is left is something worthwhile. Sometimes I just want to stay quiet, slink back and let the silence rest upon me for a while.  Maybe things would change then, maybe people will see something more without the discord. All I want is freedom from this feeling so I can be alright with who I am inside let my actions shine brighter.

How do I stop this bleeding? How do I stop these word’s from pouring out, how do I keep these words from spilling from my lips?

Why do I even speak in the first place?

Graduating Sweet

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May through June many eager students finish their credits and classes to finally break free the holds of a school and receive a diploma verifying their achievements and training that they spent years trying to obtain.  It’s a very happy time, though can be bittersweet because in it’s nature it represents an inevitable change in the world for a great many people.

This was how this year’s graduation felt, bittersweet. Never have I ever been so invested in the wellbeing of my upperclassmen as I have this past year.  I have been to a great many graduations, but this one was a send-off to many people who I have spoken to, connected to, and love. I sat there thinking about this as one after one, each of my friends got up to be honored for their great achievements of which they all should be extremely proud.  For a moment sitting there, I want them all to just stick around, for nothing to change, for next week just to be next week and not a path to something new.

I’m not an emotional person, I am extremely passionate but I am not one to tear up during these events. Why should I? I am so happy for these people to move forward with their lives, to find their new adventures and get on with their journeys. We still have our memories together right, they won’t forget these times together.  Yeah sure, a couple months or years from now they might get busy but it won’t change our relationship, regardless of how much longer it takes them to reply. They will all be meeting new people, learning new things, and being great in their own way and staying will only hold them back, and they need to fly in their own way because there so much for them in the skies ahead.

Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet, and if it hasn’t it won’t for a while. Probably not until after everything settles down and I recognize how much I have gotten used to their presence. Maybe after not being able to hear their laugh in the hall,  or being able to wander into the lab and talk about some far off idea, Maybe after starting to miss these strange conversations we would have, and missing the familiar faces I no longer see. I will miss them all in their own ways because they all mattered to me.

I am lucky, during graduation sat next to my friends who I have spent the last year with, working, growing, and laughing together. I will have them this next year as this stressful program continues to push us to the moment we are standing on stage graduating together. I am happy I still have them with me because if everyone left, I don’t know what I would do.

We will all see each other again, but my hope is when it comes time and I get up on that stage, that I am at least half as great as any of my friends I saw graduating today.