March Towards Matriculation: Eight March – Behind The Starting Line

 

G6015iA.jpg

Before Light by げみ

 

It’s not lost on me that a week from now I’m going to be in a new place, surrounded by new people, starting a new stage of my life. It’s surreal, how my supposed to understand and react to this thing I’ve never done before. As time slips the issue of not being able to see or respond the coming changes is mounting.

So let me try to be as honest as possible. Explain how I’m feeling to the best of my ability. A lot is going on in my head, too much, so much so yet it feels like I’m running around without it, frantically trying to find my way without knowing where exactly that is. I don’t know how to feel, what to do, going through the motions and yet nothing seems real, just a whole lot of effort for what I hope will pan out.

Is this is what adult life is like?  The part that of experience most people say is terrible. I realize that being an adult is being made to do things that really I don’t want to do, making me confront things I don’t want to feel, and experience things I want to avoid. It’s effortful, and not a fun effort, just effort for efforts sake. It’s just so confusing, navigating the halls and structures set by men and women I never knew.

It’s hard because I want to be a beacon that lights the way for others. Show how it’s very possible to follow through without issue or at least with a certain sense of grace. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I’m making it up as I go. There are worries manifesting, leaving my mind at ease but my soul in torment.

I have these two incredible forces pushing and pulling. One of them being my past, this part of my life that I feel is going so well and in some parts don’t want to leave also hasn’t given me enough closure to say “I’ve done enough.” The second, the future, this amazing thing that has never happened yet. The alure makes me want to keep it as perfect as possible as long as possible because the possibility of everything that could happen will happen is exciting. These two forces with swirling around, like a hurricane with me sitting in the middle waiting to be consumed by the rain.

It’s going to hurt, and of course, I’m scared. If possible, I would want to bring everyone with me. Unfortunately, that’s not how this works, one has to leave to come home. I do, though, find solace in the great stories of old, where great men and women who go to long journeys facing the rising of the unknown of monsters, mayhem, mysteries, magic. Without stepping beyond the where comfort, I could never return with stories of my own. My life would just be a story about someone who never left, never went out into the world, and never knew what life had to offer. For me, it was inevitable. I was going to leave at some point, I knew in my heart of hearts down to my very soul. All I can do is brave the storm, and be honest and open to the change along the way

By the time next week rolls around, who knows, maybe I will feel different.

Soon Enough.

As with all the time I haven’t had to write, this week particularly I have my mother’s wedding so I won’t have time to put together a full post. So what I want to lead with now is that as with all this change I am going through I want to spend some time on some of the change I want to bring. Changing things like my writing style, putting a little more time into my posts, and what I want the next couple years to bring.

That being said I am going to write a post a little later this week to make up for this gap in posting so look forward to that. For now, just enjoy the nice art.

 

​Title Change

You know, I have mentioned this many times before, but I started this blog as a way to practice writing and working towards being more open with my emotions.  So for a long time, my blog has been called “Lost In Translation” because, other than sounding like cool, it represented where I was with writing and expressing on the page. That whenever I spoke my mind or wrote my thoughts, something would be lost, misconstrued, or in some way, reduced. Expression in it of itself is easy, doing it well is another story.  So over the past several years, I spent time and effort attempting to bridge that gap between thoughts and words, my feelings, and my expression.  It has come to me that though that through all this writing, my purposes have changed slightly from just expressing and learning to express to cataloging my experiences and exploring what it to be human. It felt as if that name stopped really fitting well with the name I had initially picked and something new is arising. So, after almost 4 years of writing, I am changing the title of my blog from “Lost In Translation” to “Too Human” because at times that’s how I feel as if I delve too deep and feel this strain of what becomes of humanity if you put it down on a page.

I hope it doesn’t come off artificial or arrogant, it’s a name that comes from a feeling I get a lot. That if only I were a little less human, some of the problems I have would go away. That the fears, emotions, and inadequacies would be rectified if I could simply wrangle this beast called humanity inside my heart and do away with it when things become difficult. It’s a reflection I think that we all do and aspiration towards an unadulterated truth that I want to uphold. “Too Human” represents, at least to me, humility and understanding how far we go sometimes. Though that is not to say that it’s a defeatist attitude towards human nature, quite the opposite, most of these post are about overcoming obstacles and dealing with troubles.  Humanity can be both inspirational and disheartening, but what this blog will be is truthful, and I can be happy with that.

I hope this change will come with more insight and introspection. As always for anyone who takes time out of their day to read this, thank you for reading, I hope that the future brings good things.

On The Side: I’m an avid Dungeons, and Dragons player and one of the things that come up if you play is that if you were to create yourself as a character what would you be.  Now, of course, my aspiration, like most, would be something powerful, magical, mysterious, and deep.  For some, it’s fitting, as their personality meshes well with these other creatures and races. Each time I ask though “what would I be?” it always came back the same, “human.”  I think what upsets me about it was that no one really likes being called vanilla (even if it is a good flavor), we always like to think of ourselves as something special, something beyond ourselves.  Sure we might be successful at navigating the world we live in, but each of us always wishes, if not just a little, to be more than that. To be more than ‘just human. ‘

Now, as time has gone on, I’ve come to the like this designation (probably from overthinking and the cognitive dissonance that I had to rectify) to know that just because you’re human doesn’t make you not unique.  All we know is human, it might be the default, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Vanilla is still a flavor, it’s just one that has a lot of versatility. Sure at the start, it doesn’t sound too exciting, but you have to remember where it starts and where it ends can be two very different places. Humanity is the jack of all trades because it really just fit in and overcome just about anything. Though we may be human, we are human, and that in it of itself is something to remember. With history as our guide, and stories of great peoples in our hearts we always go farther than we might initially believe knowing that those who came before have some done so much and those who come after will do so much more. I am okay with being human, especially in this fantasy world, because it means at least at the end of the day I can really be whoever I want to be.

Drinking Bitter Waters

v28z5q23xb001

I’ve never been much of a fan of coffee and other bitter drinks. Something about having to acclimate to the taste doesn’t agree with me. Why would I go out of my way to learn to like something that has such a negatively visceral effect on my tastebuds? People do it every day though, guzzle down these bitter drinks, learning to love the taste that can from the outset be so unpleasant. Maybe it’s in growing up that we learn that bitter in some ways can be just as good as sweet. Maybe it’s in growing up that we can understand that just because it’s bitter doesn’t mean it’s bad.

We spend our whole lives in a flow, a flow that seems to spin around and around, making us confront our past and future at the same time.  It’s when these to points cross that I understand that I’ve grown, mature in these years of unending experience pushing me forward into the unknown.  It’s when confronted by these seeming repeated events that I understand where I am and who I am.  That these cycles we pass through in our lives show how we can take another path, a better way than the one we had before.  It’s only having gone down that path that I can understand the road that lays before me and choose perhaps a higher one than before.  These cycles though are painful, and maybe I can avoid them outright but to do so would be asking myself to stop genuinely living.
It’s in this unwillingness to deviate from that pain that I know I am stronger. It’s in this statement, one which I don’t know who taught me, the places you won’t go are the ones that ultimately control your life. It’s in strength that I persist forward, it’s in learning that I take the other path. If I were to lay down before these forces and events that call my name and make me remember past wounds and scars than I would give too much power to those forces that are indifferent to my destruction.

It is now that I am willing to drink these bittered waters, ones that before would give me so much anguish to consume.  It’s not that I take pleasure in them, but I don’t avoid them knowing now that drinking them can set me free. I know it’s not the failings of my emotions or callousness of my approach that I am unable to taste the bitterness of my life anymore. No, it’s a change in perspective, an understanding that life though indifferent at times to my wants and desire, is not an outright malicious force. Life is just a tangled web of lives, and stories passed between all the people we meet.  Though they sometimes weave together in ways that we wish, it’s not anyone’s fault when these lives don’t seem to match up. It’s understanding that there may be a better way that requires us to be uncomfortable at times and feel pain when served these bitter waters, but as long as we don’t shy away from it, everything will turn out okay.  It’s then that we can decide what we want to do with these moments, do we build upon them accepting the blood and tears, or destroy them hoping that the memories of our hurt go away along with it. I can tell you that destroying has never left a good taste in my mouth.

Life has a way of serving us these lessons in ways that may not be pleasant. I don’t regret drinking these bittered waters or the path the lead me to do so, my only regret is that I never learned to do so sooner.

March Towards Matriculation – Second March – To March Forward and Look Back

Over the last several weeks I’ve been working towards a degree, a degree which I have spent the better part of the previous two years working to obtain. Through a lot of long sleepless night, stresses, and work I have at least on paper achieved this goal, a Masters degree. It was in looking back though, I find I do not feel satisfied or proud of my ”accomplishments.”

Hindsight is 20/20 but to see clearly is not always a blessing. It was in recollecting in what I have done, the research I proposed that an unsettling feeling set in.  An abject look as the lack of importance or substance to the projects I have creates and carried out.  They seem silly, so unimportant on the grand scale that the rationale for why these things seemed so important to carry precedence in my life has fallen away.  What I am left with is aa lesson in humility and a detailing of a path forward which I will need to change if I want to avoid an unsatisfying future.

To be honest, I feel like a child, but not even a child, like teenage who still engaged in making bad decisions but at least has the wherewithal to understand that these decisions were bad in the first place.  At least a child will give into the silliness, not allow it to bother him, still able to go through life unlimited by the ramifications of the action. It’s in knowing myself and seeing this reflection for the first time that pains me. What have I been doing? Is there anything I should really be proud of at this moment. There is a culmination of experience but with this experience what I see is what I am lacking. I have underestimated the science and overestimated my understanding of it, to which I apologize to the craft.

It’s fear and frustration that fills me. Seeing where I could be if I had been more diligent or had more self-awareness. I see this self, one I seek to avoid, an expert of a craft but a wasted talent doomed to settle for obscurity. It’s so clear to me but each year that passes the path thins, to that of an edge of a knife, which to be had will require adjustment early and swift or throw myself down upon it as the cost of dreaming.

I see the path ahead, the choices and growth reflected behind me. My future is bright, and here I stand on the lessons of yesterday, not wasted but reflected in my journey. As I learn I find I know less and realize more that there is a long way to go. In growing through these experiences, I know what I want, how to get it, and not it’s up to me to make the change to do it.

Let’s Go To The Stone Age: A Slight Digression Because Of Internet Problems

Originally I was going to do a slight digression from my more moody posts to talk about the fact I have gotten back into reading more but before I got to crafting said post my Internet died. Now I know that the period of time that I was writing was a bit later than when I usually do, and maybe this is just some sick sense of universal karma here to exact it’s revenge for not writing sooner but I think more just highlights how reliant I am on the internet. Without it, I twiddle my thumbs and play that silly dinosaur game on chrome hoping for the Internet to return.

It’s in that I find this reflection of me in the empty

screen somewhat humorous, this 21st century man who is simply stopped by a technology that has been birthed within the last 50 years. I mean there are millennia before this amazing invention and my ancestors did just fine on their own for me to have made it this far.

What is there to do except think of a world where the Internet just disappeared, where technology reduced itself to that of the Stone Age and for us to start all over. How would people manage? How would I manage? Let’s be honest, my training in Psychology doesn’t exactly make me the most useful person in the skills department. I am pretty scrappy, and easy on the uptake but it’s that first part I would really need to get through, when everyone is scrambling around trying to figure things out. Maybe I’ll be drafted into a tribe, never really been part of those before, or maybe I’ll just be a lone wanderer, going from settlement to settlement trying to looking for my true home out there in the post-internet wastes.

But back to the point, I think this also a lesson in humility, that my life is so reliant on these tools to work that I am pushed to this standstill without it. I don’t know if this is a good lesson at the end of the day or one that I should just get more reliable Internet but it’s a lesson just the same.

Maybe I should take this time away from my devices and allow myself to really delve back into my imagination. Create something unaided with my mind as the only resource. It always feels good to be able to imagine different worlds and scenarios, something pure from all of the muses I have come across in my lifetime. What do I have time for though, will I just drop it once it becomes inconvenient to continue because my technologies have come back online? I mean I still do have work to do, so maybe I won’t go too deep or I might just never find a reason to come back out.

What can I say though; I have become accustomed to these conveniences so that not having them just feels strange. Maybe it’s okay to rely on these things because they are so cool. What I think to leave you with during this unexpected posts is that if there is a will there is a way so there are really no excuses unless you really have put yourself out there and tried everything… or maybe that’s the lack of internet talking.

Road To Recovery – Road 7 – Diametric Prose

-Author Unknown

There is a great dichotomy in being, both through injury and in life generally. It’s a give and take that calls to control us and creates the unique experience that is paramount to living as people.

It’s hard though to deal with this, just as the act of being industrious, the desire to build and do works in direct opposition to desire to rest and laze about. Both of these things are essential though, working in tandem to create a reality of balance. Take for instance walking , something I have sought to do since the moment I laid flat on my back on one of those hospital gurneys for the first time. Walking is something I have to avoid and yet it something that comes so natural. The want of putting my foot down and placing weight upon it sits there in the back of my mind as I know that walking could break me. It’s so strange, I am told to rest but in resting I want to get out and be free. A lot of my life has been playing out this way causing this division within myself.

It’s just like what I’ve mentioned before with my lack of motivation, that inability to act causes both stress and anxiety about all that has not been done. I want to do, so the desire itself make manifest when I sit down at the keys and act upon that desire, the problem is the distraction that comes along with that feeling. Back and forth, it’s a fight for balance in my life and each day has to establish its own place on the teeter-totter. It’s this passé-ness that I have trouble with, flowing with the wind of emotion leaves no room for accomplishing dreams.

I think that’s why I have also had so much trouble with visions of myself and what I can and should do. It’s hard to recognsize because the only way inside to reflect and to reflect beings about the pain of what the accident and these last several months have been. These forces that ultimately settle in a true love-hate relationship with the man within bemuddles the rigidly established norms that I had fought so hard to impliment in the first place. It’s not a matter of blame but a desire for order. With everything in flux, and it being not of my own volition, I am left to try and establish something with the piece I have left.

I don’t know when I will feel the normalcy again, and I know I can never go back to the way things were but its the balance within that dicotomy that I desire. The unceasing differences from day to day though are beautiful and fantastic leave me with, for lack of a better term, with no leg to stand on.

Road To Recovery – Road 6 – Recollection and Remenisence

Tamaki – https://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=19029917

I just got back from a conference in another city, which in it of itself demarcated the another step in the recovery process both in the ability to move about social space without feeling like a total burden and being once again able to fly with the worry of impending death. It was there though that I came across these two concepts, recollection and reminiscence. Now, I think most of us understand what these words mean but in a psychological context these constructs are different. Recollection is the act of recalling past information. Reminiscence is the when remember of add in a little bit of flavor or emotion the memory. Each one plays a different roll in our lives, but as they do they end up shaping our perspective on the world.

You see, the interesting thing about memory is that’s not complete. It’s like a picture seen through a filter, it’s only a portion of what was because of our limited purview. There are two problems with this, first that as time passes the memory fades from view ultimately becoming smaller and more less detailed as time goes on. The second is that a memory remembered after the first time is just a memory of that memory, corrupting itself upon the context of the reason of remembrance.

This means that the memories of what has happened to me up to this point are slowly fading from view. That each time I hope to recapture those moments will ultimately play into how I see this event and which filters will be used this time to change its color.

This happens though with happen with all the things in my life, that ultimately the times that I’ve had will never remain perfectly pristine in my memory palace regardless of how much I hope to safe guard them. Things will change as things have been changing with this recovery. There was a hope in me that things wouldn’t, at least not too much. Sure I always want to fixed those things that I find inadequate in my life but things were going just fine before all of this.

I can’t stop the change just like I can’t stop the memory, all I can do is choose how I view it. Is my reminiscence going to be about a time that I had fallen down or a time that I got back up? Will these part of me that felt pain persist in the hereafter when all my injuries have gone away and all I feel is the ache in my heart for a time long past?

It’s in reminiscence that my world has changed as the color of my memory is taking on a different tone and hue. I am not scared of the scenes that plague me because they too are fading slowly. What I fear is what will happen with these memories when I am all done. What will be the view of myself and what has happened when recovery is over and I have to live with what happened? I don’t know, but I will find out.

We all change, we all grow, and life has to adapt with it, no matter how much we want things to stay the same. Recovery sucks, but maybe tomorrow I will remember it sucking just a little less.

Road To Recovery – Road 5 – Uncertain Futures And Candid Pasts

Mikko Lagerstedt – https://www.mikkolagerstedt.com

I’ve mulled over what exactly I’ve been wanting to talk about in this temporary series about my injury. Going back and forth about the unique struggles that present themselves so causually after an accident. I ask myself, what is that I am looking to get out of this, what sort of insight can I absorb from sitting down and writing for a while about an aspect of my life. There are many thing I am sure will go left unsaid, and in a couple weeks time as I start physical therapy and get back up on my feet the content will shift from the sole focus of recovery to the life after whatever that may be. Until then I want to try to crystalize this experience as much as possible to add to an understanding for those have never been, and hopefully never will be, in a situation like this and to once again catalog a major moment in my life.

But where do we go from there, this log of experiences ultimately will fade into memory like all the others to the moments thankfully ultimately resting in the back of my mind only to become an anecdote that may arise at meetings and parties. The expereience has changed how I see things but has left me the ability to heal.

I don’t know what will happen in the future with all of this. How much of the trauma will set in? What will it be like when I decide to walk, run, play, and climb again? What will it be like when it gets cold and I feel the chill of steel pressing up against my warm skin? These at the moment are just unknown experiences that I will have to endure when they arise. Even if I try distill these memories into tangible form something will ultimately be lost in translating from the physicality to prose.

There are things I want to say but I don’t know how. At least not in a cohesive way and my mind works to try and understand everything that is going on I lose little bits of it every day in the process. I also don’t want to add to the suffering to I have already caused by making people see my suffering. Maybe I am too prideful to give up that independence so I suffer sometimes in silence. Taking a moment and playing it off as joke make it at least seem more manageable. As I think I had mentioned before the thing that hurts me most is the suffering of others because there is nothing I can do about it except keep faith and help whenever I can.

But I should be more honest with these feelings, with these experiences that I am having because who knows whom it may help in the future. So here is a little honesty. Sometime when I close my eyes I still see it, like flashes of light when you someone turns a lamp in a darkened room. See the different pieces what had happened like a jigsaw puzzle attempting to back together again. Most of the time these flashes are nothing more than randomly accessed memory, easy to pass off. Other times I can feel a pang in my heart as I know that my body still feels the fear of what happened as if it’s slowly etching itself on my bones building the memory into my muscles.

It’s also my automomy, this idea that I treasure so much, that comes into question. How far can I really go now? I can’t even drive, but even if I did have a car and good right foot what would it be like when I get behind that wheel again. I’m starting to feel that hesitation, this unconscionable fear that may plague me for years to come. That’s not even the half of it. I can’t even walk on my own two feet, always needing some sort of tool to assist me in something I did as naturally as breathing. Blocks feel like miles as the distance and unevenness of the pavement become the enemies of motion.
When it comes time I will be able to walk again but it will feel like starting over especially with my how my muscles have slowly faded away.

It’s all just so new, and yet it’s getting tiring to deal with. It’s a marathon not a sprint, not that I could do either, but there is just so much too it.

I think what I want to leave is this. There is so much to being human, and when we break from this routine things get a little weird. We learn so much about the world and about ourselves that sometimes we can get overloaded. I’ll try and be more honest, and work harder than I did before. There is no going to the past and fixing things, it’s about adapting to the reality which we live. It will be over soon, and then we can begin again.

Road To Recovery – Road One

I have been waiting to write this all week, as I have had a lot of time to organize my thoughts reflect on all that’s been going on.
Just be wary, though this won’t be overly graphic I don’t intend to spare any details.

As to what I am recovering from, well, let me tell you what I have been explaining to people all week – the accident:


It was a little after midnight last Saturday night, the roads we still busy and the rain hadn’t let up in days but for the most part nothing out of the ordinary. I was leaving my girlfriend’s house after some conference planning the night was young but all I wanted to do is get home to get to sleep. It had been a rough couple of days with two deaths in my family so life was on the mind. One of the last thoughts before actually getting into my car was “I don’t think I’m invincible like most 20’s somethings, I just know I can’t die yet.”
Off I went down the road I had traveled many times, but I would never make it to my destination.

The freeway was slippery, slipperier than usual as hydroplaning seemed inevitable. I had slowed down the car enough, to accommodate, made sure no other cars were around me but even that isn’t enough. In one especially bad patch on the freeway, my car slipped out of my control as it spun 180 degrees to face oncoming traffic. I knew I was in trouble but this next part surprised me as the car was launched over the median landing me on upside down on the opposite side fo the road.

I still remember the smell, like used phosphorus of a match mixed with a hint of melted plastic, a scent that to the inside of my nose every time I closed my eyes to fall asleep this following week. I already knew my car was in trouble as I hung from my seatbelt starting at the concrete that replaced my windshield. I was miraculously unhurt from the flip, though I knew I needed to get out of my car quickly because I was on the wrong side of the freeway now.

My airbags had gone off but my door was still working. I unbuckled my seatbelt, pushed open the door and made it out to the open road. Cars were whizzing by, attempting to avoid the accident, I made it over to the shoulder and assessed the damage from there. For all intents and purposes, I was okay.

After a moment of trying to understand all that had transpired the next action popped into my head. I needed to call 911 and turn on my hazard lights in my car to avoid any more collisions. I didn’t have my phone on me though, it must have been back in the car.

Now attribute this to panic or a daze I left the shoulder of the road to get back into my car. I crawled in to the flipped vehicle trying to make sense of all of the disorder that my car was in. That’s all it took.

BAM.

I find myself rolling along the highways, out of breath, gasping for air. This time I can’t get up, my right foot feels strange. I look over, my car has shifted and behind it, another car smashed. Almost like a movie, I found myself crawling towards the shoulder in the rain. All I felt was the cold and the pain.

A black pickup truck stops, two men in orange vest’s get out and start asking me questions. They are polite, trying to help, start to set my foot and check for injuries. Off in the distance, I see the police lights stopping the flow of traffic. The two men splint my foot, check for broken bones, give me a neck brace and hand me off to a set of paramedics to cart me off in an ambulance. It feels like forever sitting under the rain but once I get inside I realize how much everything hurts. Sitting my back hurts, breathing my ribs hurt, moving my legs hurt. There I am getting to the hospital, moving from bed to bed being poked, prodded, examined, and kept awake.

I hadn’t lost consciousness that whole time, eventually staring at the ceiling of my medical room at 5 in the morning breathing straight oxygen feeling my bones ache. I was eventually transferred to a better hospital who could take better care of me in my condition. That first day was hard, not being allowed to drink water in the event I would need surgery (which I ended up needing).

Over the next couple of days, I had been carted from room to room, had emergency surgery on my ankle, more x-rays, CT scans, and IV’s than I could count. I was hurting but at least I could move through the pain. I was weak but at least I was getting stronger day by day.

I could barely get up on my own and spent most of my day in bed but by the time Wednesday happened I was already on my way out of the hospital. End count: 5 fractured ribs, 1 partially deflated lungs (that needed draining), one broken ankle, and a large back bruise.

In the end, I was lucky, it could have been so much worse. I am out of the hospital but it is not over yet, this road will be long, and recovery both short and fast but I am going to do the best I can to catalog the journey so that you can learn the lessons I am having to learn the hard way.

I will recover because there is so much more that I need to do.