How To Cultivate A Thought Parasite

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It’s happened again, these crises of the mind and spirit.  I feel it in my bones, fear. What am I to do. The rising tide of anxiety washes over me, drowning me it’s dense waters. Leaving me gasping for air in the cold abyss of failure. Grasping for air, and hoping to get out.

This past week I was confronted by the smallest of the invasive thoughts that fed and grew in the back of my mind quickly.  It’s the lack of sleep I said, or perhaps the hunger.  I’ve just been pushing myself too hard, but that’s it’s breeding grounds.  When my mental defenses are lowered, it strikes at me, claiming more and more of my brain, consuming me and my thoughts.  There I am, battling against the creature who uses the voice in my head to try and convince me that I am no good. Trying to convince me to lay down again and begin to die.

It often follows those highs of experience, I know mine does. This one came after a let a small daydream free, and it became a nightmare.  The thoughts in my mind surging after this mental parasite to stop the spread but it was already too late, it implanted itself in my insecurities of the past, fertile ground for a thought so sweet. A feeling of grandeur turns to ash as my capability comes into question.  “You will never be good enough to get this far,” it says,  “Turn back, collapse, you know your just setting yourself up to fail.” I don’t know what to do, the foundation I build for myself feels more and more like a house of cards teetering on the precipice of collapse.  What is this, will it be good enough. My path once more becomes obscured and dark.  How far will I be able to go, and even if I give it my all, will that be enough?

I realize I’ve invested now, that was my mistake.  I am invested in a future I want so bad that my heart cries out to me as I speak it.  This is where I went wrong, didn’t your childhood teach you not to do this. Not to invest in one way or another because you will be let down again and again. I can’t help myself, I want it so bad that I am willing to give all away for a second in that world.  A passion that erupts and drives me forward, that want’s to turn into the crazed obsession of a madman with a purpose and a goal.

“You just are strong enough” it retorts, “You never have been, and you never will be.”  This thought, drawing back blow after blow to strike at me is right.  I feel like I’ve had so many chances and through these chances I have successfully squandered my dream in the pretense of comfort and mediocrity.  I just hope, time after time, hour after hour, that I will wash away these inadequacies and show the world that I am someone. I don’t know though, my guard is down, and my weakness is revealed, my self-esteem takes a blow. All I am is human, and maybe I am not enough.

Truth is I am weak.  I am weak and at times incapable.  I am an emotional creature who waxes and wanes on the mood of the day. At times unable because of the wall of inability that rises up ahead of me. I’m loud and think before I speak.  I sometimes say some funny things and do even weirder ones. My brain fills up sometimes, and I feel like an idiot because I don’t understand what is going on.  I know this, this is just what it’s like to be human. I know this limitation, and that’s okay because that’s all we all are. Being human, and together we can actually do some good and make life beautiful. As long as I know that, I will be okay. As as I know that, I can get rid of the parasitic thought in my brain.

Plane Musings

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Time. Here I wish the day stretched one more hour, to have moments perhaps that will slow down and stop. Remembering to stop and breathe has never been so conscious to me before. I find these moments in the cracks of disroutine. When I deviate from my ordinary plan to step into the present and not live in the constantly unfolding future. What I need is a little time, little time to remember to look at the sky and remember how lovely the cloud look.

I’m sitting on a plane when writing this, a plane that is crossing the United States for the distinct purpose of transporting 100 people with all different lives and intentions to its destination. Intention fuels this plane, pays for its gas, keeps the employees employed, an intention that can’t be touched but malleable like the air I float on. I am on this journey in an attempt to move closer to my dream. A dream that remains unrealized, but finally appearing within reach. These next few days, though not critical in the fulfillment of my dream will drive push me to exhaustion in an attempt to extract every last ounce of potential form it. It’s here, 30,000 feet above the world staring down at the clouds below that I know that I have to make the most of these little moments, to make it possible for me to be successful in the big ones.

I wish I had more time to stop, and breath to be honest. Everything feels so crucial essential right now, though I understand that I have a type of tunnel vision of my goals. Even if I did have an extra hour in the day, I don’t know if I would be using it to rest, more likely, I would be using my energy to push myself even harder than before, with proportionally less time to recover. I know this is problematic, but I finally feel like I am where I should be and doing what I should do. My endless hope is that at the end of it all, with all the work I put in, I will finally get what I want. If not, well, I guess I will figure it out then.

One day I want to be that person everyone looks to surpass, the milestone that people look to exceed. I want people to see me not just what I have done but how I inspired others too. That I know is something that will only come with time. I hope one day I’ll look back at this moment and smile because that’s exactly what I did.

The Wall of Dreams

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I’ve seen it now, the wall that I am to defeat. The one on the far end of the frontier of ability, at the edge of talent, and potential.  I saw but a glimpse of it, that day when I reached the end of where my body allowed me to go.  I saw it, the sheer concrete slap that rises high above the treeline of my life.  It’ stands there as a challenge to goad me in attempting to scale its heights. It was there, far off in the horizon that I saw it, almost mythical off in the distance, but as I closed my eyes it was gone, but I know I will see it again, but next time I will be stronger in its presence, next time I will where to begin.

If there is anything about this past year that has stood out to me, is the number of times I have gotten sick.  For a guy who regularly gets only ill once per year this past year has been a wake-up call that something is changed that my body doesn’t agree with.  It’s doesn’t take a genius to make the observation that going back to school has taken its toll on me.  This last time getting sick, I realized I am pushing myself too hard without letting my body recover.  The stress, lack of stable sleep, new exercise regiment, and irregular eating habits are great at breaking down my body but only time, rest, and taking care of myself are the only defense to this destruction.

This time was different, I felt so unable, so weak. I had come so far as to put out all these fires in my life but when it came to working progressively toward my father off goals, I was unable.  I am expending so much energy and had nothing left to give. It’s a strange feeling, having worked up to that point but feeling so powerless to keep going but I wanted to keep stretching my arms out for just a little bit more.  It wasn’t a feeling I liked, a helplessness to it, a bittersweetness of knowing I have reached this point because I am only human but knowing I can learn to do so much more because I am human.   As I laid down to recover in my short reprieve from work, I thought about how I can become better at this, which ways I can be more efficient at this. How can I strip everything down to rebuild myself stronger? In the moments before fading to sleep, I think of the things that allow me to keep going, the things that keep my mind sane as my body breaks down. The things which in sacrificing would feel like destroying parts of myself. I hold these things sacred because they are a sanctuary, a resting place for me to catch my breath. Where I can finally let myself recover from the torrent and the storm.

What I would like to say is I am thankful to all the people in my life that I can take a moment to talk to, for however long the conversation may be, it offers a reprieve from the insanity.  It gives me strength knowing that ultimately there is love in the world like this that may bloom in the moments of small connections like a wildflower after the rain. I may only see you once, but your beauty leaves a lasting mark. With all the strength I get from you, I  dare to dream of conquering the wall in my life, the one in which the fulfillment of my dreams lies on the other side of.  There I will be happy knowing I didn’t do it alone, I was fortunate to bring a little piece of everyone with me.

The Other Side Of Productivity

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Wednesday, I made it past Wednesday. When for me the worlds I am apart of collided and asked something of me. The culmination of all I had been working towards for the last couple of months.  Through all the writing, papers, reading, work, paper, tests, and discussions. The last couple of weeks have left me wasted, pushing to the point my eyes are becoming adverse to my computer screen. There were so many tabs and applications open, that it was hard to keep track of what I was doing at any given moment. At the end of it all, I got sick which I am taking as a sign to take a second and pace myself. That my body is not keeping up with what I want to do in my mind. This is the other side of that, what happens after.

For some reason I can find the space, my mind keeps wandering from place to place, as if it needs to do something but doesn’t know what to do, I have a bunch of tasks, but none of them seem ripe for the moment. It’s kind of like an uncomfortable silence, where you know you need to speak, and yet the silence itself is telling you so much.  I finally have time to write for myself, to think for myself, and to do for myself that I don’t know what to do first.  I’ve gotten so behind on it all, I used to be 4 weeks ahead writing and now I have to rush to write it in each week.  I am trying to eat correctly but hands don’t readily reach for the skillet to cook because it almost seems like too much effort. I lay in bed for a little while longer, hoping my body will recover so I can do it all again.

I hate being out like this, but if there is something to learn its from this moment. Slow down, enjoy yourself, keep pushing forward but also take time to take care of yourself. This is a bit different than my transcend post last time, but still, both are good. It’s about balancing these two things because it’s in the balance I find that sweet spot of happiness where I can be silly and productive too.

I know this post is a bit scattered and not as well thought out, but that’s just kinda where I’m at the moment. Also, I have yet to take new photos so I am running out so bear with me if there are so repeats. Lastly, the world seems to be messing with me and my body and I have to play along, or it will try to destroy me.

Transcend​.

I find myself here often now, this place of mounting frustration for the limitations of myself. I know, I can’t be everything,  I am trying so hard to be something, something more than I ever thought possible.

This all leads back to a belief I have, the belief that anyone is capable of anything.  That the legacy of humanity is founded on the word “can”.  Generations built on the idea that we can push farther and further than the generation before creating scaffolding for those who will come after.  It is up to us to build our lives in the way we see fit.

I find trouble though, in this belief as it causes me pain.  I find myself in pain when my hands have stopped moving, my eyes begin to close and fade, when everything winds down to a still. My mind reminds me of the people who keep going, who push through, and are continuing to walk along the path ahead of me.  It’s then I have the fight within my head, between the two voices that cry out from within. One yelling “Go! Do! There is still much to be done!” and the other crying “Stay! Wait! We need a second for air!”. My life feels like the result of the battle of these two forces trying to out-compete the other.
I want to keep going, I know I have to if I want to accomplish all I want to do during the short period of my life.  Diligence and discipline are required.  As with all things, I feel though I come up short of my goal, of my potential still. I keep grabbing at my future but never reaching the bar to know I have got there.  At times I feel as if I could only set aside myself, drive my being to its limits, to really push the boundaries of my existence, then perhaps I could be satisfied.
The thought pops into my head, a small analogy that takes presents itself as a colder truth.  To strive is to bleed, to bleed out of yourself, to suffer for your dreams, to push past the pain of these long nights and lonely hours.  It’s in some sick way what I want, to feel like I am finally putting my heart and soul into something.  The feeling of giving up everything I am and becoming if not for a moment 100% of something. A being of directed madness and constructive obsession. Maybe then I can say that I’m not making excuses for anything, that I can look in the mirror and see the sacrifice etched upon my face. Maybe then, I can finally rest.

I’m tired, my body is tired, my mind is tired and all I want is rest. I keep going, keep pushing, because I know if I do a little bit more than I might be able to grasp the thing I seek. I find peace within my heart but drive within my head.
I sit there in the quiet moments as my body ache and my mind fogs, I feel a mounting frustration as I reach the limitations of my body. There, I say to myself, one more, just do one more thing, push yourself farther than you’ve ever been before.

Just one more.

Transcend.

Frisson

frisson:  a brief moment of emotional excitement : shudder, thrill

This word, for me it symbolizes for me a moment that I feel when my heart reaches down and touches the world.  Pure emotion, profound emotion seeps into me as the overwhelming feeling of being alive makes itself known.

The best way I can describe it is an experience you are so enveloped by music, movie or book and you lose yourself for a moment.  You forget where you are, and whatever you are doing becomes the only thing that exists for a moment.  A silence, as you travel to another world or place and it becomes real for that one moment.
The feeling transcribes itself onto your soul so that you become so enveloped by it you don’t even care that it wasn’t your feeling, to begin with.  You share the pain, the elation, the sorrow, the untold happiness, and tragedy. You get goosebumps all over, standing on end in anticipation of the moment where the emotion comes home and strikes at your heart.  It’s silly, but it’s as real as it can get. For a moment, you are given a crystal clear view of an unspoken truth that unites hearts, and overwhelms you with the depth of our mysterious existence.

I found about about this word on accident, perusing the archives of the internet, I followed it down the rabbit hole until I found a word that explained something that I had felt for a long time.  The word came to describe this feeling I sometimes chase, this sense of being alive.  It has since become one of my favorite words.

The reason for this is there are some days when I begin to lose myself, at times life leaves me feeling empty, emotionless and flat.  Where everything begins to dim and become faded, and my emotions feel muted. It’s these moments where I seek this frisson, this passion that makes me feel human again.  Though it gets me into the bad habit of watching great profound and sometimes tragic moments from my favorite media, for me, it’s a lesson that life will go on and that at the end of the day, I am only human and that’s more than beautiful enough for me.

 

I would love for those who are reading this to post some of the things that make you feel this way.
Some of the examples of mine are:
Charlie Chaplin’s Speech from the Great Dictator
Last battle speech from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
and (without spoilers)
The end of the 10th Doctor from Dr. Who
And the end of some anime:
5 Centimeters Per Second
Ana Hana
Your Lie In April

 

 

Whats Wrong?

My eyes feel like their bleeding
Dripping from page to page
I can’t stop the seeping because
My stress level is high
My list of things to do is higher
I don’t really know what to do

My body feels like its breaking down
Piece by piece
I turn away from the pain
I feel in some way I need it
Like it makes me better
But maybe not when my body is screaming

My eyes feel like their bleeding
and I can’t stop looking at the screen
Words being written
So many people to please
I hope this end soon
That I escape from this dream
but who knows, I asked for this

The World In The Life Of A Guy – Part 12 – Putting Two Together

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Before I start, I wanted to say that this series has been a great way to reflect on the various ways men and women are different, as well as how those differences really impact how we go through the world.  After this post, I want to take a bit of time away from this series as a means to collect myself and to try new regularized topics to write about, I will come back intermittently to post about these topics, but after a year I am ready to try something new. Thank you for following along with this, I have enjoyed it.

As I started, so shall I end.  With sex and relationships.

I’ve spent a long time asking women my age about their relationship experiences, what it is like to be with a guy, and for what they tell me, I’m surprised a lot of them keep wanting to be in one. Stories I’ve heard, go into great detail about the enormous breaches of personal trust and faith in the partners they were with.  Stories of being forced or compelled to do things they didn’t want to do, harassed or abused, or even worse.  The stories were not all doom and gloom, but the sheer regularity of these negative experiences among people I have talked to is disheartening.  With each stories told to me the list of things that haunted me.  Haunt me, telling me of what I could be, but compelling me to go out to heal and not to hurt.  I don’t shy away from these stories, and I am supremely grateful for those who have shared their experiences with me, it keeps me aware of how bad it could be. In the end what bothers me how people can people can think so little of others, or feel entitled to something that should be shared. The bar for relationships a lot of women is a lot lower than it should be.  Women aren’t perfect, women are just people, and should at least be treated with the decency of an ordinary person, and sometimes they fight to get that much.

It makes me fear my own missteps, vivid things I may have done better. Progress is all about learning from my mistakes, to be better but with people and keep moving forward. Through it all, I’ve got scars on my heart from it, scars that seem to be growing and I don’t know what to do.

I think I’m afraid of sex, that powerful act that like a void, never seems to be satiated completely.  I think I always have been.  I can give you every excuse in the book for this fear, my religious upbringing, my less than stellar early life experiences with girls, or just the world of cold videos of porn on the internet but each of these would just seem to be a contributor or symptom of a much bigger issue.

Expression.

My experiences have taught me to that care is to give, and what else is there to give but myself.  I gave up pieces of myself to appease people early on.  Destroyed bits of my heart and soul to be okay with it.  I remember in high school, among the many strange things that happened to me was a girl. I had liked her at some point, and she had liked me, but the only thing was that our timing or wanting to be with each other ended up being off.  In liking me, she wanted express that in some way, so she ended up sending naked pictures of herself to me.  This is where curiosity kills, this might sound weird, but the curious part of me wanted to know more, but my heart and soul weren’t in it resisting me, telling me to stop this, that doing this was hurting me and wasn’t right.  She knew that I didn’t want a relationship because I told her that I wasn’t interested but she kept on with it (though I should have been more active to stop it). I didn’t though, not directly because I had always been told this was a good thing and that I should savor it and enjoy it even though it killed me inside. At the end of it all, in some strange way, it felt like someone was at least expressing that they wanted me to be that person in my life which felt good and started me down this road.

The experience sticks with me because it was the first of a lot of experiences that felt just not right for me. I may go into detail another time but for now, the point is I’ve had my fair share of good bad experiences, and it’s what I learned though that matters. In some way, I think most guys see similarly to me, that sex and sexual things are a form of intimacy and expression.  It is about power, desire, and in the best of times love.  The little voice in our head whispering that the only way to feel the connection is through that expression of two bodies of self. That the negation of advances recounts itself as a rejection of this expression and a rejection of expression means a rejection of self.
This type of thinking is ridiculous, but when feeling and desire is only expressed through such limited avenues, how else is that to come off.

This is why I am so afraid of sex because to me, its a giving of myself, leaving myself open and yet it can so quickly be given and taken from you. It can become from meaningful to meaningless swiftly and easily. Why would I want to do that to myself, to satiate if not only temporarily the urges that my body afflicts upon me? Used as a mechanism to fill the void of lonely disregard of heart, a cry for help and a stopgap for meaning.  Each time disregarded, carves away at our heart so that less and less of it comes back to us.  I want something more because I know more is out there.  I want to be open to the love of a different kind and nature. Expression of which can comes in different types and forms still foreign and mysterious to me. I don’t want it to be only about sex, there should always be more to it.

We keep coming back to relationships though, after each of our experiences to try again.  I don’t know why, I don’t understand it and I know I won’t go for a while but we keep trying out there, hoping and working for change.  The world of girls and guys is different in a lot of ways but this one is the same, we want a better future and we are, if not slowly, moving towards it together. I hope it will be one we can be proud of.

Save The Crop: Feed The Earth

I can see a field of flowers in my mind.  Strung across a vast expanse, blooming fields flowers lead the way on an accompanying path that only speaks of life.  The path extends outwards toward the horizon, but as I leave the path, the flowers seem to struggle to press on.  Less and less they grow, and the healthy bloom gives way to fallow land.  This dirt is just as robust as the others, but its empty. Why is this field empty, flowers are able to grow. This field was empty because no one took the time to sow.

I’ve never been especially stellar at relationships.  It’s certainly not from a lack of feeling. My problem lies within the action. Like a burning flame, the father I get from them, the harder it is to remember the warmth. The fire is always there, burning red hot, flickering in the darkness, it’s just about stoking the fire even though I might not close to it. I feel at times like I become a ghost, a piece of fiction until I am seen.  I grew up this way because the relationships around me felt largely part-time.  As if my existence required me not to get too close, because too close can cause pain, and energy and I needed all the energy I had to keep me from the pain. I know it sounds dramatic but when you’re not involved with anything you had now way of being let down.  It’s not a great way of thinking, a personal flaw I never intended to have but one I have to contend with regularly.  What troubles me though is this growing bud, resting within my heart that calls out to tend the garden of good relationships I have the great fortune to have.  Allow them to take root and grow. Grow so that it can bear fruit and transist itself into something much more than the sum of its parts.  There are so many people around me who bring light into my life, and it’s shameful that I do not put more effort into cultivating these beautiful relationships. So now comes the time to do away with the ghost and shed light on the myth, to come out from hiding and be accountable for my inaction.

I am growing up slowly and I look around to realize that there are some things I have always wanted, somethings money cannot simply buy or find. I will chase these things, and do better than the me of yesterday as it always comes down to where we invest our time because most of the work in relationships is just showing up. There is a saying “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, and the next best time is today.” So here’s my pledge, to sow the seeds of the future, let the fields of flowers bloom, tend the gardens of relationships, so that the path might not simply be gilded but shine brightly with the sight of a full life.

I Think My Phone Is Trying To Kill Me

It sits there taunting me
Asking me to play
I slowly reach over
And begin my day

On and off the screen goes
With it in my pocket
Tracking every move
I know it’s trying to kill me,
I just need to figure out how

Maybe poisoning my mind with all sorts of stuff
Showing me picture and videos of things I don’t need
Until I can’t even think anymore
It finally just succeeds

Maybe it will be more blatant like shock
With a slip up I find
When the camera facing inward
It leaves me wanting to be blind

Maybe it is to just  make me unaware
Walking down the sidewalk
Watching a video, it seems
Might be my undoing when hit a pole with ease

My phones trying to kill me
And I can’t figure out how
Because each time I use it
It feels like I am dying a little on the inside.