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.

A Thousands Not Enough

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It’s like drugs I think, working towards something you love.  Each and every day I feel consumed by it, consumed by wanting it, always pushing for it. From dawn til dusk and from dusk til dawn  I work or think about working all the time which I know isn’t the most balanced way to live but if I wanted a balanced life I wouldn’t have chosen academia as a goal.  But it reminds me of a saying from high school when they made us do drug prevention education.  One’s too much, a thousand not enough.

It’s hard sometimes because it always feels like I’m behind. When I am sitting alone with my thoughts, it comes up. I should be productive right now, the better me would be productive.  My imagined competition doesn’t have these problems or worries, they simply work.  They are a machine and by the time we both apply, their long grocery list of accomplishments dwarfs the lines on my applications I managed to throw together. These thoughts have started to peek into my normal life, my social life, my relaxation.

I know I should keep many of these things in life separate, but I can’t, or more like I won’t.  It flows through me, and in some ways is me. To be so intertwined is ultimately detrimental for my wellbeing, for I will live and die in this small world that has no reason or recourse to reciprocate my feelings.  It’s a dangerous thing, dreaming, not because of what happens when you’re doing it but what happens after you wake up.  So I must tear myself away from it kicking and screaming, enjoy the world around me while it lasts, invest in other things knowing full well that each moment I spend away is a moment deprived from my goal.  I should think of it as an investment, it’s always good to diversify my portfolio, but I found the one thing I want to be the best at, so it’s hard to pull away from feeding this monster.

I have to turn off at some point. Let go and drift for a while to rest. Other people deserve my attention, and I should give it to them.  It’s what they deserve, and it’s with them that I will make it through.

These restless moments, this forlorn daydreaming keeps me going and pushing forward into the day where everything is always slightly out of reach.

A Touch of Solitary

Dark nights, blank walls, and quiet rooms. I find myself here frequently. It’s a yearning for interaction, a desire to connect that settles within my heart like snow in a snow globe, just waiting for me to shake things up.

I grew up learning not to rely on people. I learned that all I needed were the worlds that I created for myself as a barrier to keep out the chill. I chose not to involve people with the goings on in my life, and it made things simple.
As I’ve grown older, I realized that it was unsustainable. Eventually, I had to venture out and face the world.  This is partly because of my aspirations, and partly because I, unfortunately, was exposed to the alternative to my fantasy, reality; given experiences that provided me then unknown satisfaction.

It’s been ramping up, my desire to connect with people, with each year that passes. I am a mixed breed of one part introvert and one part extrovert which makes things complex. I want to stay home and work, but I crave the adventure of conversation that awaits around every corner.
People are important in my life; it’s a fundamental part of myself that seeks out these relationships. Each one is providing me a key ingredient for getting through the week. It’s within them that I get to enjoy deep conversation, talking about controversial issues, conversing about the basic building blocks of the human condition

I don’t know how much is enough, or when I will be satiated with interaction but when I am not purposefully alone that I feel the chill and pull to going out and connecting.  I do take time for myself when I need it,  but it’s like going to a cafe; when you are there alone on purpose, it can be a sweet relief but when you are waiting for someone to come it can be awkward and nerve-wracking.

Life has taught me something; I can’t expect these relationships to appear out of thin air either.  If I want something I have to ask for it; people won’t simply know I need it. Last year I had expected it all to come together without any effort, which leads me down a lonesome road.  This year I know that I want to work for what I want and how important these relationships are to me.

So, to end this, I want to say that thank you all for the conversations we’ve had, the stories that we’ve told, and the experiences we’ve shared. You all are important to me in different ways, so know that you make a difference. I hope to see you soon.
And to all the people I haven’t met and talked to yet, I am thrilled to make your acquaintance.

The Road

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I have been on a road, a long one, that has had many twists and turns. I recollected when I got on this particular path. It was about a year ago when I set out on this journey. What’s interesting to note is that this journey started when I got back from the realization of one of my dreams, the dream of travel.

Looking back, I can use my two selves, past and present, as a measuring stick, and a way to track what his year done to me.  I wonder if my eyes and face carry the new experiences within them.
I can look at the scars, and lessons I’ve accumulated; finding the meaning in this year within them.  As with time, I can only move one direction, forward. Seeing the path before me, I know that I will need the knowledge gained through my blood, sweat, and tears to see the end of this rail.Though I have looked back a great deal this year, it is not without reason. I found looking in the past that I can learn to improve myself, and to find understanding in the path I am traveling.  My reason is a way to become self-aware so that the mistakes and shortcomings of yesterday become the mortar for the character which I build today.

Though I have looked back a great deal this year, it is not without reason. I found looking in the past that I can learn to improve myself, and to find understanding in the path I am traveling.  My reason is a way to become self-aware so that the mistakes and shortcomings of yesterday become the mortar for the character which I build today.
I choose not to live in the past, for the past as the future, is deceptive and gives way to distortion of perspective.

All I have then is the present, which I use to set the destination for the future I want. Unfortunately,  the road is long and has been taking too many detours for my liking.
I’m told to enjoy the ride, as the road curves and bows I can’t help but have an uneasy anticipation asking when I will be set loose.
I can see where I want to go but not where the road will take me.  I am then at the mercy of the path before me. I continue to hone my skills, work to make sure when the time comes I will be ready but it’s this wait that is getting to me.
The lessons are hard, forcing me to become uncomfortable, pushing me to pick up the lessons I have neglected.  It’s these lessons in patience and pride that are sometimes the most difficult. Am I becoming a more complete person? I believe so; it’s on this journey that I realize that I can create the person I want to be and not just the route that I travel.

I have been told, it’s a time of great transition, of movement, of change.  It certainly has tested me in unexpected ways.  Unforeseen bumps, holes, and problems have tested my grit.  How much to do I want my dream, how much will I pay for, how much will I sacrifice. I have, at points, needed to endure the suffering. Feeling stripped and cold, I know that I can use this as a way to strengthen my resolve. For as to what the future hold, I petition the great forces of this world to allow me to take life the proverbial horns and let me work for what I want.
In this year that is plagued with solitude and suffering, I have learned to create the world I want around me.  Establishing field where famine was, and flowers within the concrete.
My work lays unfinished as my road stretches ever onward into the horizon, I am though, fortunate to know that it was year unwasted.

 

Dream Catching

Sorting through my memories this week, I found the beginning of one my great loves.  Sleeping over at a friends house, up late when with no one around. Laying in front of television that was playing the usual infomercials as the night pressed on. I changed the channel to Cartoon Network. The channel was showing its adult swim programming and stumbled up a marathon of a show called Bleach. I sat there in amazement of the show for hours as the episodes marched on accordingly.  When the marathon concluded at 6 am, I realized that I had found something that I would fall in love. Anime and Manga.

From that point on I spent countless hours delving into that world.  Summers would be spent watching and reading innumerable episodes and chapters.  Part of me thinks that all that time spent in front of a computer may have been the thing that forced me to wear glasses. Now from the outside, it can look a bit strange which it is understandable but with most things, it’s only strange until you see it.

What is the point of this love? For me, anime and manga allow me to dream and feel as if I were in a different world. It has a way of inspiring me to be better, trying harder, and pushing against the difficulties that I come across in my life. Living through the characters, dreaming of being as strong as they are, and realizing that I am the catalyst to my destiny are all things I learned by sifting through the material.

What is most important is that it grants me a kind of energy to dream big. To dream of being able to change the world. To dream about becoming something incredibly grand and grandiose. To dream about how magical the world is and how to appreciate the small things in life. When I get through the material, I am reinvigorated.

I use this energy to apply it my life as a force of change.  Coming with the power of the human spirit at my back, doing things that seemed impossible a few days ago are easy.  I think it’s important that people find that stuff in their life.  The thing that somehow give them energy even when it is effortful.  Something gives us more than what we put into it so we can use the result to make a real change in the world.

The things that foster the little infinitesimal thoughts to grow.  It provided me with hope and understanding of the world.  A way to relate and see the world differently than before. To make me feel like my heart will beat differently because of the point of view given.

Of course, it is silly, funny, dramatic, stupid, sad, hopeful, surprising, and scary – but at the end of the day, it makes me feel, think, and act.  It springs hope from within and allows me to believe in simple ideas have weight and should be pursued. That I can, and I should no matter the challenge.

I owe a lot to this love of mine, and its one of the things few things I get passionate about sharing with others. I realized that it is about finding those things and never letting go.  As I get older my love for anime and manga changes, it makes me afraid that my love will fade. I know that at least for now I have the dreams that it has given me.