March Towards Matriculation – Fifth March – Finding My Footing

Undoubtedly a great experience, filled with fear, adventure, and a promise for tomorrow. It’s when staring down our future all we can do is lean in and work for a better tomorrow today.

I am thankful that with an easing of the semester, I see a building of excitement for the future life I worked so hard to achieve. There was a worry several months back that these feelings would never manifest but thankfully now that that school been made more tangible to me there is now a place to link my hope and excitement.  It’s a weird experience having committed myself to a place for so long without the knowledge of what life there is like. I knew that my ambitions called for me to take such a leap, especially with the recent accident that held me up for so long.  It’s the faith that I’m happy with, faith in a type of plan or destiny that at times I so despise. Faith in fate as it were that everything would turn out okay. Now for most things, I knew I would make it work regardless of what happened and where I ended up, and I cannot discount that someplace were always better than others but there is an easing of grief and burden when you find that you at least made the choice that will come easy and is right.

I find great difficulty expressing the feeling that comes with this knowledge. It’s analogous to putting everything on the table you’re holding a hand you hope will win, knowing full well that where we end up is some part skill and another part luck but as the last card falls and the final bets are made you realize that the round has gone to you. That you played well and you are being rewarded. This is because there is something beyond the statues and stone halls, the concrete and the history; there is an ease in it all, one that does not come lightly with every place we find ourselves.  Am I scared, of course, I am terrified beyond belief, but in this fear I can thrive, in this transition lies a future of growth, change, and understanding one I am ready to make of.

It’s then in this last trip to my future home, where I got to see the people and place that my forward path lies that I find myself excited for what is to come. I know there is so much more for me to learn from these places and people that it scares me. I decided though, that this time around I must approach it with a greater humility and understanding that I am to be guided, molded, and shaped into a better version of myself. It’s only though this great humility that I can be successful. It’s in this great humility that I can absorb, adapt, and prosper beyond where I know is possible now. I leave this saying that I am thrilled with the prospect of the future, but torn with how to feel about how soon it will come.

March Toward Matriculation: Fourth March – Busied Steps On A Windward Path

IMG_0001

It always happens, when the time finally frees up all of a sudden I get busier than before.  Maybe it’s a miscalculation on my part with the amount of work that I’m doing, but Summer and Winter seem to be those times of the year where everything starts to move again.

The problem being it’s a lot like triage, where I have to figure out where the priority should be and what I should be working on any given day. Like trudging through snow, every step is labored, and all I wish I could do is sit down with a sweet drink and relax for a little while.
Progress is slow, but progress is still progress. I mean not to put off anyone, but this is what I get for being so involved, people rely on you to get stuff done. People keep telling I should take a break and disconnect for a while. That’s not my destiny, though, nor should it be.  Work is part of who I am, regardless of what I am doing at least I am doing something.  There is a fear though that with all this marching that I am going to burn out before I even make it. I don’t know honestly, I haven’t really burned out before, but I’ve gotten that nagging feeling where my muscles become tense my brain grows dull from the lack of extracurricular stimulation.

I don’t know if I can reasonably disconnect, it’s been such a long time since I’ve done so. I presume it would take a lot to distract me from the comings and goings of the world back home with unfounded anxiety burrowing into my brain causing me to become preoccupied with things I can’t even control.

Right now the days might be getting longer, but they feel like they’re all too short.  It’s only a couple months away from me being gone in some far off place that is more indifferent to my arrival, and yet I still feel like in the thick of home still drawing me in.

I wonder when these bonds will loosen, it could be when I start to finish things, and perhaps that’s why I’m having such a hard time doing so.

 

A Return To Sleeping Beauty

Like a pick of the finger,
Or the poisoning of blood.
My body feels like it’s crawling through mud.

My eyes feel heavy.
My soul feels crossed.
Why is it that I feel so lost?

It’s in these moments,
When sleep is never enough
It’s falling into dreaming, and never wanting to wake up.

I fall, I fall far into sleep.
Wondering where it is that my feelings will peak.

Down down, to that place of slumber
Like something has torn my body asunder.

It’s not even that I am hurt.
It’s not because I am diseased
My only problem is that my heart is not pleased.

Nothing seems to smell so sweet.
And nothing at all can compel me to my feet.

And yet I recollect on the past and present
Twisting and turning in ways not so pleasant

So I call to you oh sleeping beauty
Is it not the perilous prick that put you down
Or is it the tumultuous feelings about the crown?

Maybe if I just sleep a little bit more
The clouds will change
And this feeling be no more.

Yeah if I sleep a little bit more
Perhaps there will be a reason to wake up for.

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 9 – Blame

Tired Of The Rain – シワスタカシ

It’s the combination of past inadequacies and current tribulations that I found myself needing a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t hold it in, the rooms were too stifling for the emotions that threatened to boil over and I didn’t want the image of me to be tainted by the small weaknesses that plague my heart. It was a dumb thought that needed to be felt. Almost an inevitable feeling that was to be faced. Something that I knew was coming and maybe was perpetuated by my lack of emotional healing. This idea of blame, a responsibility of my current situation and the continued avoidance of my failure as part of it. Eventually it would catch up to me, I just didn’t know when. It was there, on the roof of my school building when I broke down for a second and it all came flooding out.

I didn’t realize it was there, sitting in the back of my mind. A little voice blaming me for this accident and all the changes because of it. The opportunities lost, the failures I felt both personally and productively. I had been guarded against it but was secretly hoping it would eventually erupted in my face. Like a child waiting for his punishment that appears to never come, ultimately sabotaging the happiness he could attain as guilt of a deed gone unpunished.

I knew it would come to this, I had felt if for months waiting for what would fall into place, hoping my life would just explode into a million little pieces. It’s almost easier that way, you don’t have to face the blame because your life reflected what was already felt inside. I avoided it, which made me avoid the things I hold dear, as sick sense of self punishment that perpetuates only disaster.

It’s a feeling of undeservedness to all the kindness I received, why was no one seeing what I was seeing. Why did no one blame me like I blamed myself? Why could no one see the idiot behind the crippled body who didn’t avoid the chaos to come?

It’s just a bad mix of feelings, that feeds on the past trauma and feelings of inadequacy, multiplying in size until something happens and my self breaks down and falls like rocks unable to support this personal image I had been propping up. Reliving this unresolved conflict that I believed went away only makes me realize that even when you fight your demons that doesn’t mean they disappear.

I was and haven’t been my best self, relying too heavily on the comfort to ease the burden of my failures. Hiding way and subconsciously waiting for this day to come. Even then, having accomplished something great but not entirely what I wanted was all it took to me realize that daze I had been living in. A soft blow pushing me over shows me how fragile I may have already been.

I strongly believe that knowing and understanding of ourselves will give us strength and power overcome the long road ahead. It’s though my naivety that that it made me believe that maybe by knowing I could avoid the trauma in it’s entity. I have taken the stance since my accident, with these emotions that come, to go ahead and feel them, embrace them as they are part of who I am and where I’m at. To realize them, process them, understand them, and let them go. It’s then in this small part of me that I hate, that makes me know I’m healing. It’s then in this small part of myself that I hate, that makes me know I’m human. It’s a process, and it doesn’t come all at once, but now because I acknowledge these feelings I can finally do something about them.

Road To Recovery / March Towards Matriculation – Road 8 – Coming And Going

Logoboom – Website

As my recovery is speeding up, and a sense of normalcy is on the horizon but there is a bit of confusion. I don’t know whether this normalcy is the sunset of my recovery or the sunrise for all that comes after.

You see I have been announcing all week my big news, first that will be attending a PhD program in the fall and second that I am finally able to wear a pair of normal shoes and walk semi-normally. Walking seemed the more pressing event, the one that every morning is a clear reminder of my once lack of ability to do so. That was until today, when I was walking around talking with a friend that it hit me…I’m leaving… In less than half a year I will have relocated to a place about 3,000 miles away from where I have lived my entire life. I knew this feeling would come, and I am sure the simple pang that I felt was only a precursor to what will be a treasure trove of tumult in the coming months. I knew this would come, but I have never felt this way in my whole life.

It was a moment where I wanted to grab whole of the idea of home and take it with me. Take it’s essence and throw on wall in my future room. What is my home to me, what is a representation of what this place means to me? It’s like a child holding on a toy for dear life because they are afraid to lose the memory of having had the toy in the first place. Not enough object permanence to think that it won’t be gone once it’s time to close my eyes and go to bed.

That’s the weird thing about the whole situation, it’s not like I won’t see it again, or that I won’t be back semi-regularly but it’s more of the sentimental. I understand now why people get tattoos that represent where they came from. Like a happy scar to show everyone and yourself what you’ve been through. To represent a people that you belong to. What is that though, is home a mug, or a spoon? A picture on a wall, or a book on the shelf? Is it the way I walk, or an attitude I walk with. I don’t understand at all but I do understand this feeling of wanting to grab it with all my strength and take it as far as I can go.

What this recovery has taught me is that anything can be taken in one rainy night, except memories and the feelings that we have. This slightly strange bump on my ankle is only the physical manifestation of what was. The scar left is just a reminder, but what is most salient is the people in my life that have come with me on my journey and… it sucks because just as I have gotten up to walk it feels like I am going to be leaving this all behind. Like I have finally got back on my feet from nasty fall to have to go charging ahead. The race isn’t over but I will be leaving a place I am comfortable, a place that I know, a place with all of you.

To come back you have to leave, and I will be taking some part of everyone I know as I go. So maybe home will be a picture on a wall, or book on the shelf because they remind me of what was and what is waiting on the other side of the sea. Maybe these scars on my body and metal plate in my leg are just there to remind me of who I am and my identity can’t be taken from me. I may be recovering but it doesn’t mean that things will back to the way they were.

I am a sentimentalist at heart but it’s hard to say how I feel. I will miss it all when I go, but even if I had the power to stop time I wouldn’t. The road may be changing but it doesn’t mean the time I had and have haven’t been worth the ride. There may be things I leave undone, or feeling left unexpressed but I want to make sure everyone knows that these times mean so much to me and thank you all for coming along, willingly or unwillingly. This new direction I am starting was always where I wanted to go. A new adventure to be had and like all things it’s worth while it will take a lot of effort. I think I’ll be okay though because you all have helped me along the way.

To end, I have favorite quote from one of my favorite movies Gattaca. It’s corny, sentimental, and truly how I feel.

For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I’m suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home.

Vincent – Gattaca

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 3 – Crash Diet and Other Unexpected Benefits of Getting Into A Major Car Accident

by ど〜ら

Though I can’t recommend it, I can say it does produce results! I had been spending 5 mornings of my week at the gym exercising but all I really needed to do is be get into a car accident and become essentially bedridden for a week to lose some unwanted weight. Maybe of the sleep that I have been getting or the lack of food intake but I can at least say for me that looking a little slimmer even with my muscles atrophying as I type wasn’t exactly an unwanted side effect. Now the problem will be when I eventually do get back to the gym how exactly am I suppose to map my progress, my right legs muscle that I had been spending time working on is looking pretty weak so the loss isn’t fat but to counteract that I do have a surgical steel plate in my ankle which might tip the scales against my favor. Regardless to say it’s time to get a bit ridiculous with what has been going on.

You see, almost dying and being in semi-constant pain has some upsides.

First, that once again in my life people are simply impressed that I can get up and stand. Now I know the last time that happened was probably around the time I learn to walk but it still feels good when people are impressed by the simple things. It makes what I do all the more impressive in the long run and I can honestly say that it feels pretty good when people have that astonished face with me doing something I learned to do when I was a toddler.

Second, I have gotten into the habit of sharing my schedule with only some people so that whenever I walk into a room people are always surprised and happy to see me. Now that might not be the best use of my communication skills but it’s nice to know that just showing up can make people happy. Though this was true before, my ever-lingering presence on campus and at work made my existence a little more assured so now me showing up is a nice surprise for those around me. I am sure it will run its course of the next couple of weeks but at least for now it nice to see.

Third, people have stopped complaining around me. Now that is not something I’ve ever said or have done but it’s one of those things when someone is walking around with a peg leg and a cane most people feel less inclined to rant about the guy who was going too slow down the street.

Fourth, now that I am recovering and going long distances is a bit of chore I found that saying I am tired and want to rest get taken a bit more seriously. Though that is not to say that I hadn’t been getting tired in the afternoons like a kindergartener but now people are more accepting when I put my head down and take a small snooze for about 20 minutes throughout the day.

Fifth, I have an epic story to tell as my car accident was a standard car accident. Now, obviously not something to boast about but if you have a good story to tell about how it happened it does make the pain of it actually happening a little less painful.

Sixth, the next six to eight weeks I have a whole new realm of jokes that I previously didn’t get access to because I was more able-bodied. Though I am sure people will tire of it sooner than that I still get a kick of telling people that normally I would drive but with my driving foot in a boot I really have only two speeds, really slow and really fast so putting me behind the wheel might not necessarily be the best idea.

Lastly, now whenever I say inspirational stuff it has a bit more weight to it. Not that I didn’t say these things before but when you’re being told that you have to live your life like there is no tomorrow by a guy who could have died I guess people take that more seriously. Kind of like a near-death experience street cred. But hey, I will take what I can get.

It’s not all bad getting an injury and how much can I really complain when the response of my family and friends is an outpouring of love. Though I might have fractures and broken bones, torn ligaments, a collapsed lung what I have gotten back is the reassurance that I have chosen and been given great people in my life, and could I really ask for much more than that… though pancakes does sound really good right now.