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.

In The Gray City

IMG_7842

Here I am, in the city I was born and raised in,  reflecting on how I feel about this place. I’ve never been one to get overly nostalgic about places and things in my past.  Spaces and the people who inhabit them change, legacies are born, grow and die within them. It might be caused by my the mercurial living arrangement but it’s my home though.. I think I’m going to miss it when it comes time to finally leave it.

This city, Los Angeles, is categorized by many things, it’s identity composed of many different synchronous parts that ebb and flow on any given day.  The identity of which is the amalgamation of all of these parts creating a look and feel beyond just these seemingly clashing identities. Like many major cities, Los Angeles has a distinct feel to it. Sure things change rapidly here because the influx of migrants trying to find their own California Gold but even then, Los Angeles remains itself through all of these changes.

From movies to music, art to history, Los Angeles has many things both visable and invisible.   It’s interesting though, because of how Los Angeles is, were all together and separate at the same time. Driving place to place, seeing things and people pass as of the wheels in the cars turn.  People are always going somewhere, even if the destination isn’t quite yet known.

To me this city is gray, the colors of the cityscape and the people who dwell in it are gray.  This city is marked and marred by the overwhelming cascades of concrete highlighting the functionality of a city built in the twentith century.  It’s a place that has far outgrown it’s intended capacity but continually changes to meet it.  The tendrils of this expansive city stretch out hundreds of blocks in either direction highlighting how different each little section of this whole city can be.  The people all relate mixing a matching to one another, coloring light and dark to make a color that appears at first to be boring but deep down it made up of some of the most exciting colors in the world.

It’s like this, I used to hate the skyline here, with its flat tops and square buildings never really adding a sense of character to the view. As time goes on, I can understand this functional beauty, this uniform madness that cast shadows over the streets during the hot summer days.  We all have systems in dealing with the oppressive heat, the dense traffic, and lack of parking.  Once you get used to it there is a sense that nothing really surprises you anymore. This wild and controlled place is constantly barraging you with things to do, people to see, but plays all these unique characteristics off as just another Saturday night, never making a big deal about anything.

This gray, cool gray, highlights it all.   This cruel and loving city, this exciting and boring place, you’re both beautiful and ugly to me which makes me love you.

Wait Weight? Don’t Tell Me!

IMG_5526

A friend’s post online sparked a thought, one about size, weight, and we feel about ourselves.

One of the things I am happy to see through social media is all the positive life progress people post online to keep themselves accountable. People are making their lives better and tracking every moment of it. These progressive pictures that propagate may be pesky to some people, but it always reminds me of being able to overcome adversity and the ability for us to turn our lives around, not through ease but through hard work and perseverance.

I used to count calories to see low I could go. Food was the enemy, and I was just a warrior in my battle against it.

I had always been heavy for my height, thankfully always getting taller to accommodate for all the extra calories.  By the time I entered high school I was already unhappy with myself, which was one part depression and two parts the unfortunate side effect from it.  I ate to make myself feel okay, thinking I needed that extra sandwich at lunch.  I was a new place, with new people, after an old place with old people, something needed to change.

I was in my second year, learning to love the hobby of running that the results gave me something more than I could imagine, confidence.  I was starting to feel comfortable in my own skin.  The problem was I didn’t really know what healthy was, I mean sure my cousins worked out but I was never really privy to what exactly they were doing.  So I stuck to my guns, decided to do all I could to reduce my weight.  I was adhering to a guideline set out for me by the BMI index and dropping weight as much as I could.

I think few things really affected me during this period. First is that I got down to the weight that I wanted to, finally for the first time in my recorded life I hit the standard weight category. Second, my sister constantly referred to me as manorexic because of this weight loss. Third, I felt like I was finally able to have control over my own body. Lastly, the way I was eating caused me to have dizzy spells in the middle of the day where my vision would act like I was in the ocean and start wiggling about. I wanted to keep going because it felt so good to lose but my body resisted and stopped.

That being said, the next year I gained some of the weight back (partially because I was happily in my first relationship) and I have been yoyo-ing ever since. In all the subsequent years after that, I have never had a normal BMI number. Now it’s not unobtainable for a long stretch, but the question is, what is it that I want.

Years after another set of up and down I decided that my fitness goal instead of a number I am shooting for a fitness level.  I want to be able to get up and go if my friends ask me to go on a spontaneous hike. I devoted myself not to look at the scale, as it is deceiving, never letting me get away from how others think my body should look and feel.

Now my goals have grown from there, and I feel like I am the most fit I have ever been in my life, not skinny in the conventional sense but have a lot more muscle than before.  I am happy because I can eat the occasional unhealthy meal knowing I mostly eat healthy things and keep active incredibly regularly.

I stepped on the scale recently, not by choice but I wasn’t worried about what it said.  I am 6’1″, 222 pounds, conventionally this weight would mean I was on the verge of obesity but I know that’s not true.  This is a weight of effort and work, muscle.  We’re not all the same, and there are better ways to check how well you’re doing but it is always possible to become healthy, our bodies want us to be.  In the end as long as your making progress, then that’s all that matters, you are lapping everyone on the couch and that’s something to be proud of.

I will occasionally get worried about the number of calories I eat or feel like I need to step up my game at the gym. The mirror truthfully never is anything other than a battle between me and my scarred self-image. Whats most important is that I’m healthy, so if you ever wanted to have me step on a scale I might reply “Wait weight? Don’t tell me!”

Year Two’s End

 

IMG_0020

Its been two years from when I started this blog, and here I find myself in a very different place than where I started. I feel as almost my life completely changes in this increment of two years.
Two years ago, I was staring down a path left unilluminated by the confusion and turmoil of transitioning from college. Left bare and in need of change, what came about was was a need, a need to change. So this blog, devoted to cataloging and compelling progress within my life, became the bastion of that change. It has been a soundboard for my frustrations and the safe haven of for my thoughts as I move along the path toward a future that was all too uncertain.
As things changed, so have I, learning and growing from all the new memories I have made along the way.  Two years, though it feels like a world away to me, I know that I am still only at the beginning.  There is a long way to go, much more to do, and many more lessons to learn but I am ready and willing to step out on the path, one foot in front of the other, and find my way home.

So what has happened in these two years?
Love and loss. A lot failure and measured success. A realization that the life I had been living was not as full as it should be.  The understanding the problems I had left unresolved needed facing before I could move forward. These two years have felt like a lifetime, and I’m sure the next two years will feel the same.

What has changed though, between this year and the one before?
I’m back at school which has been a godsend, I am around people who are like-mindedly moving forward to a future.  I’m excited to learn, and I feel like the place I am at is where I am meant to be.  There are still I have yet to fully resolve and am still learning every day, but I feel like I am more receptive to this change now,

I feel alive, more so than I had been.  It’s like waking up from a slumber, realizing you have the whole day ahead of you and all the energy in the world. I had a friend who had been struggling for a long time come out of the haze of that struggle and start to see the world in as vivid and beautiful.  Like the veil being removed from your eyes, to see the world again.  I know this is a bit wax-poetic, but it gets to the point. I am happy, struggling out there in the world, making mistakes at every turn but happy to be alive which is the best thing I could ask for.  Things have changed and will continue to evolve on this journey of mine, all the feelings I have put to the page have been an adventure. If you would, indulge me in another year of words because my journey is not yet done.

Thank you for reading.

-End of Year Two-

The Eventual Death Of The Universe

IMGP7879.jpg

Do you ever think about the heat death of the universe?
From the moment I learned about it in high school chemistry class, I reflect on it and what it means.  The heat death of the universe happens when all energy is expended when all matter has reached its equilibrium, and there is nothing left to do. It’s the ultimate end of everything because there’s nothing left, just the cold and the still.

Life and nature curve its way toward entropy, a chaotic system, without any help something that is orderly will slowly break down over time to little bits and pieces.  This happens until there is nothing left to do, and it will move on to something else. Nothing is immune to this effect, and if we want to build something or maintain it, we have to put an effort in, use up the energy to do so. This lost energy we can never get back and slowly it ticks us ever closer to the end.

I think about how this relates to people, the idea that our relationships or lives are these massive towers we build for ourselves.  To create these monuments in our lives we spend time and energy, and without time and energy, they simply wither away.  We try and sometimes maintain order in our lives, but all it takes is a little bit of disorder to throw us off our game.  Life is effortful, it takes a lot of energy to live the life we want to live.

Our bodies are made to conserve energy, to ration it properly, as if it were always in scarcity.  The truth of it is that people will always skew to doing the easier thing.  It’s within our nature to figure out the pattern to something and learn to cut down the process to its most essential.  That’s why patience and discipline, for the most part, are learned traits, not inate.  That’s also why when you hear about great peoples and their great actions, it’s not about what the result was, a lot of the time what they did was nothing more than a series of small, doable things, it’s more that they did it.  They pushed themselves beyond what peoples see as natural or the doable.  The push themselves to new heights because they are willing to continue to put in the energy to do so.
They are not afraid of building towers and having them fall willing in spite of that.

I think about the heat death of the universe and wonder if I can fight against it, even if by just a little for a little while.  To build a life that I expend this energy to create something more than what was there before.  To build and maintain relationships and a life that is in spite of the constant pull toward the comfortable and the easy.  I want to try at least, to become something more than this scarcity.

If I’m constantly worried about where my energy is going, I never am able to use it all for what really matters to me, living a good life the best way I can.

Lessons On Adulthood

IMG_0129.JPG

I think I finally understand what it means to be an adult.  It’s that feeling of not knowing what you are doing, but having to do it anyways. The strange thing is, is that regardless of the training you get, and how much you might prepare for it when you are emersed in the situation it always feels a bit different than what we are told. It’s a matter of then embracing that feeling and doing our best to resolve this situation.  I think that’s the difficulty sometimes, there is no guidance to follow, and when people tell you that they can’t be decided for you that’s because it’s true, how are you suppose to be able to tell someone to live if there are so many different paths to take.  I think that the lessons are how to cope with this abundant change and lack of guidance are the ones we need for the future.

There also comes a time when it feels like the curtain is being pulled back like the whole show is demystified right before your eyes. The magic seems less like magic and more like years of hard work. This isn’t a negative thing because it means that with a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of time, anything is possible. It has a way of trying to destroy the idea of magic in the world, which magic is that can make life a lot more worthwhile and enjoyable.  The other part of that is that at the time when you pull back the curtain you find this everything is built makeshift and in all sorts of different directions. No one really understands why it was made the way it was, but we keep doing it because it always been done that way.

Point being there is some sort of arbitrariness to being an adult. The question as to why something is the way it is a lot of the time comes down to what time and resources you had at the time.  This revelation is something that confuses me a bit because, on one hand, it lends itself to the incredible nature of human ingenuity to come up with ideas and workarounds for our most complex problems. On the contrary, though.. it gives some insight as to what most of our institutions may actually be, a set of good intentions and effort stacked on what we may think we know at the time.  At times decisions are driven by a purely utilitarian nature, something is done that way because it was easiest, or it was done because it conveys a sense of style or familiarity like when decisions are made because someone thought that way is best. As with our minds, we travel and create roads and inpaths to make things more robust, more secure but making our decisions less fluid in the process. We live upon the shoulders of giants, but we are also cursed to live by their decisions.

Being an adult takes a lot of work, a lot of effort to do it successfully.  Even through all its really absurd nature, it’s a challenge that either drives us to grow or defeats us.  As I grow up, I can see that I am learning and growing along the way.  Hopefully, the world doesn’t feel so arbitrary by the end of it all and that one day I can help the next generation grow and learn just like I am.

Hot Summer Afternoon

It was the small crease in her dress that drew my eye. It crumpled slightly in the middle as she leaned her head on her arm. A small sunflower flower pattern covered the dress made a radiate yellow hue that shined brightly whenever the sun would hit it.

Underneath peaked a pure white tank top that stuck to her skin outlining its shape. Her hair was pulled back into a bun and her face glistened from the beads of sweat that have started to form on that hot summers day.  She might have been in the shade but you can tell she was warm by the way she was breathing.

Her eyes were illuminated by the screen she held, like a portable dopamine dump, they seemed transfixed on the screen as her whole face had a serious but relaxed look to it.  Her hands flicked, poked, and prodded the screen but her face never changed and her eyes never moved.

A moment seemed like an eternity on that hot summer afternoon.

The World In The Life of A Guy: Part 6 – The Nod

IMG_0083.JPG

There it is, a small gesture that goes on with only a moment. This is a part of being a guy that I really kind of enjoy. It’s this little thing we will do when two guys pass by each other. A slight nod to the other person. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the sidewalk, in a car, while running, sitting, or doing numerous other activities it comes quickly, and it’s gone. It’s just a gesture, but it says a thousand words.

I was never outwardly taught this, it didn’t come up for classes or lessons. It was just understood that this needed to happen.  To acknowledge each other’s existence, regardless if you know them or not.  A small sign of respect for a person you may never see again. It’s like saying, “You are here, and see you” It doesn’t really matter what I am doing, I can elicit a nod from another guy as long as we make eye contact.  Now, this doesn’t mean this is actually going to lead anywhere, it’s not any sort of invitation. No one expects people to act on the nod, the nod itself is a self-contained precept.  It just feels nice to be acknowledged, to be honest, and I’m happy to do it.  It’s the perfect way to end awkward looks.

A nod can happen between friends too. Pass one in the hallway but don’t really want to stop, just nod.  Find yourself in a situation where you see someone you know while with a different group of people, just nod.  It’s easy, and even though it seems like there is not much to it, there is a whole layer its complexity that just fills the gap in social relationships that would otherwise cause unneeded drama and harm.  Letting it go with a nod signifies that everything is okay, that there is nothing pressing, and its okay to just be on your way. Though things can change and a nod can turn into a conversation or a connection of some sort, it being there is a good place to start without having to worry about the stepping on people’s toes.

The last part of the nod is much less of a nod but fall under the same family of things. When I had my motorcycle and was learning to ride, there was a small norm I had to follow.  Every time you pass by another bike, you would throw up a peace sign or a wave depending on your preference. It was a nice sign of respect, and it just feels like your part of this wider community of people that are in some way connected through a shared experience and expression.

I don’t know where the nod came from, but as a practice, I find it an ultimately positive one.  I think the nod is something that helps create a society in which we feel as if we exist together. So if you have the opportunity, nod at someone, when you get one back you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Boredom

I find myself falling asleep
I don’t want to
It’s not time yet
but I can barely keep my eyes open
Its because my minds not working
my body has slowed
My heart rate drops
and it expects me to sleep
I am fighting it
Putting my mind to the test
trying to push my way through it all
Trying to do my best
But I can’t avoid it at times
My life had its lulls
But I fight boredom with all of my

Each day is a struggle
But I will win
Because life is wonderful
and it’s a beautiful place within.

The Little Things

Standing on the precipice of sleep
Working my way to my feet
It’s the little things that make and break me
Each day I go through each day
Trying to catch the good moments
Letting the bad ones go
But being tired makes the whole thing a lot more complicated
Makes me wonder about how good of a person I am
Deep down
It’s the person who pushes through obscurity despite it all
that’s the person to aspire to be
I catch myself sometimes
Failing to do good
Because my body falls behind
And my mind drives me to close my eyes
Wanting there to be more to it all
To return to the land of dreams when the sun is still shining
Keep going
Keep pressing on
You have to pull out a win
This is for you
No one is going to be pulling you along
Drag it
Pull your body along with your aspirations
Drive it with your dreams
It will follow you where you go
Because it has to
Then you can sleep
When you have exhausted all your resources
And gotten the job done
That’s when you deserve it.