Clench.

I feel tense, my whole body feels as though it is still holding on to stress from this application season.  Most of what I need to do is behind me, but I don’t have the feeling of being complete or relaxed. I am stuck holding everything rigid, like a ghost is still there haunting me.

This feeling is like when I used to ride my motorcycle long distances through traffic.  Though it looks like motorcycles taking it easy and passing between cars it just the opposite, during traffic we are most tense. Going in between cars we have to watch for any little indicator of a potential of trouble that is to say it’s hard being invisible when there thousand pound vehicles that wouldn’t think twice to roll over you. It’s after these especially tense trips that I feel it. I would peel my hands off the handlebars of my bike and no matter what I did it would still feel like I was there, riding between the cars.  

I’m trying to let go, relax and feel alright, but I feel like this will be a process of recovery.  I have been going non-stop since the beginning of summer culminating to these past couple weeks.  My body doesn’t even know what to do now that the stress is technically over.  

Maybe I’ll take it easy, but not likely, I am sure after a couple days that feeling of needing to work will come over me again. I just hope that by the time that comes, I will be okay again.

Animated Change

wallup.netPhoto From: 5 Centimeters per second.

It was the 1980’s, a time of great change in music, movies, and media. You see, up to that point, this small art style coming out of Japan was starting to make headway with western audiences.  An older generation appreciating the art from the 50’s and 60’s huddled together at small expos and cons to collect as much of this foreign delicacy as they could. What they didn’t know is that a few short years this would all change, and change quickly.

The first change came fast, a new popular show called Sailor moon came out with a roar, bringing young girls flocking for more from animators across the sea. It was such a hit that the transition period between the old and the new felt more like a crash than a movement. Gradually as the 90’s pressed on Americans were introduced to a variety of styles, artists, genres, and stories never seen on home TVs.  These pieces of Anime as is was called presented new ideas and spun the idea of exactly what show could be like. Shows that weren’t afraid to tell a story where the hero dies at the end, where the send-off is bittersweet, and you’re forced to think about yourself and the world around you a little bit differently. Masters of their craft illuminate the halls of an art form that continues to shift and changes with each passing year. New stories are being told, new artforms being discovered, and new people finding this glorious cacophony of beautiful minutes shared across millions around the world.

Why am I telling you all this?

I discovered Anime a little over 12 years ago.  One night, sitting quietly in a room watching a marathon of a show I have never seen before got me hooked.  A show about a soul reaper and a boy with the power to see the dead.  It was easy enough to pick up, even read, and that’s saying something from a boy who never read.  It consumed me and held me it’s magical embrace, so when the opportunity arose I went to my first convention and I hadn’t looked back since. It has a staple of my early July, more regular than my schooling and in some way connects me to the craft I grew to love.

This year demarks my tenth year of going to Anime Expo, and something is different this time.  Year after year, as I’ve gotten older a little less comes with me each time enter those grand halls.
Sometimes it’s friends, I’ve seen my fair share move forward and on from the con.
Sometimes it shows, I’ll feel a little more out of touch with what people are excited about.
Recently it’s been the focus,  what everyone seems to want and buy there doesn’t interest me as much anymore.  It could be from the familiarity from many years attending but it all feels repetitive, distant.

It’s a combination of all these things that makes going back a little bit harder each year. This by no means is it a bad convention. It’s a great convention, with some growing pains but people still get excited about all the new and wonderful things they are experiencing. It’s just me, I’m changing, and my relationship to the fandom is different now.  Like an old man coming back to a schoolyard years after he graduated, it’s more reminiscent of times past than times present.  Things have changed, people have changed, places have changed as they should. It has to adapt to the people it’s still serving, long after we make use of it.  But is it my time to graduate, to move forward onto something new? It’s this conflict that weighs heavy in my heart. When I leave, it may not be forever, but if I ever return it will be different, for different reasons and a different me.

This fight with my personal obsolescence hits me because this con is part of me, my childhood and adolescence.  Giving it up means part of me has changed, that young kid inside though always with me is pushing me forward beyond him.  He’s telling me to let go and find my next adventure.  Let go and choose a new path beyond, whatever it may be. Live life with these memories as wings on my back, not as a tether around my neck.

It’s hard to give up and put away these things.  Truthfully, I will always read manga, and watch anime as its part of who I am now. But I have to pursue my next adventure.

Thank you Anime Expo, for all that you are. You helped introduce me to the heroes who showed me how to give it all I got, no matter the odds.

 

Meta Self Contemplation

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I started this blog a long time ago with the intended purpose to think and put into writing aspects of my life.  It was always something I had wanted to do, keep a record of things as I go from place to place.  The record of my life as it is for both people to read and to go back on to find the steps I have taken on this journey. The motivation came from different sources, the deterioration of my personal relationships, the darkening of my outlook, my desire to change and be open with the world.  It has been what fueled me, but I have fallen short of my goals in some ways, though I keep at it, hoping to find the light out in the darkness.

I write because I like to write and think about my life.  It’s what I am good at, or at least thats what people tell me. I have been thinking about my life since I began to think, always wondering if those insignificant moments that pass me by would mean anything to me, if the person who lived through those moments would be remembered or evaporate like the morning dew from the onset of the heat of the day. I have largely kept these thoughts a secret,  for the scars on my heart seal up words within as a way to protect my being from the onslaught of unwanted spotlights.

This perspective changed though in my recollection of a midnight reflection, suffering in the silence over the lady I loved.  I sat there under the starlight in the quiet stillness of the early hours breaking down, unable or maybe unwilling to change.  I needed to do something, both for myself and for those around me, I needed to win and break out of this tumultuous cycle of inability.  So what did I do, the last thing most people would think I would do, write. I wrote because I could. I wrote because needed to. I wrote because every ounce of my being told me to.

So I fought towards the light, and though I lost much, I learned a lot.  In this journey, I ripped and sewed together pieces of myself in the hopes of righting all that I am, so in the future, I could walk taller than I did that day.  Each word I wrote was a struggle, years of grammatical challenges don’t bode well for self-confidence. But here I am and here I think, I have I really laid myself bare upon the page? Have really reconstructed myself from within.  Old problems still arise and each time I am given an opportunity to change, and truth be told, I fail more than I would like but I keep walking.

What is the point of this message then, what have I learned.  I have talked about being open and honest and yet at the keys I avoid or soften these truths about myself in fear and loathing, in pride and “protection”.  I know this keeps me from truth, and liberty of these thoughts and feelings.  It keeps me from really pouring my heart onto a page.  You can’t filter out your soul and expect people to feel it.

I will change that though, now:

I am a mixture of self-confident, and self-depreciating, never letting me fly too high because I am worried about the fall, but also crushed when I miss my opportunity in be in the sky
I am afraid of my scars and memories, I flinch when coming across old moments and triggers. I reminds me of who I was and I fear if I stay to long I will return to this powerless younger self. I spend time moving through to heal but I still feel the marks on my soul.
I try to be a good friend and family member, and it is a work in progress. Years of trying to distance yourself from other people has that affect on you.
I love from the bottom of my heart everyone one in my life.  I could be from the shattered self-esteem of my youth but in growing into who I am has taught me to appreciate those moments I have with other people because in my eyes they are you are your own personal miracle.
I am bad at telling people how I feel about them.
I just want to help people, know what it’s like to suffer and struggle, know you are not alone and I am here to give what I can.
I am bad at asking for help.
I am afraid I am not enough great things, that I am destined for mediocrity.
Whenever I think I am smart, the universe seems to want to remind me that I am not as smart as I think I am.
I have been through major depression twice in my life.
I have been through major depression twice in my life.
For a long time, I was afraid to love because of a worry that it will never be as deep and full as the love I had before.
I don’t understand why people like more or want to be around me.
I don’t believe people when they tell me I look nice.
I honestly just like being a nice person, no strings attached.
I sincerely believe that anyone is capable of pretty much anything, the bad, and the great alike, you just need to find your way of doing it.
I am religious (Catholic), and I don’t really know why I just like it and I am still trying to figure it out.
I like to learn about politics and listen to new opinions, but to be honest, I think most of what people are saying is kinda stupid, nothing is black and white and yet most of politics treats the world that way.
I believe most people want to do good out there in the world and are innately good.
I do have common sense.
I want to be one of the great minds of the twenty-first century.
My greatest fear is to be forgotten.

In laying this out, I hope to clear this veneer that lays between me and my thoughts.  I want to be better, so I will do it, one step at a time.

 

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.

Love.

I wanted to make a post about love, about the love in the world and how it accents the moments around us to make life beautiful.  I wanted to do this by sitting in front of a computer and thinking about all the way I think I feel about love, and in which way I can remember love.  Inspiration didn’t come to me, stuck with the blinking line after a bad opening paragraph and a couple catchy sentences I figured that maybe if I wait the words would come to me.  It didn’t make sense, though, the idea of thinking about feelings to express how they are leads us nowhere. I could no better explain a sunset to someone who has never seen one, the only way to understand love is to experience it. So I wanted to try my hand at describing how I experience love, maybe then it will make sense.

I have no control over love, of all the emotions that I can deny, put off, it’s the one that’s loudest in my heart. It shouts if I am ignoring it, so loud that until I take the time to recognize it, I can’t think of anything else. It’s a feeling that extends through me, electrifies me, and gives me strength to tackle anything the world throws at me.

Love keeps the light on in my soul. A light which illuminates the dark and the sometimes cruel world. It allows me to see what the creatures are in the darkness; hurt souls looking for closure.
Love is the part of me that provides a safe haven from the dark.

Love is in the hand I extend, the one that bandages the wounds, guides the way, and offers aid.  It’s cut, scarred, and bruised but is always is extended waiting for someone who needs it.
Love is the part of me that feels compassion and wants to raise the world up.

Love is the well settling in my chest, one that’s full to the brim with pure water on the cusp of spilling over.  All it takes is an ounce of love, and the water will pour out onto the world around me.  It’s the smiles, laughs, and tender moments between people that have filled it to the brim, and wants to help share it with the world.
Love is the part of me that wants to share the wonders of the world.

Love is my eyes that see the world and its beauty. It sees the clouds coalesce in the sky making magnificent portraits that last for a moment. It sees the smiles on people faces, the light in their eyes, the silent moments between two that can only be expressed if you know what it is like for the whole world to disappear.
Love is the part of me that sees all that is good and holds out hope.

Love is in my grin, the one that I can’t help to have. It forms without me knowing or against my stern demeanor. It’s the smile that extends out from me touching the world around it. It’s love that gives me boundless energy to live life to the fullest.
Love is the part of me that is happy and spreads joy and zeal.

Love is in the wrenching feeling that I get in my gut when I see someone in pain or having a hard time.
Love is the voice that calls out and wants to know if they are okay. It’s in the words that speak the truth in that I would do anything to stop their pain, even if just for a moment to reignite the flame in their heart.
Love is the part of me that feels empathy for others and drives me to action.

Love is the intense feeling of wanting to connect, to wash away the pains of the world, to start each moment anew.
Love is what crushes me, compels me, and cages me.  It’s a feeling that is complex, with each iteration of it feeling slightly different than the last.  Of all my feelings its the one that wants to walk beside me.
It hurts, and it heals, that is love, a contradiction.I think about love.

I reflect on love; I consider whether or not it is real, or just some organic byproduct or if that even matters.
I know love is great and horrible. I know love is a catalyst for these intense feelings, and crazy notions.  It’s a big part of me; I can’t explain what compels me to love.

I love the world and people in it and I would do anything for love.

grit.

Sometimes all I can do is sigh in the intervening days between where I am and where I want to be. I sigh in frustration, and in exhaustion, because these days seem to be spiced with flavors I don’t like.

My life is in no counts bad, quite honestly I count my blessings daily.  The problem lies with the issue I have of when my plans will finally gain some traction, and I can move to the next level in life.  I work towards my goals, in my way, though a lot of the time I don’t feel like I am doing enough because I am not getting the results I want.  I am attempting to see the big picture in it all; it’s still difficult to see the forest for the trees.

I find that perseverance is the only way to deal with the hand I have. Again it’s not a bad hand; it’s just not a winning one.  I lay somewhere in the middle, having a hand that if no one at the table has anything I have nothing to worry about, but it wouldn’t take much to top.  In these types of games, it’s about waiting for the opportune moment.  Looking at my bets and investments, hoping my card come up but having a plan for when it doesn’t.  I have to keep playing, know the table, make strategic moves and know that even I lose in a round the game is not over.

This is my the great lesson of this year, grit. The ability to keep at something no matter what comes my way. Its to get an understanding of the bitter flavors the world has to offer but not losing heart.

It’s hard, bouncing back after each blow, luckily after I’ve taken a lot of them I’ve gotten used to it.  Standing up after each hit is hard work, at points I want to break down, forget it all, and leave what I have accomplished at the table.  I keep going until it becomes more habit than thought.   I know what I want, and at the moment,  I need to keep working at it if I even hope to stand a chance.  Life is a tough opponent, but I am fighting back.

Grit is something that I am learning, and I will keep at it. Changing my life is about doing, not talking about what I should do. I will make sure that my blood, sweat, and tears are working toward the future I want and towards shaping the person I will become.   It’s hard work, but sometimes the best thing to do is to grit your teeth. It will get better, I’ll make sure of it.

Ill.

I have gotten sick more times this year than any other years I’ve been alive.
I wonder if it’s a sign,
A symbol that I am doing something wrong
Or I am pushing myself too much
It doesn’t matter really,
Can’t stop until I get what I want.
So sickness, you get to take a back seat, to my life.

Sorry.

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.

Mixed Messages

A message is only as good as its delivery.
If given a message that is negative or critical it’s important that you include a methodology of how to fix the problem, or the message falls flat. It’s then only half a message, an incomplete phase that unfortunately can resonate within someone. It’s these messages that we receive that make a difference in how we perceive the world.

I am a critical person, not on those around me but myself. I am infinitely hard on myself, because of my belief that if I want something to change I have to be the catalyst for it.  I found that I have been giving myself these unfinished messages, these incomplete statements of criticism.   Stopping at the what I am doing wrong, and never getting to how to fix it.

In this state, life just gets heavier and becomes hard to be productive.  Things that I have been working on for months become more involved when I can’t reach the expectation I desire.  Habits I have form become weights that bind me.  It’s in these times that I have to recollect the purpose which I am working.  Positive changes shouldn’t feel like punishment, but when with a crossed message, it can feel grueling.

I realize that my posts have been concentrating on this negative aspect. These lessons I have been learning through blood, sweat, and tears are what spend the time to write.  It’s then when I continue to struggle, that I give no closure to the problem, and the weight is placed once more on my shoulders.  I continue to take the time to look inwardly to find other lessons I can learn, consequently never finishing the lessons that came before.

One or two of these things is something I can handle, but as the weight stacks I become lethargic. It’s this closure, a focus on the solution, rather than the problem that I need.  The lesson the weight is to come to terms with the issues that I face, and allow myself leeway to finish what I have started.

What I need most is to finish my messages, allow myself to end on a high note.  Giving myself a path to travel allows me some relief.  So I will give myself these words, finish the day on a high note, and give myself closure to the problems that I face.
So I will end this with the message that I can make things better, change the way the messages comes across and continue to push forward into making these messages to create a brighter future for myself and those around me.  After all, I am the catalyst of changing my fate.

How to Define A Line

It has come to my attention that I have trouble defining who I am. It is something that I look to others for insight.  Using others a mirror of sorts, looking for feedback. I can tell you that when everything is right, this isn’t a problem, but when thing takes an unexpected turn sometimes, my whole identity is shaken.

It’s not as dramatic as it sounds, it takes time for the layers of me unravel.  The longer the detour, the more I have trouble with this.  Only after unraveling everything I am gets called into question. Who am I?  What do I mean to other? What role I play in their lives? How do they see me and is that how see myself? These are questions I have asked myself FAR too many times.  I try to be as self-aware as possible.  Knowing my faults and working on them. I have a worry I cannot see everything, and that I am missing a glaring imperfection in my personality.  I am hard on myself for that reason, looking for errors so that I can fix them.  That is under the juvenile pretense if I can fix myself enough people will love me.

It’s silly and ridiculous, the notion of needing to be good enough for love.  I can give a long history of reasons as to why I feel this way, and knowing enough about people gives me the insight that that idea is purely internal. I know it’s wrong to feel this way, but my other concern is the feeling come and goes as it pleases, not to when it pleases me.

At this point, I have trouble with who I am.  Doubt is born within my heart and mind.
I am smart, but I don’t get treated like I’m smart so maybe I’m not.
I am fun to be around, but no one seems to want to be around me so maybe I’m not.
I am dependable, but no one depends on me so maybe I’m not.
It’s these ridiculous things that I hate in myself.  It whispers in my ear, telling me that I am not, and I will never be.

I am consistent, having learned to fight through it. I found traits based on my perceptions.
I am healthy.
I am a deep thinker.
I am serious and have a dry wit.
Adding to my lists, I am creating a building that requires no one to keep it standing.

I don’t know if cutting people out of this process is a right or wrong, but I do know it does help with sanity when I can lesson the load on I expect from others.  Self-esteem is not my strongest trait, alternatively, self-efficacy is.  I may not be the most confident with who I am, but I am confident with I can do. Anything I put my mind to.

Maybe I am too caught up with the man in the mirror and should be more concerned with what he does than who he may be.