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.

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.

The Things Destroying Me.

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The point of this blog is to talk, have a conversation with myself and others about life. Sometimes I worry about this because I live on a line of wanting to show everything and feeling too bashful to explain the subtle nuances that permeate my being that may lie in the far reaches of social taboo.  Slowly I attempt to unravel this as experience give me inspiration to write and press forward.  I guess today is one of those days because my life feels like it’s wrapped like an ouroboros destroying itself while trying to live.

In recent weeks I have reported my progressive tribulations with my inability to work.  My hands have heavy, my eyes refuse to look at screens because they hurt, and from the sudden rise in heartbeat from attempting to open my email I am starting to think some of these symptoms are psychosomatic.  What is the cure to this, I don’t know, but from what I know about most trials in my life, the only way to really become serious about solving a problem is recognizing there is one in the first place.

I feel like I am falling apart, the order I crafted now feels like an inverted tower of Hanoi, building large bases on small foundations wondering when everything will simply topple over and chaos returns. I can’t keep all these balls that I am juggling in my hand, and I have a feeling at any given moment I start messing up and lose one after another. I am starting to forget when things are happening, losing track of tasks I have to do.  That aided with my systems of effort beginning to fail in the heat-drenched summer, I feel powerless to anything except persist.

My time is slipping away right in front of me, and I am letting it.  Under the excuse of needing time to myself, this unstructured period is ruinous for everything I am attempting to do. A push, drive to move forward dissipates in the lack of deadlines and feelings of need. My head is pounding attempting to push forward but the time I sitting in front of my task that sense and ability won’t come. Like calling for a hero but it never arriving I slink back into my chair in attempts to wait it out, maybe just a couple minutes longer and I can finally do it.

I am falling back into the bad habits of yesterday.  This idea that through it all I can find makeshift comfort in the virtual illusion of porn haunts me. This tugging I had no problem overcoming seems now a persistent voice attempting to seduce me into a false serenity built on a growing instability of self.  This force, like most know, is built on a promise of escape and the illusion of intimacy contends with my desire to keep focused and away from what I know harms me.

I feel now dread from the simple act of checking if there anything more to do, waiting for the call of failure in and the black and white textures of an email or text. I dread this failure, but it keeps me still. I try to face it but it overwhelms me, and I don’t know what to do.

I want to slink away, be away from everyone and everything. Just a quiet moment for my thoughts and yet when those times come I can help but surround myself in noise. I want to have control, and I feel like I’m losing it.  I want to just succeed, but all I feel is failure.  Why won’t my body move what I want it to – what I need it to. I feel at the mercy of these things I feel like no control over and powerless to stop.

In all of it I know is two things.

First, I surrender to it, I will fail, fall, and falter.  There are things in life that are bigger than us, stronger than us and to get through them we have to recognize that they have this power.

Second, I have to persist. Strength isn’t gained in a day, and courage isn’t fostered through a peaceful life. I am not strong sometimes, and that’s okay.  Little by little and piece by piece things will get done and time will pass. Things will change and as they do so will I.

I don’t know how this will turn out, but it scares me. Scares me a lot.

Running With Strings

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“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
– Søren Kierkegaard

When I was young, I used to watch my Dad run in the evenings around the track of the local high school. Others were always there, all with the same goal but never having to speak to one another.  Under the harsh stadium lights, that cast dark shadows onto the field were runners in the night. Under the darkened sky there was one such runner I can even now see so vividly.  Tied to his back, strings. Strings that attached to a parachute that would drag behind him and open up whenever he would pick up speed.  I couldn’t understand why someone would do such a thing,  running was hard enough, and this guy was making it harder on himself.  So in the long shadows of the night, I watched the man struggle perplexed.

As of now, I find myself in a strange place because like the runner with the chute, its as if I am holding myself back because of the past.  I look back on these memories and moments of mine and realize that I am tied up with strings that make me unable to move where I would like.  It’s the past I resist against that makes my present that much harder. The memories I have to dictate the path I take because of the fears and experiences I have been through. I look to fight back against it, but I feel slowed and tired from the weight.

I remember the runner again, I remember what he did after running against the parachute. After he removed the strings, I did finally understand. The chute made him stronger, and faster but its only works after he took it off.  He sprinted against the resistance, so when he let go of it, he was even faster than before. The weight had to be lifted off of him for progress to actually be shown. He needed to remove the strings to truly show how fast he can be.

I feel that way at the moment, at another crossroad where the strings of my past are starting to become a detriment in my everyday.  I need to work through my life and letting go of all the weights I’ve been using to move forward.  The resistance that I’ve been training up until this point have been great motivators that I can never forget but have to move on from. I can’t hold onto the past because it will slow down my progress for the future. I have to take off the strings if I ever really want to know how strong I really can be.

 

A Showdown and a Smile

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With new challenges come new obstacles and difficulties.  I find myself wanting to sleek back into the habit I had before of avoiding the problem hiding away until someone or something else takes care of it. It’s a habit I formed long ago to deal with all the fear and disappointment I felt from my lack of power in the world.  I secluded myself to reading stories about people who did more, tried more, and were more than I felt I could ever be.  I had dreams but now a plan to accomplish them. Each moment I spent with these heroes, I felt as if they were giving me something to carry within myself, a sense of spirit and power.

There is one thing that I feel is almost universal about them is that against extreme odds they do not let the despair of failure cloud their actions.  They press on against this seemingly unrelenting force to create change in the world.  Though not all of them may be the most reliable form the onset, they do what needs to be done because it needs to be done.  They find their purpose and pursue it, and it might be the naivety of my feeling about stories, but if that isn’t one of the more beautiful things life, I don’t really know what is.

What I feel might be one of the more cliche acts that I hold dear to my heart is when a new and unexpected challenge arises, a smile breaks loose from the heroes.  A smile that speaks volumes about how even though the world seems to be crashing down on them, and fate calling for the end, they embrace the chaos of the situation and for a moment are willing to collect the charges of taking on the entire world.

I know in a way its a bit of a silly trope, but a smile breaks down a situation and finds humor in the ridiculousness that our world offers us.  It moves us from being crushed by the weight of the world to feeling free of its burdens.  It gives life to those who feel like theirs is ending. A smile and a laugh are amazingly powerful things.

I am trying to emanate those heroes that are engrained in my heart.  Becoming strong in my own way and fighting my own battles, each successive victory giving me the knowledge that I can go a bit further than I was before.  I hope that when the cards are down, when the world seems to be crashing down around me, that instead of hiding away and hoping it all passes over, that I smile and accept the challenge the world has offered, fighting tooth and nail for victory. This knowing that only way out is forward and all of us are stronger than we believe.

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.

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.

 

Karma, Chimera

For years, it may seem silly; I always wanted to find an animal that I embody.  It’s not important; it’s more of a fun game.  Some people are cats, others dogs, lions, tigers, and bears; an endless variety of animal to pick one and don’t seem to emulate any of them well.

I have thought about it for years and asked countless people. Unfortunately, there is never a clear answer.  Whenever a clear answer is absent, my mind goes wild trying to find the answer, even if the question is not worthwhile.  I think it’s because there was no clear defined result. Looking for that particular answer is what I wanted but was deprived. Now over the years I was given many different answers by many different people nothing seemed to fit.

I thought about it for a while; I tried to match my qualities to animals I liked or ones I thought I might be. Chameleons for their ever changing and blending nature. A stag, just for the imagery and both strong but harmonious nature.  Bear because of my size, hair, and warm nature. A monkey for its intelligence. A Fox for its cleverness.  A piglet in light of the meaning of my last name. Nothing fits well…

It’s a conundrum, I both love and hate the ambiguity of it.  In not being defined, it is easy to be free of the notions of prejudice. It feels good to be novel and have the ability to forge a new path . Opposing this is the alienating feeling of not being able to come together with anyone and feeling lost in the muck of life with no signpost to guide me.

I decided I must define myself, create the existence I want to be, find the strengths of those around me and learn them. Learn from the pitfalls of the overconfident rabbit, and the patience of a tortoise.  I am greedy in that way, I want to learn and be all them.  It was then I realized I will emulate the mythical creature of the chimera. Something that is a combination of many different animals. Something that can’t be outright defined because of its confusing nature. I know its a bit of a cheat but at least to me it feels right that I can be many bits and pieces that coalesce into one being. I am the result of taking and learning from all those around me, in some ways people in my life become part of me as I continue to live my life. I don’t know which combination I will be at the end of the day but I am a combination in the truest way.

Maybe I didn’t need the question after all, because how can you define an entire existence so simply.

Nostalgia: A Pain I Can’t Get Rid Of

Dreams, I have been having dreams filled with people and things I don’t want to think about. The problem is not that they are bad dreams, quite the contrary, the dreams are so beautiful they hurt to have.

The thing that comes to mind is the idea of nostalgia, what I remember is a small speech from the show Madmen talking about its meaning.  It’s explained that it means a pain of an old wound. It is the combination of the two ancient Greek words meaning pain and homecoming. It was a description originally used to explain the feelings of Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.  It’s a sense of melancholy that I can’t escape.

This pain that I’ve gotten used to, a hurt that will go away as long as I don’t think about it but I can’t help but think about it. The wound is in my heart because it just wants to go home.  I have lost the home for my heart; I had given my heart away and when it was returned to me it was a foreign object.  It didn’t fit; it was treated warmly, but I didn’t know how to handle own heart. So it yearns for that, the cozy, comfortable space in which it grew.

My heart and I are attempting to understand each other.  We were apart for so long that we know that we have to spend some time together. I get familiar with what my heart wants and needs; the problem is the memories engraved on my heart.  The memories repeat the experiences of when it was treated well, when it was happy, when it was hurt, and when it was sad.  Like a record replaying over and over growing increasingly quiet as time goes on.

It’s the great unraveling of things, the desensitization of spirit.  The memory that begins as a situation and starts to turn into a story.  It hurts because of the memories and feelings of being so close for so long will eventually become nothing more than words.  The great human experience calls for us to keep moving forward if we want to survive and thrive.   So the memories will fade, and so will the pain. But it’s this feeling of nostalgia that allows me a glimpse of the experience, and is all that is left, but I know that too will erode with time becoming a memory of memory.

My mind and my heart are having a hard time with that; I can honestly say that it’s a pain that means something to me.  My heart is telling me its time to heal, telling me to wait until I am ready, it’s emptying out it contents, pain and all.

The pang of nostalgia.  I can’t get away from it, and the best thing to do is to have the feeling. Each one an echo of its former self.   Sometimes I want to deny the pain, the hurt so that the memory and feeling will linger a little bit longer, but I know that I have to let go. One day it will be gone, and my heart will be filled with other memories, but until then all I have are my dreams that are so beautiful they hurt.

A Comforting Struggle

My legs radiate soreness; my eyes feel tired, the hours in the day aren’t enough to finish everything anymore.  I keep pushing, pursuing, and polishing myself until I give off an undeniable sheen.  Day to day, keep moving until I get to the end. I am always craving the comfort of the past.  Not knowing when I will be able to stop but afraid of stop because I’m not sure if I will be able to move again.

My situation has repeatedly been changing over months.  Foundations within and without requiring more and more of me.  Luckily, I have been in the process of growing and changing to meet these challenges, but each one cares away another of the comforts I knew in the past.  Routine sets in, the only way to squeeze all that I can from the day. But with each rinse and repeat, I find myself farther away from the person I was months ago.

Things I do become rationalized through the guise of growth; everything else is superfluous. I do take the time to keep my sanity.  Outside of time in which I spend with others, which is always worthwhile, I spend the rest of my day with nose to the grindstone.  The last vestiges of time where I sought comfort to hide from future come out as treats for having accomplished what I needed to throughout the day.

I have always believed in the strength and adaptability of human nature in that; I choose to find comfort in the struggle, the pressing of myself until I lay a solid foundation for the future. Find fuel in my frustrations, a seemingly inexhaustible variety.

It’s in this thought process that I am afraid that I will break, or not achieve all that I need to.  The burning idea of who I could be and what I can do versus what I am and what I do now drives me forward to this point.

I ask myself how long will my legs feel tired, how long will my eyes weigh heavy, how much longer until I get more hours in the day. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that I can’t stop now, I have only just begun.

I keep going until I am called crazy, or ridiculous.  Until no one understands how I can keep going, not even myself.  It is only in these feats of incredible perseverance that I will know that I am half way there. It’s at this time that I will find the joy in my working and comfort in my struggle.