As with most things in my life ,I have only moments of rest before the rise of work comes to greet me. It’s a bit tiring with just a hope that I will have a significant rest and renewal before my life steps onto it’s new journey. Though this is mostly my fault for always wanting to be involved in the cool things going around me. A moment of awesome usually is the culmination of many hours of hard work and preparation, and right now that’s where were at, in that preparation for something greater. I leave this short and sweet because the night calls and I require rest, though I complain about the work I do enjoy it because it in some small way it makes me feel like a hero fighting against the torrent of evil to come out at the end of the day victoriously once again saving the world in my way.
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 setting night, the pounding of shoes against the cold pavement, a hoarse heavied breathing of the lone runner gives life to this quiet night. Running around that track without an end in sight, just another lap going round and round over and over again. Their breath on fire, bellowing slowly from tired lungs working to sustain their body and keep it from collapsing. Why does the runner keep running? What are they running too? Or what are they running from?
It has come with time, a busied schedule that has not allowed me to sit and process these comings and goings, just enough time to do what is placed right out in front of me and that is all. It’s not a strict weariness that throws me, but a lack of standing to even know where I am or how long I have been running.
It’s of several major events, important tasks, priorities that make my head feel like it’s in a spin, always trying to take in as much air as possible to calm my straining self. It’s even in sleep that I have suffered, jumping from sleeping well because of my accident to sleeping poorly because of the work that had mounted in the interim. Slowly breaking down like I used to but without having regained my full strength to fight the onslaught of these immediate side effects.
That’s not to say that time will not march on, and reality will not continue to move forward. It is what happens, an inevitability of change that comes with age and progress. It is in that change that a small flame has been born. Lit by this most recent trip to the school I will be spending my next five year attending. A spark that makes me excited to follow through, to really enjoy the journey, to keep on running. I want to see this journey to the end because I know wherever it lead will be a beautiful sight to behold, I just have to keep at it.
Soon I hope I will like this runner, be able to stop, rest, and take in all of where I’ve gone but until then, all I can keep doing is run, run until my body stops, because at least through running I know I am still alive.
It’s finally come, the moment where the cascade of everything that was slowly stacking up finally came made me lose something. Now, it’s partially due to a series of unfortunate events that led to the personal failure that in some way may have been avoided if only I had taken a moment to consider the world. In having already reflected on these events what I come away with is something different than I thought I would in the first place. A sense of understanding and realization of maturity in myself.
Some things can’t be avoided, but most things can be tracked back with the realization that it’s usually a set of multiple failures that go unheeded before things like this happen. For me, it was just a bit of consideration. I keep my most of my life pretty prepared for the inevitable unexpected things that may happen to me. This is shown best through the weight of the bag I carry with me through my day-to-day. It’s heavy, full of all things I may or may not need during the course of my day. This preparation is something I am going to reflect on another time but for this moment, that preparation and routine broke down. I had been rushing from the moment I woke up because of the fact that I had woken up late and was practically running the rest of the day. In an attempt to be productive and feel on top of things I decided to upgrade my personal computer while at work, something I’ve never done. This lead to my computer crashing and ultimately losing a months worth of work. I didn’t remind people enough about running the study in my lab so I ended up having to fill in missing a lecture I wanted to hear. I spent about 5 hours dealing with the problem with my computer ultimately settling on the only option of resetting everything and starting over from a back up I had made a month ago. This back up should have been more recent but because I decided not to back up before I upgraded, I lost.
I never got mad though, a little exasperated by dominoes falling into place as they did but I felt like I handled it well. I just did what I needed to do and kept moving forward. The final straw with all the loss of time and files came with an application I was supposed to submit the next day. Of all my time in Graduate School, I’ve managed to claw together everything I’ve needed, maybe sometimes at the last second but it’s always has worked out. This time though, this time I couldn’t scrape by. I wrote and wrote but by I realized several hours before it was due that I had to make a choice. Turn something I was not proud of and blow off some of my other responsibilities or admit defeat. and continue forward. This time I conceded. It’s not something I’m proud of but it was necessary I feel for my growth. I push myself and have reached the limit not of what I can do with talents but with time. I have too much going on and not enough time to do everything. This means, something’s got to give and I don’t choose for myself, then my choices will be made for me. It’s hard for someone who wants to do everything because if I had the ability to I would but I can’t so choices have to be made. Kind of like triage, save what is savable, do what’s important and try all that you might to use the hours that we have to accomplish the things that we need. Failure is part of that growth. It allows me to see that there see where I still need to keep going. I think it’s gonna come to a head soon I think, me or it. Perhaps a month from now we will see who wins and where we will go from there but until then, I’ll keep moving forward.
Generalities, I speak and write and think in generalities. I’ve always been much more of an idea and concept type person, never straying too far into the deep to remember the specific details of an event, so that when I miss a number or letter through my negligence or misinterpretation, the concept still holds true. My memory is strong, but I’ve never been one for the minutia of it all, just taking the important stuff and folding it into a database of obscure facts and stories to draw out when the proper situation arises. The problem is that my points aren’t as poignant without these details. Like the idea that technology is everywhere; if I say that, it’s not really all that hard hitting, but I was to say that the number of smart devices outnumbers humans 2 to 1 and that the year 2020 its projected that number of devices will climb to well over thirty billion. There is more of a sense a sense of something tangible, it’s real to us when the details are given. It’s complicated. It’s not like I don’t want to remember but it’s like my mind doesn’t want to, it’s never been geared to. Where was all of this when I was growing up in school. Why couldn’t they teach me early, or perhaps it’s my fault for not learning. Unfortunately, my chosen profession deals much more with the details as details are everything, and if you can’t remember them, then you won’t make it.
It’s one of those things that makes me wonder if I’m really cut out for all of this. Try as I might I can’t shake this feeling that I won’t fly when it comes time. That I might come home empty-handed again, beaten and bruised with no end in sight. What will I do when my wings won’t work for any amount of trying. Again and again, I move them, but if the wind doesn’t’ take me, perhaps all I was made for was the fall. I’m supposed to jump, but with each passing year, I see my ability to do so as diminishing. It worries me, that all this work will be like ash in my hands toward my dreams, crumbling away to nothing. My dream could be out of reach, should I just settle and hope for a good life. Will I never be good enough to walk among giants and great men?
These thoughts percolate within me. I see the gaps in my ability and hope that I can overcome them with effort. I hope my arms are long enough to be able to reach, my legs sturdy enough to carry me, and back large enough to shoulder the burden I place upon myself.
The fear arises, that perhaps when I’m gone there will be nothing left. That I’m just a footnote in someone else’s story. That I will fade into obscurity as a ghost on the wind, felt when around but quickly forgotten. If I fade from memory, just as one would fade from view, perhaps I am no one, to begin with. I know that sound’s a bit dramatic, but if no one was around to know you existed, does it mean that you exist in the first place. I feel like exploding, imploding, and fading from view. The only thing keeping me grounded is the mad hope that maybe, just maybe I can actually pull this off. Trick everyone into believing I’m someone worthwhile. Thinking that maybe I could be someone great, and change the world.
I want to fly so bad it keeps me up at night. I practice, work to do so, consumed by my dream and consuming it. Like an ouroboros, it sustains me and will continue to do so until there is nothing of me left. I will show them resolve, and ferocity like no other. Pushing myself as far as I can go so if I’m not known not as one of those greats I’ll at least be known as a man with the drive and will to pursue something he loved with all of his being until the end because after all, I’m only human and that’s what humans do.
To be straight with it, I’m not doing enough. I’m not accomplishing enough, I’m not working enough, I simply not productive enough. I’m spending too much time thinking about the lack of time rather than using that time to make up the difference. Like blood flow to a muscle, we only grow stronger in what we practice and do, so as this fall peaks onto the horizon I will determine what exactly is needed, and where exactly I have been placing my time.
It’s like triage, which part of myself is in the most need of help. Which part of me is most likely to survive and thrive in this big wide world of ours. I’m sitting here in this chair waiting for the answer to come. My thoughts drift elsewhere, wanting some reprieve from this inglorious situation I find myself.
What do I cut first? Where is the fat in my life that takes up so much energy? Where are these thoughts that leed me astray and placate my desires with comfort instead of determination? How to I reduce without losing who I am, or maybe it’s who I am that’s the problem.
I feel it in my blood, flowing back and forth within me like conflicting bodies fighting over a contested birthright. My blood boils telling me that this fight is raging within me, between two parts of myself which for all intents and purposes are me. Frustration mounts as my desires go unfulfilled, who should I back in this fight, who should win, is this the moment I decide my destiny?
Soft and Hard, that’s what it feels like to me, these two opposing ideologies that have served me in life now must battle for me to carry forward. Soft, the relaxed emotional person from my youth. The softness reduced the blow of a childhood that was known to throw a punch or two. Introspective, but understanding, it is the part of me clings to comfort when times are bad but endures as long as it’s needed. The hard, an emerging self built from frustrations of the past from not getting as far as I needed. It’s the part that pursues, acts, and pushes forward regardless of what other people thing. It feeds on frustration, anguish, and an insatiable need to do more.
We are what we feed into, so we have control what grows within us. So in choosing, its easy to say I need to put away that part of myself, this side part of me full of missed opportunities from lack of action that bog it down because soft is smooth and comforting. I can’t be that way anymore, not now when the wake of my future beckons me to come. I have to act, grasp at the opportunity to move and to exist in this place I’ve wanted to. So hard, a place I can build a foundation upon must will sustain me, until I need that soft part of me once again.
My hands won’t move like I want them to, gracing the keys of my keyboard only as a means to waste the empty time I yearn for. These hands of mine can’t seem to catch that little spark of motivation to light my spirit ablaze and free me of this cumbersome dread that seems to linger. A lingering that fills up with self-doubt and feelings of personal failure. I keep telling myself, I need a day. A day where nothing happens that I am free for a moment of the shackles that bind me to earth. I feel the weight sitting upon me like chains stacked aloft wishing to be free of this burden. All I can do is climb to the sky in hopes to touch it and be like the birds that fly above. Maybe then I will be able to unburden these weights from me and float free. My breath feels short, as the mountain I climb peaks are hidden in clouds, the path ahead is treacherous, but I am more afraid the shattered pieces of a broken will than any jagged rocks I may find along the way.
Is it discipline than I lack? Motivation is a fleeting mistress that only comes by to entice you along the path but is long gone by the time it actually matters. I need to pursue discipline than, a being that requires energy to fight back the entropy of the continued universe has on my life. With each rising degree the summer heat saps my energy, leaving me with traces of what could have been produced. Is the answer simply just to decide to do so? Can it be that simple as just to power through? Most of human nature is left to an infinitely complex set of dispositions and experiences, and yet each of us is faced with the simple dichotomous decision of will and won’t. Is that where my problem lies. I am simply not saying will enough and letting time pass by and chose for me.
Here I sit in the heat of summer surrounded by fans hoping for the night air to finally cool. Maybe tomorrow rings in my head, a tomorrow of infinite possibilities. I know I can’t wait until then. Everything is given to tomorrow, so much so that tomorrow never comes because it is scared of the work. What is better than tomorrow but today. If I start working today then we can find a way to inch by inch climb this mountain shrouded in clouds and finally touch the sky.
Flying isn’t the act of merely finding yourself in the air, but working hard enough to keep yourself there.