On The Open Shore

I had a dream recently.

I was walking shoeless on a beach.  Each step I took, I felt the cold sand envelop my toes. The sand was soft and unbroken, each time I stepped I shattered the tension of the surface, cracking the world around it. There was though a pleasant wind that blew. The wind danced around and moved through me as if it were as familiar as a memory.

I look to see where I was, but the horizon filled white with fog; I could not see far enough to know. Looking about, all there was were the valleys of displaced sand from the path I already took.  I could not go back, but I did not know where else to go.
So I trudged slowly listening to the sound of the waves and the wind.  I approached the sea, but the wind became biting and unrelenting. Pelting sand at me, with every strike feeling like leather cracking across the skin. The flurry made seeing more difficult; I covered my face for protection, how was it I was to find my way? I listened to the waves to guide me in this storm.

I kept walking, and the wind kept blowing.  Suddenly my feet felt wet, as the sand became robust and easier to traverse. The wind stops, but so do the waves. I follow the wet sand, hoping to find the sea. I listen and look, but there are no waves and no wind just wet sand beneath my feet. I keep walking until I see a shadow, and I am swallowed whole.

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.

Hair

My hair
something that is important to me

it changes with my whims
my emotions

I change it when I want to change
when I crave it

When I am moving to something new
I cut it

It’s almost a ritual
it’s something I must do

My hair
it defines me

It creates an outlook on life
an attitude

It sets the chapters in my life
like headings

Some are longer than other
some very short

But it doesn’t change the fact
that my hair is important to me

The Road

IMG_0542

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.

 

Sides and Slivers Of Self

Within the scope of my life, I have always been true to myself, something that has gotten gradually harder and more convoluted to do. The reason is that my personal self has split like a tree growing branches. Leading to who I am to a great part to spread wide and reach far.  It is sometimes confusing when I look at two distant branches because even though they come from the same tree, they are two very different sides of me.

I have a self; that is both static and dynamic. Like various settings on a tv, I have different optimal settings for various situations. When I look how far apart they are sometimes, I get confused.  A lot of the time, how I act is wholly dependent on where I was in life when I met the person and what worked best with the relationship.  Though my inner changes and grows as a whole, a lot of the nuances will stay the same.  Take for instance, with the people I met at college, the conversations goes deep into philosophy, psychology, history, and the way the world works, with a combination of sarcasm and witticisms.   Where those who I had met before, I tend to be more inclined to be more reserved with ideas, concentrating more on the event and having fun than all the world’s problems. Now these are examples of some of the things that stand out to me about these relationships but by no means the entire picture.  These persons I am are all equally me, but in some ways separate from each other.  Causing concern if they were ever to connect, what would be the result of the personality collision.

I have come to a place where there are large distinctions of who I am and what I can do.  It is strange, when interacting with those I met through college, that assure me of my ability and believe that I will achieve what I want to achieve in both schooling and life.  Those I met before or outside of schooling have a different notion.  Not that the concept is wrong, but it’s fascinating to see the difference. We all grew up in a variety of ways and met each other at various times, so maybe it is the role we are destined to play in each other lives.

What has me mulling over this thought is how to I unite these branched selves, so people see the tree and not the branches if that is necessary.  It’s a confusing conundrum, bringing it all together so that it doesn’t feel so disjointed when interacting on all of these separate planes. In some part, people can’t be contained to one context alone, but the process of learning them all takes time and effort.

The amalgamation of who I am and what I do will eventually coalesce into the person I intend to be, I just have to hope that people will be there to accept me on the other side.

On The Therapist’s Couch

There is it is, the ring again, just when my dream was getting good. I have to turn over now and turn off my alarm, but my body feel heavy and lethargic. It seems early, and as if I haven’t gotten any sleep. My eyes are having trouble staying open as my arm flails about trying to find the source of noise. Five more minutes I tell myself, five more minutes and everything will feel okay, and I’ll be ready for the day.


I’m late, and now I have to rush through my morning routine.. well not morning but get myself ready for the day. Why does everything feel so slow, do I need to get out and go to the appointment? I don’t even really want to go… well I do, and I don’t. It feels kind of stupid, but even if I think it is I am still spending all this time getting ready. Do I think this will make me seem less disorganized? I don’t know, but now I have to go.


Traffic at least wasn’t bad. The building I pulled up doesn’t look all that that unique; I would have driven past it on any other day.
I make my way to the elevator. The third floor; easy enough to push the button. The ride up feels like it;s taking forever, maybe it’s because I’m running late.
I wish the walls along this hallway were more exciting, having more pictures and fewer names on them but what can I do, it’s not my building, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
327 I need to find 327. It’s an unassuming brown door with a couple of names along the side. I open the door and enter slowly.
The waiting room isn’t anything spectacular, but did I expect? An upscale, luxurious lounge?
There is a woman at a computer, probably the receptionist, she looks like she is  deep in thought, I don’t want to bother her.
She’s looking at me now, I should probably say something…
“Hi… I’m Charlie. I think I have an appointment with Dr. Wence.”
“I’ll let him know you’re here. Take a seat until he calls for you.”
Her voice is stern and straightforward.
I mean to say thanks but it just doesn’t really come out when she immediately goes back to what she was doing.


“Charlie,” A simple and direct voice calls out to me.
I stand up immediately, pushing off the soft couch.
“Charlie, Dr. Wence will see you now.”
I walk by the reception desk to catch the small friendly, but fake smile return to a serious and stoic look as receptionist turns back to the computer and continues typing and clicking. I reach a dark brown wooden door and turn the metal knob slowly as the door fails to creak open like I assumed it would. Now I have to knock to get Dr. Wence’s attention. I don’t want to do this; I know I can back out now.
I stand in the doorway indecisively as Dr. Wence looks up from his desk. He rises and comes over to introduce himself with his hand outreached.
“Hello, My name is Dr. Carl Wence, you must be Charlie.”
“Yes, I am.”
His hand is both gentle and stern; I can’t bring myself to make eye contact with him even though it seems those are his intentions.
“Please, take a seat on the couch, I’ll come to join you in a moment.”
The couch looks moderately new with a vivid green color and beautiful green-blue patterned pillows. I sit down; the sofa doesn’t feel worn in yet.
I sit looking around the room at the various things. The books, certificates, and nic-nacks. I wait for a couple of minutes as he puts away the stuff on his desk and retrieves a well-used notepad from one of his drawers. He comes over and sits in the considerably worn chair across from me.


“So how are you feeling today, Charlie?” He says that with a smile as he gets comfortable.

“Okay, I guess.” I don’t feel like starting into this, the whole thing about my emotions even if I am here.

“Well, from what I heard from Alex that you were having a hard time, and that’s why you wanted to schedule an appointment. Could you tell me more about that?”

“uh… um.. I.”  I can’t say it outright; the words keep getting caught before they ever reach my throat

“Don’t worry Charlie; this isn’t a test I want to take a time to get to know you a little better. So maybe we should start with an easier question. What do you do, as in for work?”

“I work forty hours a week at a store.”

‘What kind of store?”

“A clothing store.”

“Do you ever come across anything interesting while working there, I remember back when I worked in retail, there was always one or two crazy customers a week.”

“Mmm… no, it’s pretty normal, people come and go, and sometimes they buy stuff. We get a few people who regularly come in but most of the time it’s months before I see a customer again.” I didn’t want to start into all fo this; I didn’t even want to think about work, especially on my days off.

“Okay, maybe something else then.” He says with a pause. “What would you like to talk about Charlie?”


To Be Continued…

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.

Dream Catching

Sorting through my memories this week, I found the beginning of one my great loves.  Sleeping over at a friends house, up late when with no one around. Laying in front of television that was playing the usual infomercials as the night pressed on. I changed the channel to Cartoon Network. The channel was showing its adult swim programming and stumbled up a marathon of a show called Bleach. I sat there in amazement of the show for hours as the episodes marched on accordingly.  When the marathon concluded at 6 am, I realized that I had found something that I would fall in love. Anime and Manga.

From that point on I spent countless hours delving into that world.  Summers would be spent watching and reading innumerable episodes and chapters.  Part of me thinks that all that time spent in front of a computer may have been the thing that forced me to wear glasses. Now from the outside, it can look a bit strange which it is understandable but with most things, it’s only strange until you see it.

What is the point of this love? For me, anime and manga allow me to dream and feel as if I were in a different world. It has a way of inspiring me to be better, trying harder, and pushing against the difficulties that I come across in my life. Living through the characters, dreaming of being as strong as they are, and realizing that I am the catalyst to my destiny are all things I learned by sifting through the material.

What is most important is that it grants me a kind of energy to dream big. To dream of being able to change the world. To dream about becoming something incredibly grand and grandiose. To dream about how magical the world is and how to appreciate the small things in life. When I get through the material, I am reinvigorated.

I use this energy to apply it my life as a force of change.  Coming with the power of the human spirit at my back, doing things that seemed impossible a few days ago are easy.  I think it’s important that people find that stuff in their life.  The thing that somehow give them energy even when it is effortful.  Something gives us more than what we put into it so we can use the result to make a real change in the world.

The things that foster the little infinitesimal thoughts to grow.  It provided me with hope and understanding of the world.  A way to relate and see the world differently than before. To make me feel like my heart will beat differently because of the point of view given.

Of course, it is silly, funny, dramatic, stupid, sad, hopeful, surprising, and scary – but at the end of the day, it makes me feel, think, and act.  It springs hope from within and allows me to believe in simple ideas have weight and should be pursued. That I can, and I should no matter the challenge.

I owe a lot to this love of mine, and its one of the things few things I get passionate about sharing with others. I realized that it is about finding those things and never letting go.  As I get older my love for anime and manga changes, it makes me afraid that my love will fade. I know that at least for now I have the dreams that it has given me.

The 5-W’s and one H Way of Life – Fake Speech

In moving forward in life, people ask themselves how to live properly. To answer this most important question we must investigate what language gives us.
We are given the tools from the way we ask questions; and each time we ask a question, we are getting one step closer to the truth we seek.

Starting with “What”. What do we want? What is there for us?  Determining what we want from the world should always be the first step. Getting this idea however vague starts to give us a path to tread. “What” is the gatekeeper, it starts us on this journey, and though it may change along the way, getting us moving is important.

Then comes “why”.  Why am I doing this? Why does it matter? “Why” is the motivation, the fuel behind the answer.  If you don’t have an answer for “why” or if the reply is weak, when you come across difficulties you will lose your way.  Reaching for the easy explanation instead of the right one, “why” is what inspires you and everyone to find the truth.

Next is “who”.  Who do I need to be to locate the answer? Who else can help me with my journey?  Identifying all the people you need to help will go a long way.  When faced with a vague path, it’s good to get as much help as possible. It is to recruit yourself, because if you’re not on board, then no one else will assist you along the way. It’s okay to ask for help; great things don’t happen without it.

In comes the duo “Where” and When”. Where does the answer lie? When should I get started? We are starting to get to more practical, setting plans. “Where” is important because it lays the groundwork for the plan we will make.  With “When” there are two things to think about how much fuel we still have to strike with our plan and when is the best time to act. Never leave something you can do today for tomorrow but if tomorrow is a better time for it because you can get more from tomorrow then today then we must wait.

Lastly, comes”How”. How do we find our answer? How do I get what I need to complete my quest?  Using how and making our plan specific and concrete to destroy the vagueness of early plans. Each actionable step makes it increasingly possible.  Detailing each step makes its that much more real.  Once we know “how” the rest is a matter of execution.

When all the questions are asked, the answer is will be close behind.  Finding a good life is different for everyone and the journey is too but as long as you are asking questions, then you will find your answer.