Don’t know where I went wrong, but I can write a song

This one goes out to my lovely sister Jenny. Don’t know how she stumbled on this wonderful Avett Brothers-like song, but it makes me want to dance every time I hear it. As we all know, I am very much obsessed with anything that sounds anything remotely similar to the Aves.

Here is what I have to say today: patience is a virtue. We all know that phrase most likely. Probably heard it from a parent or sister or friend. Let me tell you something – patience is the hardest virtue to maintain.

Guess what – it’s been over a year since graduation and this whole time, I have been telling myself to be patient. The paths of life are never straight and rarely sure. My life has been ridden with those descriptors since the day I walked up and grabbed hold of that rather oversized piece of paper we call a diploma.

Now, many of the my friends (who are all so wonderful by the way) are getting ready to do the same. Instead of providing them with wonderful words of wisdom throughout this year, I probably scared them. Whether it was about the transition, making friends, jobs, where to live or what have you, I am sure my friends heard about those things one too many times.

Of course, an inevitably part of life is frustration. We are frequently plagued by flagrant wants and I needs that leave us utterly dissatisfied with whatever existence we currently lead.

For a time, mine was not using my undergraduate study work in my day-to-day life. Then it became an entirely different, morphed thing. If there is one phrase I would use to describe the workplace it would be to say each job, each company, each place, has a vice of some kind.

It may be the job itself, the people, the boss, the commute, but whatever that vice is, it is something you have to teach yourself to be patient with. To be patient and remind yourself that this thing, this terribly annoying or life-draining thing is temporary.

You’ve heard it before here, and if not from me, someone else has probably told you that most of our lives are based on the temporal. The five minutes from now, the ten months from now or even just three years out. There is some string there, that ties it all together, but all in all, it is never going to last forever.

I try to remind myself each and every day that patience is a virtue. Some days it is harder to display than others. Some day it takes everything in me to not yell at that truck that just cut over into my lane or blocked me from merging when my lane is about to end. Yes, it frequently happens here in the lovely NoVa.

If there is one thing I would say to my friends who are graduating, my friends who are sad or just my friends of friends of friends, it would be to be patient. Things have a way of turning around quicker than you expect and in bigger ways than you would think were possible.

I would say that life is one big opportunity, surrounded by challenges each and every day. The biggest opportunity and challenge you will have to deal with is yourself.  Sounds weird and oddly cliche, right?

The person that is going to make things happen in your life is you. And the person who is going to keep you from living up to your full potential is also you.

Rely on the definite. Seek the unknown. And be patient. Because before you know it, things will look up and you will wonder how you could have ever believed things were really all that bad.

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Throw me out of the side of a plane and I’ll just see where I land

Pandora is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I spend most of my days at work listening to music on it and I stumble upon song after song that I love.

If you haven’t caught the drift yet, the songs are the inspiration and the backbone to anything I ever end up writing on here. The lines play over again and again in my mind like these concepts and ideas about life that fester in the back of this brain of mine. Fester…what a terrible word that sounds exactly like what it describes.

The best parts of my work day are when I can just coast through words about random companies and government agencies and just bob my head. Yeah, this song is a head bobber for me. I wonder what kind of sign that is when it is the highlight of your day…

All I know is change is coming. It is coming in big, big ways. And guess what, I am not as ready for it as I want to be.

These topics I come to seem so repetitive after a while, but that may be because the issues we face on a regular basis are incredibly unoriginal and more similar to other peoples than we would like to admit.

But, change is coming and I feel myself unsteady, unsure, not because I am caught off guard. In fact, I almost think it is worse that I realize what is coming far before it will arrive. You see, there is this thing called security. And when you don’t have it, things begin to deteriorate.

It’s hard to say if surprise changes are any better really. You would think that when you know about something so far in advance, change then becomes a plan instead of a surprise. It could be something you embrace. Embrace it for the spontaneity, the newness and for your own braveness in searching out the unknown.

I know that in life, we are in search of these moments of security. They seem far and few most of the time. It is at the root of every search we have. Jobs, relationships, futures and the like.

I scarcely let myself believe that anything is secure and when I do, I find my feet are gone from beneath me. It’s a sort of unwilling vulnerability.

There are moments when we are just begging and begging that something will come our way. That something will be different from it was before, different in the way we want it be. But I guess that is the point. More often than not, we are dealing with the different that wasn’t what we wanted.

Let’s not be so negative, now. There are times when change comes in the form we most wanted. Those are the moments in life we so shortly applaud and quickly forget as soon as the next bump in the road rises high before our path. Oh and what a pain to have to reach your legs higher, a pain to stride, to sweat, to pant and to gasp for air.

There are times when I have begged for change so religiously that it became unbearable to deal with the present. If there is anything I know, it’s that life is far too short and far too abundant with opportunity to turn yourself into someone always sweating the little things.

So often, I cheesily think about life as I do running. Those of you who run may understand why.

A run never starts and finishes the same way. There are days when the first steps send throbbing pain through every muscle in my legs and then days were there could not be an easier thing to do. Sometimes that hill in the middle of my run seems a lot bigger than it was the day before and it never ever fails that the day you plan to run six miles, you feel like two is a serious stretch.

There is never a day that turns out as I thought it would. And it is incredibly easy to get caught in the currents of the what ifs and the I have nots, but then again, there is reassurance in the fact that both things will change again and that life is not so predictable as you thought.

Let’s be honest here, it is so very easy to get so entrenched in the negativity following dashed hopes and misshapen dreams, but come tomorrow, there will be a new hill, a new course, a new obstacle to lead yourself through and then there is no time to pay attention to the worries of yesterday or worse, tomorrow.

So maybe instead you dwell on these things. You dwell on the change, you dwell on the outcome and you dwell on what you want. Sometimes I think dreams are so very inhibitive. You are forever worried about tomorrow instead of enjoying the right here and right now. At the same time, you have to have that thing guiding you toward making the best of the right now. It is this ever changing (yes, change) and ever evolving thing. It’s a loaded question, a topic on repeat, a sentence without an ending.

We so often have this tendency of crippling ourselves. Sometimes it is because of the mistakes we have made, sometimes it is fear of the future and sometimes it is just because we don’t know who else to pick on.

I think I am done with the crippling for now, the worrying and over analyzing. I think sometimes you just have to let life happen and sometimes you have to just throw yourself into the mess it is.

We can’t be crippled by the past. We can’t be overly concerned for the future. There is hardly sense in worrying over something there is little control in.

At the end of the day, you just have to take comfort in the fact that the only secure thing is that this all will soon change. That should be secure enough.

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if you need rest

Let fondness be our souvenir
To keep it warm, we’ll keep it near

It’s been a while again, friends, but I am still here. There is this tendency in me to disappear every now and again. I have been formulating, as I like to say.

For those that listen to the songs I link here, this is a throw back that is still near and dear to the heart. There are times where I find I can’t listen to the songs I’ve had since high school, but every now and again I get into the perfect mood where the song is absolutely what I need to hear.

Tonight, there is a full moon. It is my favorite time of month, especially in the winter. The way the moon suddenly lights every empty field and shines on every bare tree. The sweetness of a deep cold breath of air. Frost forming on the sun roof on my car and I felt myself reaching toward it, pressing my palm against the chill window. I wanted to just reach up and grab hold of the moon as it shone brightly on the windy road to some place I call home.

There is something romantic about a bright moon in the dead of a winter night that I have always found revitalizing. Somehow these are the nights I always wish I was spending with someone else, but am always alone. They seem like the nights to peruse a not so well-beaten path, to wander in the night with a false sense of security and to just fall off the grid until morning comes.

The way the light shone on my hand, through the window and out across the land. It’s the way snow feels at night. Fresh, clean and a beautiful kind of flat.

It feels electrifying to then open the sun-roof and reach my hands out of it, up toward this thing I will never grasp or understand. It reminds me of summer nights too, where the windows are down and my hand becomes like a wave moving up and down between posts and power lines. There is a freedom in it that I so seldom feel anywhere else.

Like driving down 81 in the middle of the night, headed to a place that is neither here nor there. You feel as if you could be driving anywhere. A road without memorable places, a pavement that drones on without pace or aim. And to just roll down the windows, with a familiar song at play and just scream. Scream the words that speak so earnestly to your soul and feel free in the moment of flying down a paved road.

There is this feeling I get from time to time when listening to a song. The feeling is this: the song is flowing into me, through my finger tips and slowly reverberating until it reaches and comes out of my lips. It is that sincerest feeling of joy. The joy that comes from hearing a song that flows so well in every aspect of the moment and reminds you of those places and people portfolioed into your home. Yes, I realize portfolioed may not be a word, but it’s just a part of this moment where you feel that every ounce of life is both flowing into and out of you at the same time. And you feel light. You feel what it might be like to fly without thousands of tons of metals surrounding you.

Those feelings do not change. They come and go and I am grateful more for their coming than their going, always.

Changeless. I am not convinced anything remains that way. Each time I make the drive from house to home, I am confronted by the same road, but not the same obstacles. There is always an altercation. There is always something different than before, but what remains the same is the outline.

I am a year out from where this journey began and I feel incredibly grateful.

I think that maybe being changeless does not mean to in fact never change. It’s the base-level, the ground, the foundation. There is a foundation in me that is unchanging, but instead faltering at times. There are aspects in my personality that lie dormant for periods of times for reasons unknown. What I know is that I always come back to the core parts of who I really am.

There is a core in everything. There is this beat, this rhythm that we want to keep time to, but we can’t always seem to keep up or to stay behind.

As I look at where I am now and where I was, I think that perhaps it doesn’t necessarily pay more to look forward or to look behind. Looking back, I feel nostalgic for times that are not still here. But life inevitably moves forward and I feel I can’t forever dwell on the things that pass other than to keep those moments changeless in my mind. The beautiful part of memories in my mind is that they are the one place where things exist perfectly. The good moments will forever stay good in your mind. There is no tampering, no loss, no change of the mood or moment. That memory is forever yours.

Looking forward has been a fear of mine in ways. There is a certain danger in being a dreamer. There is always the possibility that your dreams will be dashed, left in bits on the reef, but the hope to succeed keeps you forever moving along.

The things that will remain changeless are few, but I will continue to be a dreamer and hope that the ones I hold dear do.

There are things that I often think, but never find the courage to say. I think it’s best to realize that things are sometimes worth more to say than they are to not say.

And rather than continue to write words that are not quite desrcript, but also not cryptic, I think it’s best to leave it where it began..

changeless

Carbon Leaf: Changeless

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As the air grows cold, the trees unfold

And I am lost and not found

It seems I’ve been missing for some time now and while I haven’t received any huge complaints for the lack of overly serious and long posts, here I am.

When I started this little venture, I had no goal in mind really except to continue writing. That has no longer been a challenge, but now what is a challenge is finding that niche, that thing I really like to write and learn about. My job is somewhat like translating a foreign language and no doubt the vision of what I like to read and write about has been marred with the incessant need to be a “good worker” – which in fact, I am not being one at the moment..

I also had it in my mind that when I didn’t have the words, maybe I would use someone else’s. I think its possible that the challenge of verbalizing thoughts is hugely underestimated by the general public. It’s much harder to just say exactly what you want and in a somewhat respectable way. So the words I will use for today are just the ones of a song that continually plays in my head since I heard it. Already I’ve stolen it for moments in my life- moments that I like and admit to more than I should.

I’ve fallen back into an old habit of listening to music throughout the day. Seems to help during the times when you just want to get by for a while. I have a love affair with a few musicians that do nothing, but write beautiful music and lyrics. Perhaps that is how I should be spending my time. I always wonder what it is that makes us like the things we do. A song I like is in no way going to be liked by the person who sits at the desk behind me in work.

I’ve recently come to wish that I could control things much more than I really can. I never thought I had that in me, but I’ve been yearning for the ability to understand why I feel and like the things I do. Suddenly, it wouldn’t be so difficult to explain some belief in the ether and those the judging ears of listeners may have to reassess their ruling once I am able to explain something so inexplicable. Suddenly, every time I’ve reasoned with myself in vain and came away fruitless would disappear – reasoning would no longer seem so aimless.

While I spend so much of my time trying to explain these idiotic things I think and do, there are a few things I have come to label as truths in my mind. You’d think I’d at least take that home and feel better about my lack of answers, but alas it is unsurprisingly not enough.

Throughout the ins and outs – the ups and downs – I  know so very few constants other than that there is no such thing as a constant in the way of things of the world. There are these trends that come and go – there are days of unhappiness, days of utter bliss and days filled with good songs and odd dancing. And while there are people who remain, there is nothing to speak for them to stay except trust – the trust they readily asked of you.  There is nothing permanent and I have to remind myself so very often not to be too caught up to remember that.

Your gains in being here my friend, in reading this, is you know a smidget more about some girl who tries to find explanations for every aspect of her life. Perhaps if you read all of these posts, you’d see it more clearly than me. What I know is that it’s nice to take a breather, to stop. Even if just for a while. And try to remind myself why it was I liked to write at all. Why it was I did any of the things I’ve ever done. To see a reason where there is no rhyme. Or maybe its to put a rhyme to my reason, since I am very easily the least likely person to come up with a plan. What I know is that my own mind exhausts me with its constant striving to find something, anything to explain why I see what I see in people, in anything. And maybe for now, I will just turn it off. I will forget to think awhile and just sway to some song I like, but pretend not to like and try to force all my friends to like..

Either way, I’ll try to not forget why it is I ever liked my dear old friend writing in the first place.

Vagabond by Beirut 

 

 

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When there’s a burning in your heart

I just tried hot yoga for the first time. What a feat. Let’s imagine this for a moment. One incredibly hot room. You sweat just sitting there on a rented towel and mat. There are 30 some people there, barely clothed, also sweating. While you can’t necessarily smell the person next to you, there is some sort of odd stench that grows as the class goes on..and your fingers prune with all the sweat. Yes, this was me for an hour and a half.

So in the midst of the dizziness, the sweat and the smelliness, we have a stick thin instructor telling us how to stretch, how we will never have arthritis and will all be beautiful gods and goddesses. And while she tells me how to how breath, slowly in and out of my nose, I am struggling just to stay in the room. After a while, it became hard just to move back and forth without finding myself back in my asthmatic days, strained for breath and energy. And like all yoga instructors, the toothpick droned on through class eventually telling us, “clear your mind. Just let everything go.” And to my surprise, there was already nothing to be found in that mind of mine.

And that made it worthwhile.

Secretly I claim to know a lot. I really don’t when it comes to my own life, but I think I know a few things at least. I know that that small span of time where it wasn’t hard to relax was incredible.

The next thing I know: the way employers treats their employees speaks loudly to our humanity. I think employers of America have one thing very wrong. They treat the legs of their workplace as if they should be serving the company in every possible way with nothing in return. It’s funny how hard it is to appreciate people and the hard work they do.

To go to work everyday and never be appreciated for your contributions and treated as though you do nothing at all. To think that if you stopped showing up, that company would suffer. And why should they not be grateful for their employees again?

Similarly, I think there is guilt to pass around for all of us. Could you just think about the people in your life for a moment? Just think about the things they do for you and for once not the things that they don’t do for you. And now ask yourself, have you done anything for them? Are you claiming a hold on something you yourself are neglecting in distributing? If the answer is no, remind yourself that you aren’t entitled to anything.

Although I know there is not some standard or group of laws about how to treat a person, I know there are ways I want to be treated. And if I can’t give other people that, why should I deserve it?

So tell me employers, friends, people, readers, do you appreciate the people around you? Do you forget to breath sometimes and become dizzy with monotony, overcome with self-loathing, self-deprecation, or the “I don’t deserve this” syndrome? If so, just know you aren’t alone and there is a way to fix things.

It’s almost been a year since graduation. I had no picture in my mind of where I thought I’d be. In fact, that picture is still unclear. Life is a series of events that you spend all your time trying to figure out. While I know that process will never stop, that there will always be something nagging me at the back of my mind, a feeling of inferiority, a lack of plan, non-ending under-appreciation and frustration, I am relieved that there are moments after the asthma attack where you can breath again. Like the soaked lavender wash cloth at the end of a hot yoga class slapped against your hot forehead giving you the one thing you need: relief.

Because when you find yourself the villain in the story you have written
It’s plain to see
That sometimes the best intentions are in need of redemptions
Would you agree?
If so please show me

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A cacophony, the love and brutality

Melody of a Fallen Tree by Windsor For The Derby

What is it that made us believe in permanence? Over and over again I’ve heard that nothing lasts forever. Each time the season changes, each morning when I wake up, there is always this feeling of surprise that it came, that it came at all. I am getting that feeling in the pit of my stomach again, like every fall. As I slowly watch the sunlight fade to duller hues, days growing shorter, and leaves tumbling to the brown grass. There is always the same feeling in me, as if I never believed it would truly come again.

An urgency lives in each of us. An urgency to get past this hurdle, this feeling this need. There is an urgency in us to find that place of perfect happiness. Truly I know that it will always be brief and fleeting. I know that each feeling, each emotion, each day and motion lasts only a glimpse, only a brief breath of time.

Life is something like a funnel. When I was young, everything seemed so large, so full of life and opportunity. There were innumerable choices that could lead to no possible wrong end in my mind. There were school days, summer days, play days, but I don’t know if there was more than that in my mind. And slowly I am spiraling through this funnel that is growing smaller, thinner and more confined. For the first time in a while, I want to just run free. I want to just do whatever for a while. Just get by. There was a time when I thought there would be a plan. There was a time when I believed that there was a path. For now, I think there is nothing but right now. There is the sunlight, the daytime and the night. Even that will not last forever.

Maybe you are unwilling to admit what I am willing to say. It’s terrifying just to live sometimes. It’s exhausting more often. And there is this constant wandering, this meandering until things improve, until we know. Well I don’t think we will really ever know. An irony in itself to say you can’t know anything for sure, but I think the answer you are seeking always comes eventually. To fight just to fight, to throw your arms up in disbelief. Did you really think this day wouldn’t come? This day will always be coming. The day where things don’t work out as you planned. The day you lose something you thought you never would. And you can beg all you want, you can beat you chest, you can ache in pain. Or you can just pack your clothes in a bag and move to a different place. A place where you are not confined by who you were or what you had done, but where your only confine is what you make in your mind. Truly that’s what it is now. Fear, anger, disbelief. Where do you think they come from?

Where does this training come from? There are everyday emotions and actions that people take that I can rarely fathom. Someone told me recently that anger wasn’t a primary emotion. It’s an aftermath of something else, hurt, pain, disappointment that all stem from these plans we make. So what should I primarily feel? I should feel grateful. Grateful that there was ever a chance to do these things at all. What is the point in disappointment? What does it change? There is this habit in us to hold onto things that don’t last. A habit that there is no sense in breaking. I will hold onto these things, but when the time comes for them to go, to be over, can I just let go.

Sometimes I exhaust myself with the same few subjects. The purpose, the life, the path. There are answers people find comfort in. There are answers I supply, but don’t take heed to myself. There is always something bigger than what is immediate. I think that’s why it feels to hard to me to deal with the here and now. It’s that large lip of the funnel I always go back to, that I cling to. That time where it was easy to believe in anything and see things in a positive way.  And I feel anguish for things gone so far away. For people that have been missing for years now. For places that only live in my memory anymore. I will always miss those places.

Things will always change and we will always have to adapt. The crippling pain of losing a loved one, the annoyance of having to start over, the envy of others who seem to not have to do the same: it will always be there. The difference is what you do with those broken moments, those missing people, the fallen tree. There’s a stump in our yard from where lightning stuck a tree. It’s all that’s left. And sometimes we feel like the stump, sometimes we feel like the trunk of the tree too. We feel expendable even to those that claim to love us.

I don’t want to be angry about things that don’t work out. I don’t want to be scared of change.  I don’t want to be afraid to walk out one door in case another doesn’t open. I don’t things will get easier. I don’t think saying goodbye will ever be desirable, but nothing lasts forever. I’m thankful for that.

The possibilities in life are endless and although that’s scary, there’s hope somewhere in there too.

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one with earth and one with god

New Love Song by the Avett Brothers

I can’t get my thoughts clear. I’m stumbling on these realizations all at once it seems and it’s hard to swallow it all making it harder to say.

If I could define the human condition, I think I would use only two words: lost and broken. The pain comes like clockwork, doesn’t it? And when things are wrong, everything seems to tear apart at the seams until there is nothing left. Do you feel trapped at all thinking about this sometimes? I do. It seems so inescapable.

But the human condition is not so simple. There’s more that comes with the brokenness, more than we bargained for. There’s this need in us all to fix whatever is wrong. We find it in different things. But the result is inevitably the same. There will always be a day, a moment, just a glimpse of a feeling that there is never anything that will suffice. It’s more than just wanting more, it’s knowing that whatever you have will never be enough to make things right.

Hope. A part that some have more than others and a part I am lacking in. Do you ever look at people and wonder what they have, what they know that you don’t? I know in all reality they have the same doubts, the same questions, the same worries as me, but on the outside their hope seems irrevocable, unshakable, unrelenting. They have an ever-flowing cup full of things they know will turn out right, if they just have patience, if they just try, if they just pray…

I will always envy this person, the person I used to be and can’t seem to grab hold of anymore. I am not so deceived to believe that there will be no happiness on the horizon, no glimmer of hope or dreams come true. But fleeting. It will always be fleeing my side, running away from me. And I think this may be the first time I
 will not chase. I will not chase after you.

I have spent far too long waiting on things that will never come. It seems I have been paralyzed into this state of inaction for so long that I have lost touch of so much of what was once me. We all have dreams, don’t we? We all have these places we see ourselves, these things we assume will work out and be a part of our lives. I refuse to assume that anymore. I refuse to assume that things in my life will just work out. So much recently has taken the fight out of me. I’ve felt broken to a million pieces and just when I begin to reset and make form, it’s gone again. There is no hope of bringing it back in my mind. There is no hope in me at all.

At work, my co-workers were teasing me for constantly letting people take advantage of me. Getting coffee, picking up lunch, staying late. These people have attempted to build me up more than anyone I’ve known before.

You can’t expect to be paid your worth when you can’t define it yourself.

That’s my problem. So often dreams are dashed, hopes are left unmet and everything falls to bits. So often, we get back up and start the process anew. When will the breaking point be where you can’t stand the process any longer and what will you do? Will you stand by and let things continue to happen- or for once could you make them happen yourself?

There are so few things I have control over in my life. I can’t control who will hire me, what the day will be like, traffic, prices, fights, or who will love me. And instead of taking hold of the few things I can control, I have let the uncontrollable sweep me away in this wave of commotion where nothing is ever right, nothing ever true, and nothing ever works out.

Hope is the most dangerous thing in the world to me right now. It’s led me to so many dark places, but at the same time those dark places would still be prominent without it. The difference between hopes met and hopes dashed is so slight. It happens too quickly to understand. It’s the big bet at the end of the night and you know one way or another things will not be the same.

I think I’ve let life happen to me more often than I have made things happen. There were and are always reasons why to wait, why to build a home here, why to stay and stick it out, but the reasons only weigh so much over time. And soon the persisting feeling of inadequacy isn’t so easy to swallow. Soon, waking up is not the only hard thing to do. Breathing. Laughing. Smiling. And you’ll accept it for a while because hope tells you that maybe things will change. Maybe the scale will begin to tip your way. But it doesn’t. It’s always a sliding scale in the wrong direction and soon you’re fed up with waiting. Waiting. It’s like clockwork the way things work out. And the pain is always on time. The hurt never fails. And when people say things will get better, you don’t disagree. You know better because things are never better or worse as much as they are cyclical.

This cycle, this place, these things, these feelings, they can’t stay. I used to think it didn’t matter where I was, it mattered who I was with. That a home was just four walls until there were people you loved in it. To find a place where you fit. To find your home. I’m going to do something I thought I never would. I am going to find my worth and not let it disappear. Not let even the people I love walk over me. Quit my job. Move.

Maybe all we’re ever doing is delaying the inevitable facts of life. That until there is a purpose to define the aspects of your day, there is no point. And until the point exists, life becomes a series of paths running astray. All I know for sure is that whatever we run from eventually finds us whether it’s hopelessness, fear, punishment, regret. I think one day there will be many things to regret. One day you’ll wish things were different. What I wish is simply that in the midst of the brokenness and beaten path, I’ll find a place in it all, a place that is not wrecked with hopelessness, but with purpose.

 

And sometimes after the wars within yourself, the risk actually pays off.

no matter how life gets today

Hey Hey Hey by Michael Franti & Spearhead

I’ve been reading a good bit recently, partially because I want to, but mostly because I need an escape. When I begin reading something new, I always wonder how it will be. The first few pages of the chosen book will make it or break it in my mind and I either read on, or move on. So much of this is dependent on my mood. The other day, I finally began reading something a friend had told me read months ago. The moment I began, I couldn’t stop. Everything that was written, each word and each pounding phrase hit me. It was a true moment of feeling as if this author knew exactly how I felt. Here is the puzzle for you.

1. “While there’s no real enemy to be identified, the pain exists nonetheless…”

2. “An intelligent man cannot seriously become anything and that only a fool can become something…a man possessing character, a man of action, is fundamentally a limited character…being overly conscious is a disease”

3. “To reach, by using the most inevitable logical combinations, the most revolting conclusions on the eternal theme that you are somehow or other to blame even for the stone wall, even though it’s absolutely clear once again that you’re in no way to blame, and, as a result of all of this, while silently and impotently gnashing your teeth, you sink voluptuously into inertia, musing on the fact, that as it turns out, there’s no one to be angry with; that an object cannot be found, and perhaps never will be…”

The stone wall we are speaking of acts like a chameleon changing in appearance, but still a chameleon nonetheless. That wall that was there a few months ago is still here now, with different hurdles ahead.

I’ve thought so much about my life, about other people’s lives and where they find their way to get by. I’ve thought about people who absolutely love what they do, and people who dread going to work in the morning. And I’ve been trying to decide where those people that love their jobs succeed. How do they get to where they are?

In no way did school make me feel prepared or as if I truly knew what I wanted to do. I think for now, I have a better idea of what I don’t want to do. What I know is that part of this is attitude and part of it is just straightforward fact. To wake up with the wrong attitude can magnify, can project, can exasperate what is already there.

I have been trying to decide what is worthwhile. Is it worth it to stay where I am? To keep doing what I am doing and constantly feel at odds with myself? So much of how I feel conflicts. I hold guilt for things that are not my fault and stumble in these decisions when I know there will be people that are hurt or harmed or people that will have to work a lot harder than they do now..

Here is my honesty: I allow others to undervalue me because I undervalue myself. I don’t believe anyone to be deserving of anything necessarily because it’s of a mentality that the world revolves around me. Something David Foster Wallace references in his “This is Water” speech (you should read this by the way). Something I try to remind myself of time to time because the world does not revolve around me, my happiness or unhappiness, my job, my life. And while that is the case, it doesn’t make it unfair to seek opportunities that make me happier, but it makes it wrong to constantly dwell on these feelings, this situation.

One thing I have been trying to learn is to not dwell. While many of you may hate “Eat, Pray, Love,” I found something in it that embodied a mindset I have been trying to take on for so long. To think about something, acknowledge the hurt, the pain, the feeling, but to “drop it.”

While people are incredibly resilient, always bouncing back and falling down, do they ever really lick the pain? Do they ever really leave it behind? I wake up with pain in my shoulders and neck. I do it because I carry that pain with me everyday. I might not think about it every second of the day, but it’s there. And I think that more people than none would say the same presence exists in their life in some way. People are broken. I believe that with every bone of my body, every nerve, every ounce in me. But that belief brings nothing, but an acknowledgment that we are somehow the same, somehow connected in this all.

There is no real answer is there. Question or statement, I think the answer varies person to person. We all have some remedy, some way that we make it easier. The days that I come home and feel terrible, I have to make myself forget it somehow. It is much easier, for whatever reason, to just sit there and think about it over and over again. Maybe it’s a character trait mostly, but I know it is much easier to dwell on these negative thoughts, nervousness and discomfort than it is to hold on to the realistic, the positive and the beneficial. Maybe it’s the human condition..

We are so used to being down that it seems an abnormality to be up sometimes. A couple weeks ago, it felt like every single thing was going right. I was on the ball at work, it was doable, and things just seemed like they would work out. Then all of the sudden, it started to go downhill, and, of course, when it did, I began feeling like nothing could ever go right naturally gravitating toward this negative train of thought.

The funny thing is, I was reading the personal statement that I wrote to for school applications and it addressed exactly this. It put me on the spot with myself because the very characteristic that I used to pride myself in is currently waning in this situation.

I wrote about my childhood, which consisted of random and constant sickness. I am beginning to believe that I blocked a majority of it out, but it truly did define much of who I am: my hardheadedness, my hatred for being babied, and my unfailing need to prove everyone wrong.

I was severely allergic to walnut trees, but continued to play in the leaves despite this. That is the way of a child of course. Constantly doing something, taking a chance despite the negative consequences that would ensue. The point of course being that those negative feelings do not outweigh the reward.

I told colleges this about myself and playing in leaves:

“We would make little progress this way, but it allowed us to enjoy things that were normally dreary. Our games were hardly original, but they are something that I still value today as a life philosophy. After spending a day playing tiring games, I would go home feeling sick. However, my short-term illness was incomparable to the day that had just passed. Every day spent playing in the walnut trees was a risk. My allergies were unpredictable and playing in such a dangerous field seems as if I was begging for illness, but my constant experience with sickness allowed me to build an optimistic view of life. I did not spend my time worrying about the hours I would spend tending to my stuffy nose later. I didn’t worry because I recognized that in all choices there are unpredictable outcomes. Since we are unable to control what happens to us, it is our job to take those situations and make the best of them. Playing in leaves, despite the pain it caused later, was one of the best decisions I made as a child. Reflecting on it now, I find a lesson that I hope to utilize in the coming years. As a person and a student, raking leaves and odd sicknesses have taught me to live with optimism and the belief that I can make the best of any situation as well as allow those situations to better me as a person.”

It’s funny, the timing of my going and reading this. I am at an exact point where I am afraid to take a chance because of the consequences. I am exactly in a place where that decision I terrifying and not an easy out, like I wish I had.

Something I have always been amazed by is the way in which poignant moments and realizations are eventually lost or fade. I had so many moments as a child where I realized something immense and of huge gravity to my life, but slowly that information, that change just became a memory and no longer affected me. This moment, reading this, it is proof of that experience and how it will continue to repeat itself throughout my life.

Tell me how, in 12th grade, I had better insight into what I need to do than I do now? The answer I can provide is merely that the decisions you make are harder to make when so close to the situation. The myopic view I have is so hindered by guilt, by inconvenience, by other people, but mostly by myself. I set standards in my mind that are in no rational or beneficial in times like these. While they have made me into a sort of perfectionist, they also allow me to be extremely hard on myself and make me indecisive in times like these.

This is the first time I’ve written in weeks it seems. I told myself when I took this job that I would write, I would find a way, but as things go, the way to write becomes harder to find, harder to maneuver and make the time.

There is no resolution. There is no definite answer because everyone seems to have a different one. I come to that point frequently because to me, if I waited until some universal truth came about, or was found, I may be waiting too long. I am 20. I am 20 years old and this is what my life consists of. Sometimes I forget that I am younger than most people in the same situation as myself.

I think what I need is to take time to give myself some credit, since I have yet to do that so far. I know what I need is to take a chance here. I need to take steps toward making things change. I can’t count how many poems, stories and articles I’ve read encouraging me to seize the day and also how few times I think I’ve truly listened. Here is where I go from here: I make a change. Sometimes a change in attitude is not enough and sometimes being hardheaded to stick a position out just because you said you would is not the best answer.

And, yes, I am still talking myself into my decision. Probably because I never thought I would be here. There is such a glorified picture of what a career is in my head. I don’t know exactly how it got there, but it is there. While I know I may not find that picture, I want to get close. I want to do something I love. In the mean time, I’ll do as the 12th grade me would do. I’ll make the best of what I have because there is no point dwelling on it. I just have to let it go.

Try it some time. It’s worth it.

“Notes From the Underground” by Fyodor Dostoevskey

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

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And hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds

Four Winds by Bright Eyes

There’s much to say, but there never seems to be the time to take and say it. Where have I been these past few weeks? Where have I been. It’s hard to say. The places you travel in a day’s time are more than just the physical locations on a map. They’re the things that become home in your mind.

I haven’t felt at home, or at least I haven’t wanted to. There’s always an edge that I’m just barely on and I’ve come to believe a few things as I continually teeter to and fro. What I’m between or leaning to, I never really know and that shouldn’t surprise a person like you. Thank you for taking the time to read.

I think in times like this I wonder what I could have done different. I think we all do. A time where someone is gone that you forget to reach out to from time to time. The thing about life is that you never seem to know when someone will really be gone. So you are gone and I am left with my feverish goodbyes.

Two weeks time and still I don’t know how to compose these thoughts, these words, these ideas I have about my life. I am in this high stress job constantly feeling as if what I do is never good enough. And that is mostly due to my own standards I hold myself to. No one can be as hard on me as I already am on myself. But that is no matter to this. That is just a factor in the work week that I like to forget by the time the clock runs out.

The clock is an imminent theme today. Isn’t it always? Living in fear of it, living in hope that it will pass, living because that is all we can really do. There is so often only one solution when it comes to unsolvable problems: go on.

Jack Johnson’s song is playing in my head now.

“In my rear viewI watch you
And I gave you your life
But you give me mine
I see you slowly swim away
As the light is leaving town
To a place that I can’t be
But there’s no apologies

Just go on
Just go on
There’re still so many things
I want to say to you
But go on
Just go on
We’re bound by blood that’s moving
From the moment that we start”

And maybe I should leave it at that because he’s said everything I feel. In life, we are always struggling with dealing and making due. Yes, we do have joyful moments of time, but behind the joy, somewhere along the way, there is pain. And here is the pain. The pain is excruciating. It makes you doubtful, it makes you disappointed. To think you don’t miss a person until you know they are gone. To think that you’re capable of caring about someone still who has been missing from your life for over a year.

I have no awesome words of wisdom. In fact, I have something to say that I myself hate to hear. Time. That is all we have sometimes. I’ve prayed a thousand times to be lifted of pain, but if you can’t trust in the thing you pray to, then what is the point? What is the point in sitting here constantly unhappy and never feeling a change in the wind, a swift movement in the wind. Sometimes, I honestly believe that the only thing you have to make things better is time.

There is the cliche you hear and know. When something terrible happens, there is this odd feeling that someone has to have the answer. And maybe someone out there does. But for me, a sceptic to say the least, I think the only thing that is always at my back and my front is time. It makes us helpless and morose, but sometimes I want it so badly to just continue as it is. I want it to pass with no hindrance. I want the work week to be over. I want to stop the undying feeling of sadness that throbs in my chest at times. I want there to be a way to help someone, to help myself. I’m not dwelling on some negative energy. What I’m trying is to be sincere and honest about the way in which I’ve learned to go on.

The truth is, that is the only answer. The funeral is on thursday, and guess what- come Monday, you have to be ready to work. We’ll forgive your lack of productively for a week, but beyond that, we have to just move. It’s the way of our world. And while at times we want to dwell a bit longer, get cut a break, and just wander, it’s sometimes better to try to pick up and continue. There will be days where there seems no way to see through this fog of insecurity, pain and ill-happenings. Yes, there will be days where you just want to sit on the bed and stare at that turquoise wall for hours. But just know, that it will get better, it will get easier, and you will be able to go on.

I try to always see hope on that horizon. It seems this blog has become just that, my hope on the horizon. My hope for myself, for others, for life. I have this uncanny need to help people. No, I am not patting myself on the back. What I mean is that when someone is lost, I feel like it is my duty to help. In this off beat time of weirdness, death, and just trying to get by, I’ve learned that maybe there is something in me I am not using as I should. Maybe I have the ability to do things I refuse to try out of fear, or lack of time. Time is a terribly discomforting thing. While I love that it is a healer, it’s always running away from me. Never allowing me to do exactly what I want.

Here I am, working, getting beat down. Hey, it’s been a month and I am already that tired old working person. I’m trying to learn how to appreciate those breaths of fresh air. Trying to learn that stress is not a necessary component to doing well.

What I know is this, life is a balancing act. We are on that edge for so long. Sometimes, it feels like there is no one that truly understands. But what I know is that there is no one to understand as long as I can’t put trust in them. And I hope that at some point, I can help someone see that differentiation before it is too late. I miss the people that have gone from this life, but I have to believe, I have to hope that things are better where they are. And while I am still here, I have to change what I can, do what I can and make what I am doing worth someone’s while.

There’s too much to say and I feel I never say it well. But this is what I believe and this is where I go on.

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When you don’t need to worry, there’ll be days like this

I am often fascinated by the most simple things wholly because it usually turns out that those things are really not very simple at all. The immense complexity of every aspect of nature, of being, of living is an intimidating, but awe inspiring phenomena.

What’s somewhat amusing is that the complexity of life situations, the day to day interactions with people can be utterly frustrating. It’s funny to me how different the effects of this term “complexity” can be.

How often do you wish your life were more simple?

And have you ever realized that maybe wishing something were simple is somewhat naive? What is it that we find enticing about simplicity? I guess it is the same as wanting a constant in an ever changing place. The control in an experiment is the unaffected particle. It’s the constant. So maybe the simplistic is a guideline we like to live by. It’s that reference point we point to and try to steer toward.

What is your point of interest in this trip? It’s a pestering question falling off the tip of the tongue. Because if you don’t know where you’re going, then you only know where you’ve been. It’s hard to put significance in things yet to come or things that have come to pass too.

There is something so calming about the way of a tree. Of their stillness. Sometimes I catch myself slipping down an alley way of wishing that things could be more like fill in the blank. How many times have you thought that? One of my favorite Avett Brothers songs encapsulates what I feel is lacking sometimes in our lives. This undeniable feeling of non-belonging. This need to fit into a space that we can’t seem to find. A Perfect Space.

Of all the odd things to make me catch my breath, watching the trees sway in the wind or sit still doing nothing at all is my medicine. Anything I say about a tree, may sound incredibly too cliche, but there is a strength in these simple things that resembles a resilience much stronger than we know. A wound is just a wound in bark.

There is so very little about our lives that promotes simplicity. It is what we always lack, but is it really all that bad?

I’m not sure I’ve gotten anywhere at all in these rambling words. So be patient. Relax. And take a deep breath because it’s not often that you find the time to do it.

Days Like This by Van Morrison

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