So, in the new room, the power has gone out, this happened a few days ago, I look up the number of the company that constructed the room, and called them, up where I was directed to a rather friendly man, “Oh, I think I have an idea of what the problem might be, I’ll be there on Thursday.” I hang up, and write “Elect-Man” on the calendar to inform everyone that he’s coming.

Thursday comes and… Nothing. The entire day, nothing happens, I call up the company and they gave me the cell number of the same friendly man, so I try the number, and… Nothing. Again. The following day comes and I try to call the cell number again… Nothing. I’ve been running around doing errands during all this time, so I’m too exhausted to get really angry, I merely acknowledged the other person during the conversation, when he tries to make some small talk.

Days pass by and Norm decides to call the company, I go run more errands and I notice that he isn’t yelling, something I was expecting him to do since he’s frustrated about this whole situation. When he hangs up, he tells me, “Sometimes it’s better to not yell and merely state your point with firmness.” I was surprized actually, I expected him to raise his voice and sternly express his disappointment. When he didn’t, I was hit with a thought, ‘He was professional about it.’ I was listening to Jazz music at the time and I imagined the classic clothes of Jazz Musicians, and they usually wore a vest, a tie, dress pants, a fedora, pinstriped shirts… Usually. They looked, professional, at least their attire consists of it.

Being professional, even when faced with unprofessionalism in others, also speaks of values spoken from, in a sense, a real man is always professional, tactful, calm, not loud, rude, rash, nor inconsiderate of the feelings of others. as Plato put it, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Heh, I really never understood the true meaning of this, I must sadly admit, for I always thought I was nice and considerate of others right from the get-go. How strange, that something so simple has eluded me, especially in times when I’m running myself ragged, or when I’m exhausted, or just plain tired… Heh, in times when it’s needed the most.

Now I’m certain that I didn’t snap at others nor did I ever become hostile, I remained neutral, almost apathetic towards others, if someone commented on something I am attached to, then I’d simply not fully acknowledge it in my response, I’d merely shrug it off with an, “Oh, yeah.”

I have been unprofessional in these dealings, according to most, for to be professional is to put aside all personal problems to perform ethical duties, that didn’t require my own personal feelings in it, I mean, one’s personal opinion isn’t required when taking out the garbage, to put it in very simplistic terms. I shouldn’t be inconsiderate to others despite how I feel at the moment, I mean what about the person I’m interacting with?

What about the man who’s working 2 jobs to feed his family? The Divorcee who’s paying both her husband and her lawyer, while trying to stay above water? What about the abused? The broken, the beaten, and the damned?

I remember that song, “Welcome to the Black Parade” from My Chemical Romance. It’s a good song, the first CD I ever bought with my first paycheck. I’ve listened to that CD for hours, nearly having every song memorized. That was one of my favorite.

I’m getting off-topic. The idea here is that unless dealing with children, I need to be professional at all times. One, to display to others that I am worthy of being called a Professional, by example; Two, to be considerate of others, while they might be facing horrible days or not, I can be the one that doesn’t add to their stress/angst, if not the only one.

Being Professional = the ability to remain tactful, calm, peaceful, firm, and clear even when you don’t feel like it.

Confidence is a bit lacking…

A few weeks ago, I went to confession as a good Catholic man should, and this particular priest, who has a reputation for rambling, was rambling about how I should do things to avoid sin, so he eventually asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I replied to become a doctor, and he told me if I should consider something else… Now here’s the interesting part…

I know it in my mind, body, and soul that I want nothing more in this life than to be a doctor, with every fiber of my being, and yet, I’ve found that when questioned with even the slightest possibility of doing something else, I become hesitant, my voice lowers, my vocabulary shortens, and it seems like I’m almost scared to defend myself in sticking to my goal…

So I was telling the Priest that I cannot see myself and anything else but a doctor, but to his eyes, it must’ve seemed like I didn’t know what I was talking about, or like I had no desire whatsoever. Well, whatever he thought, I’m certain he couldn’t have thought I was as adamant about being a doctor as I claim to be.

So what is it? Why do I act like a frightened mouse when someone comes even close to questioning my motives for wanting to become a doctor. Or even questioning my character, for that matter.

I remember an interview with a representative of a medical school, and when he questioned why some of my grades aren’t perfect, I would explain to him that there are more than a plethora of situations that would require my attention, some family, some friends, and I threw in, “I’m the kind of guy that people would come to for help” And he gave me a scenario,

“a Friend asked for your help, but you need to study for a test the next day, what would you do?”

I told him, I’d help that friend, and then he said with disappointment in his voice, “And there goes that test.” I tried to sound confident but it probably sounded like a whisper when I said, “I cannot deny who I am.” but he didn’t look up from his papers.

So, other than scratching that school from my list of potential Medical schools, that moment where my confidence is shaken, despite what I knew was the right choice, has haunted me for some time.

This is a problem I need to focus on.

But that’s the thing, I have MORE than enough reason to be confident, I’d even go so far as say be angry about this career path! Yet, something in me, doesn’t use it, it doesn’t reach into this pool of motivation, full of various things, when other people have just one and they make it work. Here I am, with so much motivation and yet it’s all gone when it comes to defending who I am or what I do.

Maybe that’s the thing, “A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.” – Segal’s Law, this is describing the fact that conflicting information can cause loads of problems, especially when it comes to making a decision… So in my case, I am seeing these things as separate reasons, the Death of my Father, the Disadvantaged Upbringing, the Earning of my Name, The Path for my Nieces, it all adds up to one thing: Sacrifice.

All of these things revolve around Sacrifice. It was Sacrifice that pushed me to Medicine, it was Sacrifice that carries me, it’s Sacrifice that I wake up to, and it’s Sacrifice that drives me to keep going. I’m going to have to REALLY think about this, because this is what will be the center of everything! What brings balance to my universe, the singular method to all the madness that I will experience, the spark that ignites a raging inferno, will be Sacrifice.

“Sacrifice, which is the passion of great souls, has never been the law of societies.” – Henri Frederic Amiel, has spoken the words perfectly.

Even more Changes

Man, these last few days, I’ve been staring at a blank screen wracking my brain, trying to figure out what to write about. It didn’t help when I had a desire to write something. But I’ve come to realize that there are a lot more changes going on in my house, for one, I’m completely re-arranging my room, it’s a bit difficult to sleep  because even my bed feels strange.

But the idea is that of the classic flame metaphor, “Getting rid of the old things to create space for new things.” These last few days, it’s all been about donating the old stuff and putting new things in its place. 

I’ve always liked the idea of donating things to places so that others can get something new from something old. Heh, this stems from the majority of my childhood wardrobe being consistent of Hand-me-downs from my elder siblings, so for me, if it doesn’t bear sentimental value, then I’ll give it to others. But it’s always interesting to see what you can dig up from the past by trying to make a better future. I’ve found old shirts and random objects, but nothing of importance. 

Yet, to change things requires effort and persistence. I mean cleaning up years of junk makes one break a sweat, no doubt, but all changes that are needed, never happen overnight. Even Death takes time to adjust and accept what has happened, tears must be shed first, and the stages of grieving must be performed in order for one to reach the end of acceptance. 

Maybe the changes are subtle, maybe they’re grand, the idea is that one must always try to find a way to change for the better. Granted, not all changes will be for the better, but the choice on who you are is and always be yours, when something good or bad happens, it has always been your choice to take it one way or another way. I’ve always tried to stay optimistic, but I’m not perfect, when my Father died, I was certain that my Mother would follow, due to her poor health and her attachment to my Father, yet here she is, still around, laughing, praying, still breathing with her one lung. 

I guess I needed something of a break from writing into this journal, these last few days, I’ve been to busy to ponder over things, and when the hardest jobs were done, my mind started pondering again. So I’ve got some things lined up, for the future, but for now, I need to keep making changes until I’m at my optimized conditions to work to my best!

So on that note, I’ve got some work to do, submitting papers, filling out things, and just plainly cleaning on all sorts of levels.

Trust lies in Services Rendered

When I first helped my Father on one of our cars, I was not allowed to do anything. I wasn’t allowed to tighten a screw, I wasn’t allowed to hold a wrench, I wasn’t allowed to pour the oil into the funnel, I wasn’t allowed to do anything, nothing but to sit there and watch him, maybe, just maybe, I can hand him a tool he wanted, but that was when I was able to correctly identify which tool he wanted.

When I finally got my license, I wasn’t allowed to drive for anyone. Regardless that I passed my test, I wasn’t allowed to drive for the family, even to the store nearby, I wasn’t allowed to drive for my brothers to pick up something quick, I wasn’t even allowed to drive myself unless it was absolutely necessary for me to, which it wasn’t until I finally got my own car. I wasn’t allowed to do anything but sit there and watch, maybe, just maybe, I can give the driver some help by telling them whether or not it was safe to turn, but that was only when I can see the road correctly, and only when asked.

This was years ago. And as time passed, slowly I was involved more and more into being trusted upon in doing things.

My Father first let me give him the tools he wanted, then he let me go underneath the car with him to see what he was doing, then he started letting me tighten the nuts and bolts and screws that needed it, then he gave me small jobs to do on my own, then in the end, when a job needed to be done, my hands were right there in the car working along side my Father’s.

Initially, I took the Bus to get to college, but then my family let me take the van to get groceries with supervision, then they let me go without it, then they would let me drive for small recreational things, like pizza, while they simply went along for the ride. When I finally got my car, I was allowed to drive myself to school, then I was trusted to drive myself and others to school, and then in the end, I’m considered the “Patient and Good Driver.”

I was, at first, the one who wasn’t allowed simply because I didn’t know any better, I had no experience, I could have hurt myself if I was trusted with something while not seeing what its purpose is initially. But, my patience and curiosity, gained me the trust that allowed me to not only work alongside my Father and drive my family, but to an effect, display that I am someone to be trusted.

Now, rather than worry about trusting me with things, I am now currently the first person to go to in order to get something done. I’ve become someone that everyone can rely on, a dream of mine that also  has ties to my wanting to be a doctor. But, I always feel honored and glad when someone trusts me, it not only brings said person and myself closer, but it tells me subliminally that I’m still a good man, something that I’m constantly striving to be.

It’s strange really, It’s not being given a thing that tells me that I am trusted, it’s being given a responsibility, a chore even, that tells me that I am trusted, that tells me that I’ve shown maturity and patience, that I’m worthy of being given a higher responsibility. This is solidified by two separate sources, one, a quote: “In order to become a great leader, you must be come a great follower.” I can’t remember who said that, although I’m certain that I have the author in my Quote Book. The second source, the Bible: Matthew 23:11 “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” Now, this was spoken by Christ, himself, and I know for a fact that I am not the greatest in this household!

But the idea is there: in order to grow strong in this life, you need to start at the bottom. Heh, something I started saying over at “Everyone starts at Level 1.” And in my case, I’ve faced Death in my youth several times, perhaps even more than most people, and all that I got when I remember these near-death experiences, refined by my faith and Catholicism, is a wonderful desire to earn my life here.

I tell everyone, I have to do good, be good, keep trying, try harder, can’t stay still, keep moving forward, keep looking up, keep reaching, pushing, fighting, laughing, smiling. And usually in these moments, that’s enough for some people, but no one asks me “why?” and why I keep doing all these things, why I’m suffering like this with a smile on my face, or why I keep going forward despite the odds, and that’s because I haven’t earned my place yet. If I were to die, right now, my last thoughts would be, “not yet” because, I haven’t done enough to repay my debt to God, to earn this life that was spared from Death’s grip on numerous occasions. This is why, I’ve chosen to live an honorable life, I don’t disrespect my parents, I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs or even sleep around with promiscuous women. I’ve chosen to live a life without regrets and a life with as little selfish desire as possible… Because, let’s be honest, being a doctor is something I want, I don’t know what God has in mind for me… But this is why my mindset is vastly different from other people my age, it’s strange to see them find some ironic sense of accomplishment in doing self-destructive things, while wondering why I don’t follow suit.

My belief is that, I’m not being a good man because I want to, but ultimately for God. This one small belief has an unbelievable large range in various places in my life, from hanging out with friends, to when I’m by myself, and believe me, there are moments when I want to do something, but then I’m reminded of this, and the next moment finds me forcing myself to step away from something I would really want to do, but cannot because said action or thing would go against this belief. And I can’t go against the ideal, because that would be thinking only in selfish terms and I cannot think selfishly because I was given a very important responsibility: A Life.

Ultimately, my final honor and responsibility, is the very life that I live. I’m trusted with this vessel of vast potential, and it’s up to me to make sure that at the end, it’s as good a vessel as possible. Not because I want it to be, but because God wants me to; without even asking me in some grand vision, I’ve found that I’m meant to not live on what I want, but on what I believe is morally right and just. The best way to repay God for all the times he’s saved this life is to return it to him with as much good works and faith as I can fill it with. And when I do return it, I’ll return it with a smile on my face, because of all of the things I will have seen, the smiles on the faces of the people I will have interacted with, the strength people will say I have given them, and all of the things people will say I have left them, when I imagine that God will have made me a witness to all these things, I can’t help but smile. I smile because I will have been useful, because I will be able to rest in peace, and because I know I will have finally earned my place in Heaven, simply because I was trusted with this one small thing.

I want to face the end of this Journey with the ability to say, “I have no regrets…”

And at the Core, Burn.

These last few days I’ve been surprizingly busy! It seems like after breakfast, my day goes from slow to Sprint!

The details are random and pointless, but what happened is that my attention and energy are being put into rushing all over the place. So I’ve noticed one thing about myself during all this: I work rather well under pressure.

I can think pretty rapidly over several different objectives to be done, even do a second-look on the progress of each objective, then I can shift my energy to an additional objective, all with enough time and space for something spontaneous to occur.

This is one of those rare moments where I strongly resonate with some pagan ideals that people are born with particular elements, in my case, Fire. When I was rushing back and forth, I noticed that I was smiling. The different situations that demanded different forms of thinking, the energy that’s required to perform each solution with tact, and then making up a new, random solution for something unexpected entirely!

My mind and body responded by rising up to the call of the rush, and I loved it. I loved the rush, the demands, and how naturally it felt to accomplish them. I can see now, that this feeling will be familiar when I’m in the rush of a hospital, patients coming in back and forth, each with a different case and, thus, a different diagnosis. If I’m good enough, perhaps I’ll be in charge of telling people who needs what.

I’ve always seen Fire as the sorta black sheep of the Elements, flows like water, can generate as much force as the earth, and is as light as the air itself. Unlike the others, it’s mostly associated with it’s negative side, destruction, consumption, and overall bad things. But for those who know how to see them, they each have a balance with nature. Water can quench a man’s thirst or drown him, Air can give life or toss him like a rag doll at high speeds. Fire can scorch a man, or give him light, and that’s how many people will end it. But for me, I go beyond the physical.

Like my reasons for the heart, I tend to go metaphorical, it’s often said when someone is passionate, that he’s got a fire burning within his eyes! The warmth of a home goes beyond the Fireplace, and the cold-hearted have lost any sparks for sympathy.

Passion has been tied to fire since it’s conception, and when I feel rushed in the same manner than I did these last few days, I get passionate, and when I start, during the rush, and afterwards in my exhaustion, there’s a smile on my face. This isn’t a sign that the flame has died within me, but that the raging inferno has dwindled into a small flame, and rather than full of energy and adrenaline, I’m calm and peaceful.

At the center of how I am, I’m like a fire burning to face every situation. I like facing the wind and holding my ground against the tides at the beach; like flames, I like to climb high and reach into the sky, I like to move, drive, run, act, think fast, I’m perfectly fine to the ideas of standing alone in the darkness and joining together with others. Give me a reason to light up, and I’ll fight off all of the darkness in the world, Give me a reason to shine, and I’ll light up the way for others to do as well, Burn me, and I can spread my wrath to all over your world.

While the other elements can come from other origins or in other forms, Water can be either vapor or ice, rocks can be diamond, sand or charcoal, Fire is always in one form, it always comes from one spark, be it a pilot light, a match, or a thunderbolt, all it takes is that one spark.

But my flame is covered in human flesh, meaning that I’ll eventually tire, forget, and at times, lose motivation, these are the rules that are tied to this. But despite how calm or small my internal fire gets, I can never forget, never forget the speed my thinking can get, never forget the daunting demands that I can meet, with tact and precision. No, the internal flame cannot forget, no matter how long it’s been stagnant and tranquil, no matter how long it’s been simply standing there, warding off the darkness, no matter how many days, months, years have passed, it still remains.

And so long as this flame still remains burning inside, I, too, shall remain.

Breaking the Habits

Heh, This is my 200th post and it’s about my 26th birthday.

Studies have shown that at the age of 25, the human brain completes its maturation cycle, so I guess this means that I really don’t have any excuse to be immature or act like an idiot.

But one thing, I’ve started to notice about myself is, at this point, I’m growing tired of putting things off, of seeing things left unfinished, or work left undone. Something has stirred in me to go out of my way to get it done. Usually, I wouldn’t even notice these things, but now, it’s on the corner of my eye, and with nearly no hesitation, I get to work. The TV show isn’t as important as picking up these random articles of clothing, or as sweeping something that has fallen to the floor.

My years spend as my Father’s assistant, is starting to itch as I keep driving my car without proper maintenance. I’m seeing more and more opportunities to get things done, and lately, I’ve been taking them, seemingly out of nowhere.

Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s rather shocking, exciting, but most of all, interesting… My youthful habits of letting things slide is diminishing and now I’m taking actual pride in the things around me, the idea that if I live here then I should make it as best as I can, because I live here. I simply cannot turn a blind eye, these are the actions of a child, not of a man. I’ve always wanted to prove myself as a man, yet it’s only at this point that I realized that, I’ve done nothing that brings me closer towards being a man, save for living this long.

I have so many opportunities to prove myself and these remain at the wayside, everything that life would demand of a man is right here within my grasp, and I’m not reaching for it, for practically no reason. I need to Man up, quite literally.

A Man doesn’t complain about the work, he doesn’t let things slide when he has the ability to do something about it, he doesn’t try to find the blame, he just fixes the problem, he’s willing to get down and dirty to get the job done, regardless of what has happened during his day. A Man does what needs to be done, no questions asked!

This is the habit, the main habit that I need to develop, the habit of success that will cause the rest of my life to be successful, and ironically, the reasons for it are not to achieve success, but to achieve personal satisfaction of a job well done. A Man doesn’t boast about himself, he merely does what’s necessary.

So, I will now break the habits I have of sleeping in, watching TV, checking the internet for random things, doing childish things. I will replace these with the habit-building productivity of a Man.

Of all of the gifts, I shall receive for this birthday, This shall be the one I shall strive to treasure.

A Wonderful Doubt

I was talking with a friend of mine last night and it passed over my picture on the heading of this journal, I jokingly brought up a concern of mine that if my pictures keep showing only my back, then everyone is going to forget my face and only recognize me by my backside, to which she replied, “a wonderful doubt!”

Speak of doubts, in terms of my old laptop, I’ll lend it to my mother, so that she can hold on to it and use it whenever she pleases, this is a bit of a relief, because I don’t want to give/sell/get rid of my laptop. After I clear all of my stuff on the old laptop, I’ll have no qualms letting her hold on to it for me.

Anyways, I remember in Animes and Mangas, when a person remembers a particularly driven character, they’re always depicted as walking away from the screen, in resemblance of their motivation and efforts of trying to achieve blank goal. So now I wonder if I’m remember as such? Of course, this is something I’ll never know unless someone tells me, but I highly doubt that’ll ever come up in conversation.

So the idea is how can I live a life where, when remembered, will be as if I’m always moving forward?

If I am to gain this imaginative attribute of always walking away, I need to manifest all of the aspects of ‘always looking forward’ so this means, I need to be Optimistic, Driven, Motivated, Happy, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Purposeful, Confident.

Heh, I’m not too sure if I bear all these traits, but it’s good to know what it takes to have people think of you in such a manner. In order to be seen as a strong person, you have to first show how strong you are to yourself. All of these traits are things that cannot be faked, not really, you can’t pretend to be happy when you’re really sad, it’ll eventually come to light that you’re really depressed. I believe that everyone displays a sort of energy or aura about them, when you’re energetic, others get excited, when you’re laughing, others laugh too, this is definitely observed when there’s a mob and a singular mentality. But the idea is that you need to be the example of Determination when it came to your goals and beliefs, constantly striving for bettering yourself, or perfecting a goal, or achieving an accomplishment.

For now, I’ll settle for having pictures of myself stationary, smiling, and enjoying the present situation that I’m in, because I really am. I’m glad to be right here, right now, but I can’t stay still. Not for too long. I still have a long ways to go, and I can’t stay here and watch my opportunities fly away from my grasp. I need to fight stagnation and keep progressing, even if it’s only little by little. I still have things that need to be done, and I still have progress that hasn’t been made yet! I can’t stop now! I can’t even slow down, not yet!

A Fresh Perspective on Life

Today My brother Vicky came, and gave me gifts, from himself and Dawn, Cookie Monster Cupcakes and a brand new laptop computer. A Dell Laptop Computer Intel Celeron 1007U.

I was blown away.

This is my first post using this new laptop device and it feels amazing. Granted, the feel of the keyboard and some features are different, so I’ll have to get accustomed to it, but this feels fantastic!

When I asked, what was the occasion, one was that they won’t be here for my birthday coming up, and the other was because I did well enough on my MCAT to apply.

This new laptop comes with Windows 8 and it’s full of so much potential. I can foresee myself doing all sorts of interesting things in the future with this. I’d like to learn how to code HTML, I can read books and Mangas, like I always wanted. It’s a bit overwhelming, because a lot of these things, I would like to do over time, but now with this new laptop, I can do all sorts of things, even things I couldn’t do before, it’s just practically endless!

But, what do I do with my old one? I’m a sentimental man, if nothing else, and my previous laptop was a gift from my late-father, I don’t want to get rid of it, for any reason, but to sit there with 2 laptops is being greedy, is it not? Logically, I can obviously do LOTS more things with my new laptop than with the old one, due to the latter’s experience of being in the ringer I call “LSU”. It’s pretty slow, the battery doesn’t charge anymore and it’s seen a LOT of information. But I cannot see myself really parting with it, there’s just so many things between this laptop and myself, it’s seen me start a great many things, this journal being one of them. Not to mention that no matter how long it’s been, since I’ve used it, the familiarity will always remain. I can type and move faster than even the computer can recognize, but that might be because it’s a bit slower now, heh heh.

I still don’t know. There’s really nothing on my previous laptop that I cannot put on my new laptop, maybe the NF and ThinkGeek stickers on the lid, but that’s roughly it. Yet, it’s going to take some convincing to really let my old laptop go. Gah, This is one reason why I only try to live with so little, because if I allow myself to collect things, for any reason even remotely recreational, I’ll wind up on one of those Hoarders shows, Heh, it’s a good thing I don’t have any income at the moment, otherwise all my money would be gone.

But at this moment, I have a new laptop, so I’m going to enjoy it and everything it comes with, until my Pterygium starts acting up, and I’ll have to rest my eyes from staring at such a marvelously smooth screen.

This is going to be Fun!