A Hike that defined my Path

So I was at school the other day, ready to talk to my financial aid counselor about my Leave of Absence, unfortunately, I forgot that I needed an appointment first, so I had 3.5 hours before I had to get ready for work, so I remembered that there was a hiking trail not far from where I was at.

I love hiking. Whenever able, I love walking around the rock formations and my mind just expands and flows, my thoughts travel all across the mountainside as I get some clarity and peace. It’s almost equivalent to releasing doves from a cage, you see them fluttering and flapping their wings, and then, as if by instinct, they start to get their bearings and align themselves into a formation, they carry themselves on the wind and just soar. My thoughts do exactly the same thing, as I get higher and higher on the summit, my thoughts fly further and further away from me, leaving me with a peace as serene as the view I’m taking in.

But with this particular hike, I decided to record it for this journal.

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Starting off on this trail, I am met with these walls along the hillside. I always get a sense of perspective whenever really close to them, I like to be reminded of how small one really is compared to the vastness of the world. It’s humbling.

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It wasn’t long until I’m met with a fork in the road. One path leads upward, and the other straight, I went down the straight path before and I found that it doesn’t lead anywhere interesting or extravagant. I never went on the other path, not to mention, that I like high places, so I naturally went and took to higher path. As Robert Frost is always quoted, “When coming across a fork in the road… I take the road less travelled by, and that has made all of the difference in the world.”

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It gets pretty steep, and I notice that if I just simply look to my left, I’d be struck with a fantastic view. But I don’t. As a matter of fact, I don’t let myself even glance in that direction. I wasn’t done. I still had more to climb, more to do. If I had looked it’ll be premature and it’ll ruin the final view that waited for me at the end. I have to press on! The end will be much more better! I see this as a translation of not letting your ambition force you to celebrate early, to recognize that there is still work to be done and that the journey hasn’t ended.

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Naturally, the pathway becomes jagged and narrow. Any such individual who wishes to follow their path must be prepared to face difficulties of any kind.

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Now I’m almost at the top and I face another fork in the road, one greener and seems to aim directly towards the face of the mountain, the other barren. I thought about this one, for a few minutes. The greener road felt like taking a luxurious, non-resistant end to the path. I didn’t like the sound of it. I was never one for luxury, nor was I one who went out of the way to having his presence known by all. To take the Green path would be like showing off and demanding rewards for my efforts, I didn’t like the feeling it gave me.

So I took the barren path, and what I saw was awe-inspiring

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This is a panoramic shot of where I stood.

It blew me away.

This was exactly what I was looking for. This was my destination. Not to reach the top of some corporate ladder or have some really high office in a prestigious building. But to be in a position in society, where I’m able to reach out and touch and help someone regardless of their background or lifestyle. To truly reach my potential, I must be in a position where anyone who needed my help can have access to me.

I love this view. It was worth the climb. And when I looked to my side, the path continued.

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And sure enough, when I continued on my path, all I could see were green hills and a never ending path that kept going on and on. It was my future. This is where I see my path going. It is defined by this one hike. It’s not a straight path (nor would I want it to be), it bears its highs and lows, and can get wavy as it follows the curvature of the mountain. But that’s to be expected with Life. But I can feel it, This is where I’m meant to be.

So there you have it, ironically, this entire hike took just over an hour to climb, but from it, I got all that I needed to know about what lies ahead of me. It was a much needed respite.

I’m glad I did this.

And to add a bit of flavor to this, I saw an interesting sight off in the distance

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Ha ha ha! It was almost as if someone had planned it! a giant R on the opposing mountain. Granted, it’s probably for the city that mountain resides in, but seeing as to how I answer to Red, I took it for my own translation.

Jan 20th 2017

Now, I’m not one for politics, in fact, I avidly avoid it due to the fact that I can never tell whenever some politician is telling the truth. “You can tell a politician is lying if you see his lips move.” As the old joke goes. But tomorrow brings us an… eventful beginning.

Donald Trump is going to be President.

Even typing the words makes me feel something unsettling. As a matter of fact, this will be the very first inauguration that I’ll attempt to bear witness to. It’s strange, politics was just something trivial when I was young, and now, it’s something of grave significance as I can see large changes on the horizon and some of those are not for the better.

In my own personal opinion, I didn’t support Mr. Trump, and when I watched the election polls come in, I was hit with a sort of dull, yet rising, realization: This is it. This is something that I need to bear witness to.

My sister asked me if I think Mr. Trump will last his entire term, as currently there are businesses in his name and some of those bear clauses that he cannot own a business as he is a government official, of sorts. I felt divided. Half of me thinks by circumstance and, I’d almost dare to say, luck, he does indeed last all four of his years, and the other half of me thinks that he simply won’t. Either in some scandal worthy of his reputation, or in some unforeseen loophole that no one could ever see, he’ll be impeached and removed from office.

I remember reading in the Book of the Five Rings, that a Samurai must always be aware of what’s happening in the world around him, and this is what I believe I must do, especially with such controversy and scandal and raised emotions in everyone all around me. I can’t let myself get absorbed into all this, but I need to be able to see it. I have to see it. I have to know what’s going on now. I can’t simply turn my head away, just because I don’t like politics.

When the world is in such a state, I can no longer turn a blind eye to what is in front of me. And although it’ll be difficult to navigate through the emotions and the biased opinions of both sides, I still have to try to understand, to try to listen to what people are really saying, not what I think they’re saying. And most of all, I have to pay attention to what they do. Because actions always define who we are, and I have to constantly look for the point where words fail and actions are the language with which we communicate.

Tomorrow is going to be an eventful day, indeed. I pray… for all of us… even for Mr. Trump…

Although I should probably mention that my currently reading George Orwell’s 1984 has absolutely no influence on me… probably…

I got a taste of something great

Wow, it has been quite some time since I’ve picked up this ‘Journal’. I do apologize. Actually for several reasons. It’s actually interesting, my time away has been… let’s say… interesting.

  1. First and foremost: I will no longer aim to become a Medical Doctor. Heh, it’s funny how life has these little interesting tricks and turns for us, especially when we least expect it. God set my sights on something I’ve honestly never thought I’d do. So in order to continue on this new path, I have to come to terms that this old path will no longer be my main goal. I have to let go of attempting to become a doctor… at least for now. This has to be it’s own point, because it has to be validated that this path that I thought my entire life was preparing me for, is no longer the path for me. And the reason for that is because…
  2. I am going to be an Orthoprosthetist! I am going to dedicate my life becoming someone who helps people become whole. A Prosthetist is someone who manufactures prosthetics for those who have limb loss to some degree, either it’s been acquired through some trauma in their life or it’s congenital. But either case, I’m going to be the one who sees these people and help them stand on their own feet, metal or otherwise. I will smile as they extend their reach with both arms of flesh and metal alike. I will calculate and strain my efforts to make sure that whatever device I give them will be to their benefit and to not harm or limit them in any way. An Orthotist is someone who helps fit devices to people who are damaged to the point that they require either some assistance or resistance to help their recovery. I met with the dean of the program and he liked my interview so much that he let me get accepted into the program.
  3. Oh… this first quarter… was amazing! It was frustrating and fun! My limits were pushed and my hair was almost pulled out in angst. I smiled covered in shavings of plastic and plaster, my hands have been burned on copper, and aluminum, and resin. My nights were spent working (because I’m still working as a Phlebotomist), while trying to squeeze in as much studying as possible for projects and exams, which was one of the main reasons that I had placed this Journal as well as several other things (exercising, social life, etc.) on the backburner. I had a blast, my class is one of the smallest classes in the history of the program (it’s a very recent program at this University), so we all got familiar with each other rather quickly. I like them, my other classmates.
  4. Just as quickly and spontaneously I got into the program, I’m just as quickly and spontaneously NOT continuing! This hit me like a brick wall. When I had applied for financial aid, I set all of my applications as a graduate student. Unfortunately, this particular program isn’t considered graduate until the last year, the reason for that is because they accept student who do not have a Bachelor’s degree as well as those who do. So I realize this about a week before the quarter is ending. Great. So now I have a balance that I need to pay off before I can continue. There’s no way for me to generate ~$8000 in a manner of days (legally, that is). That’s it. I can’t continue. Done. My academic career is on pause until this debt has been paid off. I’ll admit it, this hit me Hard. I thought I had done something wrong, my initial thoughts and prayers were along the lines of: “Please don’t take this away from me.” “Is this all I’m given?” and “Why take this away if it’s my path/destiny/future?” And so on.
  5. I felt defeated for the first time in a LONG time. I had answers, but no solutions. I knew what I had to do and I felt powerless as the inevitable approached. It’s like seeing a punch coming right at you, and you have no way of dodging it. So all I could do is just take it. Bam. Right in the center of my face, and there’s not a damn thing I could’ve done to avoid it. Down I go, the next hit being the impact of my body hitting the unforgiving ground. Thud. And I lie there for what seems like forever, body shaken to its core, time has become nonexistent, and my mind is wondering what just happened…
  6. And then a hand reaches out… It pulls me up… It’s familiar grip is causing me to rise from this defeat… And I’m feeling uplifted… and then I get slapped in the face?!… Wait, what was that for?! It was my ever loving sister, she reminds me that this isn’t the end, that I took a chance from the very beginning and that quite simply I extended my reach far beyond my grasp. The odds were being stacked like mountains before me, and that the very fact that I even got in should’ve been a sign that I must proceed with caution. I let myself get too comfortable and ergo, let things slide when I should’ve followed up. I chose to forget things when I should’ve set reminders. But there’s one thing that finished this package: It’s not the end. I had answers and some of those answers were: I can come back, and I can pick up where I left off, My progress isn’t in vain. And that as soon as I can pay off this debt, I can continue! I will continue!

So that’s it. WHEW! Seeing it on here, it almost looks like a series of random events, but that’s how it went for me. I haven’t had much time for much else. My time and focus has been towards my studies, but now that I might not go to school at the moment, I can start diverting my attention and energy towards other things, for example restarting habits I had let go like exercising and writing in this journal. Also, I’ve been meaning to pick up new habits like reading and budgeting. Perhaps this time I’ll have a better go at everything that’s coming my way. For now, I’m just… heh, enjoying the present, because that’s really all I can do.

heh, Merry Christmas!

Oh and, thank you catsthatpost for liking one of my entries. it brought to my attention how long it has been since I’ve last written in here. Thank you for reminding me.

My 5 Year Anniversary

It’s September the 3rd.

It was the morning of this very day 5 years ago that my Father fell.

And I’m here, looking up news and updates on what I’ve learned will be my future career.

I wonder if he’d like the fact that I’ve chosen Prosthetics and Orthotics as my career instead of regular medicine. Heh, knowing him, he’d reply with something vague like, “Pues, si lo quieres.” (“Well, if that’s what you want”) When I’m contemplating the course of my life, Gee, thanks old man.

But I can’t blame him for my lack of direction, I’ve only got myself to blame, he obviously can’t make that decision for me, and he knows that. So his thinking would be, “So why would we talk about it? If that’s your path, then that’s your path. Start walking.” He knew what had to be done, and he’d see it to the end. I think if the roles were reversed, he wouldn’t ask me what I thought, he’d simply tell me what he was going to do.

But I have to remember that I’m not my father. I am only me. And my path is very different from his, I cannot compare the two of us, it’s not possible. All I can do is utilize everything he’s taught me to what I’m doing with my life, right now.

And right now, I’m working on making my resolve as solid as possible! God has finally shown me where I’m going to go with my life, and this is it! There’s no more room for doubt anymore, no more room for questions on where I’m going or what my purpose is. This is it. It took five years for me to reach this point and now I’m set on my path.

Heh, I think if this wasn’t my path, I’d be hesitant on writing these words, or there’d be a lingering thought in the back of my mind, but there’s nothing. It’s almost strange. I say almost, because to be honest, I’ve never felt more at peace with all of this. Even researching how far I might have to go for all of this, I’m OK with it. I welcome it! Because it’s only now that it all makes sense: That thought that I’d never be a doctor, The constant reinforcement that helping people is what I must do, The way my heart breaks whenever I see someone struggle with walking or moving in any way less than their normal ways.

I feel like that Agent in Usual Suspects, when he finally sees the big picture. It really does hit you like a truck. Or I guess in this case, it was like walking in the dark and suddenly having the entire room light up, finding yourself exactly where you are, and where you’ve been.

I hope other people discover this feeling. It’s excitement and peace put together. Looking forward to what lies ahead, yet not making out anything for certain. Admiring the unknown, and knowing that it’s there.

It’s a feeling unlike anything I’ve felt before.

The Act of Thinking Out loud

Heh, I know it has been a long while since I’ve posted on here. And as I’m typing that sentence, I wonder how many times I’ve said that same sentence over and over. Oh well.

So my little sister wanted me to help her with her journaling and in return she’d help me with mine. Except, she didn’t buy any notebook or anything to journal with, and I remembered this blog.

I feel like I’m dusting off an old friend as I look at the format and some of the old posts I’ve written… Ahhh… The September I wrote about my father. I’ve gotta look through these some time.

But you know, I’ve missed having my thoughts displayed before me. I tried journaling on an actual journal, but I’ve missed the part unique to the blog that it’s my thoughts for all of the world to see. It’s kinda freeing. Despite how much or little it’s read, I like having some part of me out there floating on the sea that is the internet. Probably never to be seen again, like a letter in a bottle thrown into the ocean. Whoever finds it and reads it will probably never know it came from me, but they will have read these words, and like any author, I hope that my words will inspire them to be something.

Man, a lot has happened in my life since my last post. Oh! I know! I’ll just start with the more recent things and work my way backwards, retroactively recalling everything that’s happened to me and probably with some luck, I can catch you up to all of my recent events… Heh, ‘You’ my dear reader, whoever you are. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope I hadn’t disappointed you in the past. Although if you were reading this regularly, then I most likely have, and I apologize to you.

But I plan on coming back here at least twice a week, hopefully my little sister can keep remind me about this, and I can keep my word to you.

So I have to go now, I need to shower and I’ve got an early day tomorrow, so I’m ending this entry here.

Until next time.

“Feels Natural”

This morning, I awoke with an unusual feeling, it was something like dread. I was surprised and I let myself feel it enough to explore it, why I was feeling it and what experiences were tied to it.

I’ve found that I really don’t like my current situation. Granted, I was unemployed and I’m glad to have a job, but there’s no way for me to survive on this. If I found myself without a home tomorrow, I know for certain that I’m not making enough to survive.

It has been some time since I’ve gotten this feeling. I’ve become certified as a Phlebotomist. And at my job, I’m getting cross trained into several departments and in the back of my mind, it feels like Life is pushing me towards the Prosthetics route.

Now at this point, I’m not only enjoying my work, it feels natural when I work, sticking people and pulling needles from their arm. I remember a conversations with Nena about how I will know whether or not I’m being guided by God or by my own ambitions. And that’s how: It’ll feel natural for me to do it, almost feel right.

And now, despite the usual problems at work, I feel really good about it. Great, even. I’ve always saw this current job as a stepping stone towards my career, and it’s doing more than proving that. I’m starting to get excited to see what the future has in store for me.

“This is how I change the world.”

A few nights ago, I was praying for some way to see whether or not I was going the right way (a prayer I pray often). My mind was wondering if there was a point to my completing the application to a Post-Baccalaureate Pre-medical program at my University. When suddenly, my mind went to flashbacks.

  • I helped a Case Manager with a printer and within minutes, she wants to help me become a doctor, giving me a letter of Recommendation
  • An old professor has already given me a letter of recommendation despite our lack of communication as of late
  • There are only 2-3 things left for me to complete until I’m finished with the entire application.

Then it hit me: I’ve been guided by the LORD this entire time! I didn’t pray to him for guidance, nor had I given him the journey that I was walking before, but I did not make that same mistake, and now I constantly pray for his guidance and seek out signs that I’m going the right way. So now I’m certain that the path is correct.

However, my mind was still going on a train of thought. And as it ran through several internal conversations, the mental dust finally settled on one thing:” If I have plans to change this world, by however a small degree, then this path, the one I’m currently on, is the right path, simply because no one in my family has even attempted such a feat.”

By my becoming a doctor, Life for me will change entirely! But this will only happen AFTER I’ve completed my trials and tribulations. And yet, those words kept echoing in my mind over and over again, “This is how you change the world.” “This is how you change your world.” “This is how you change the world.” And so on. Since then, my mind feels different, as if I’ve shifted gears and now opened my eyes to something brand new. I feel excited and yet enlightened. Like I’m standing between the calm and the storm.

I have a lot of work to do, but now I’m confident that I now have a fire burning within me (and under my butt). This has definitely stayed with me for a while, I have motivation, and now I have something to focus my discipline on!

This is how I change the world.