“Red: Slowing to a Crawl”

Day 16: Imagine that someone has decided to write a book about your life, just up to this point. What would the cover blurb say? Be honest here. Is it kind of boring? Are you happy with it? Now imagine what you’d like that blurb to say at the end of your life. What changes need to made for that to happen?

Heh, if someone were to look at my life up to this point, I think this would be the title that they would put. My life was exciting and running smoothly years ago, I had so many interesting activities going on, but then I graduated and was thrust into the wide world, where things don’t run so smoothly. I’m 26 with no job, and no idea what’s coming around the corner. I once was a boy who would dive headfirst into anything interesting, and now I’m just taking it slowly one day at a time. Heh, I’m not really happy with it, so I need to find some changes. so that at the end of my life it would be titled:

Red: a Good Man and a Good Doctor

So in order to do that, I need to make myself some rather severe changes. For one, getting into med school, and for the other, getting out of this mental/emotional/life rut I’ve found myself in. I also need to meet my standards of what I think a Good man should be, and that’ll take some time and effort as well. I need to make myself move forward, rather than just stay stagnant within safe borders. This is the ONE big change that I need to make: Actual effort towards moving forward in my life! So far I’m making small efforts, some Job applications here and there, reading the Bible (chapter by chapter), exercising, and the occasional hanging out with friends. But I’m missing something that will actually PUSH my life in a positive direction. So far, I’ve just been keeping my head up above the waters. I need to move forward.

Three Days Forward, Two Days Back

Alright, so I’ve been a bit ill lately, so now I’ve gotta catch up on my AoM challenge!

Day 13: Perform a mind dump of everything you’re worried about. From the leaky dishwasher to your family member’s poor health — get it all out. Dwight D. Eisenhower did it, and it significantly helped him manage his stress. Just as your body needs to…cleanse itself of waste, so does your mind every once in a while. Getting all your stressors on paper may alleviate some of that pressure. Use David Allen’s GTD trigger list to help you out.

OK Worries! They are: Loans, Finding a Job, being rejected from Med school, going back to regular school, finding ways to pay for it, that “presence” coming back, making a permanent mistake with Marlena, making a permanent mistake with ANY girl, utterly failing at Life, dividing my family, losing the girls, giving into temptation, wasting my time and money on useless things, wasting my family’s time and money on useless things.

Day 14: Write a review of some form of entertainment you recently took in. Whether book or movie or TV show or Broadway play, write out what you liked and didn’t like about it. Was the acting/writing good? Could you follow the story? Is there anything you can take from it about life, or was it purely entertainment? This is often one of the most enjoyable entries to write, as it’s especially fun (and quite nostalgic) to go back and read these in the future. I can imagine that 10 years from now I will thoroughly appreciate my thoughts from this week on Roy Baumeister’sIs There Anything Good About Men?.

Ninja Warrior has returned! I’m so glad that it has! Nothing motivates me more to exercise than seeing someone put their body to the test! Although all of the contestants hardly ever make it to the finish, it’s inspiring seeing them try! And every time you see one of them fall, they always say the same thing, “I’m going to do better next time.” These athletes who’s levels I don’t think I’ll ever reach, fall and rise again and again. I always say to myself, ‘One day I’ll do that too’ And I still have that in the back of my mind, to become the grand Ninja master and achieve Total Victory!

Day 15: Come up with your own Cabinet of Invisible Counselors. There are innumerable great men from history who we can learn from today. When thinking about your life or pondering some question or problem, yes, go to actual mentors and friends, but also take in the advice of men of yore. Write out who you would have on your list and what you admire about them. Having trouble coming up with a list? The comments in the post should offer plenty of ideas.

Hmm… I suppose my Cabinet would consist of:

  • Jesus – The Son of God, what better moral teacher than that?
  • Goku – A man who trained for the sake of improving himself, not for bettering others
  • Bahamut – Another Motivator, King of Dragons with an ancient Wisdom
  • My Father – My par for what I think it takes to be a Good Man
  • Sun Tzu – Master Strategist of Life and War
  • Theodore Roosevelt – Took a bullet and didn’t leave until his speech was finished, another Good Man
  • Giuseppe Moscati – Italian Doctor and patron Saint of the Catholic church, my par for being a Good Doctor
  • Albert Einstein – A slow learner who changed the world
  • Robert Frost – To remind me to take the Road less traveled
  • My Mother – To remind me to be kind to others
  • My Sister – To remind me that nothing is impossible
  • Aristotle – Philosophy is where I treasure this guy
  • Marcus Aurelius – Roman Emperor who believed that we are all connected by one singular energy
  • My Brother-in-law – Another strong man who fills the room with laughter, he bears traits that I admire
  • Balian of Ibelin – “What man is a man who does not try to make the world better?”

A Weight Lifted

I’m currently in Chicago, Il. visiting my sister and her family, enjoying the sights and foods of Chicago before I go back to California with my nieces. But they went ahead of me with another brother, so my sister tells me to stay for a few more days to enjoy more of Chicago. So that’s what I’m doing, and we were all sitting at a Chinese Buffet with an actual Stir-fry chef, and we were all talking, my sister, my bro-in-law, and myself. We were talking about all sorts of things, and at the end of the rather lengthy conversation, I was walking towards the car both, heavier due to all of the food I’ve eaten, and lighter because I’ve found two very important answers to questions that have been haunting me for quite some time.

One, the main source of my frustrations and anger with JP have now been manifested into something that brings me comfort: Asperger’s. Of course! How could it have eluded me all this time! Then again, the last psychology class I took was in High school, so it’s some comfort that I didn’t catch this beforehand. But FINALLY something to work with! And I’ve been looking it up every chance I got, and it’s almost funny how the problems other people have described and the symptoms and disorders listed are all things, familiar to me, things I’ve faced and are frustrated with. Asperger’s disorder and syndrome, oh, how these words have provided me with much needed relief, not that I’m glad that they have it, on the contrary, I’m now finally glad to see that with this, well for lack of a better word, ‘Label’, I now know what problems to expect, and now can start finding ways to improve not only my relationship with said brother, but finding ways to help them move on with their lives, and become more accepting of themselves.

The second weight is more directed towards myself, and it’s a phrase I kept hearing David and Nena say throughout the conversation, when it came towards future aspects: “Let it go because you never know what’s going to happen next.” These words echoed with me. I don’t know why, but my ability to let go of my frustrations was waning, and I’ve found myself feeling more and more angry, my thoughts would be filled with dark images and fury, it was unsettling, to say the least. I’ve never acted upon them, but the fact that they’d last longer and longer, with anger from years ago, was becoming a problem. I didn’t want this anger, this rage within me, I wanted to be a good man, how could I be that when I helped one man and hated another? It doesn’t work. I’ve told my nieces: “People are like dishes, they’re not clean until every single part of them is clean, even the parts no one sees or uses.” So for me to have thoughts of hatred or anger doesn’t work. Eventually one side will come out, and that’ll be revealed as my true character. So I want my thoughts, words, actions, habits, values, and eventual destiny to be as clean as possible, because of all of the things I know I’m going to be facing in the future, and if there’s one shadow of a doubt, or if there’s a chance that I could be corrupted, then I lose my soul. But back to the subject at hand, letting it go, for the sake of the fact that tomorrow shall forever remain a mystery, I should learn to let go of all of the small things that other people have done to me. It’s the basic principle of “Forgive everyone” you’re suppose to forgive them, because you never know when you’ll see them again, heck, I could die in a plane crash on my way back home on Tuesday and if my heart is full of things that hadn’t been let go by the time of my untimely death, then I won’t be able to pass over, and I’ll stay stuck in limbo or as an evil spirit. In either case, Letting go of things is a way of being able to move on in life and to not dwell on the past that’ll eventually drag one down.

Man, I’m really grateful for my sister and her husband, without their conversations, their ability to view me as both, an equal and as a child full of potential, has given me the confidence to really learn from them and to appreciate what an adult should act like, and what I should strive to be. And now, with this weight lifted, I can now continue my path on trying to be a good man, without fear of being corrupted or losing my soul.

Keep Moving Forward

I was nervous today. Anxious, my breathing was quickened. My mind raced, unfocused on the task at hand. ‘Is it going to happen? How long will it take? Will it come in time?’

I was in the middle of a supermarket picking up groceries.

‘What will happen next?’ Was the biggest question racing on my mind, my appearance was calm save for my muttering to myself,  trying everything to calm my mind. I tried to work out my thoughts, usually out loud was the best method, but nothing was working. Then, I came to a conclusion:

‘What happens next is just to keep moving forward.’

In this Chess game called Life, the only move the Pawn can make is simply Forward. I can’t go back for obvious Time-traveling problems, I can’t stay still, otherwise I’ll lose progress and wind up stuck where I’m at all my life, filled with Regret.

I can only go forward, headlong into the path that I’m on, I have to see how this Life will end. I’ve already come too far, I’ve already done so much, my family has sacrificed much for me to get where I’m at, right now… Even Life itself. No, There’s no choice in the matter now, it’s no longer about me, but about Everyone! It’s not just me standing here, but the hopes, the dreams, the smiles, the tears of everyone who’s ever believed in me, is riding on this as much as I am!

Heh, I know I’m starting to sound like a cartoon show cliche, but the funny part is that it’s true. I am the one who stands on this path, alone. My heart is not moved by material wealth, but by the well-being of others. I simply like helping people! There’s almost no more reasoning behind that, save for one:

It’s what I’ve been put on this planet for.

When I was young, I’ve come across several situations in which I was not expected to survive, and at the age of 14, I made a vow, to earn this life that had been spared from Death so many times. I vowed to live an honorable life, one that can help as many people as possible, and to this day, I still honor that vow. It’s been integrated into who I am now, I sometimes feel like I’m out of time here, like I should’ve been born in Medieval Europe or in Ancient times in Japan. For me, being a good man mattered more than advancing myself, seeing someone smile was worth more than my homework, and feeling clean mind, body and soul was more important than being accepted among the social groups.

Time after time, I would come across a situation in which no one would do anything, people stood by, while another suffered, and I wound up the only one moving, the only one doing anything about it. And now when I think about why I would act, I often come to the conclusion: Because no one else will.

Something is better than nothing, and people often select to do nothing, while I would choose to do something, despite the consequences that come.

Miss some questions on a test because all of last night, a friend was having a crisis and needed advice? Fine by me.

Standing in a corner by myself drinking water while everyone else gets drunk? Ok I can do that.

Giving an opportunity to someone who needed it more than me? Go right ahead, I’ll be smiling when you succeed.

“I cannot deny who I am.” That’s what I said to the medical school representative, who’d advance himself instead of doing the right thing. The path he takes will wind up being empty, because he only thinks of himself, and those closest to him. My path will not be that, I will move forward in the way I believe is right, refusing to help another in a profession who’s job is to help others is just plain hypocritical and wrong. If he truly represented that school’s ideals, then I fear the worst.

Bah, he doesn’t deserve any place in my mind, except on a list of “People I’m going to prove wrong” It’s not a long list, but with each step, I defy their expectations.

Whether or not, the world agrees with me, it matters not, I’m going to keep moving forward, despite everything that stands against me, even myself.