The Freedom of Choice

“At any given moment in time, you have a choice. You can either choose one thing or the other.” My sister spoke this to me, we were talking about my progress on feeling Remorse, and it came to light that I’ve constantly felt disconnected with the rest of the world. People know how I am, yet they didn’t really know who I am. Friends and family, will know that I’m loyal, offer good advice, and so on, yet they wouldn’t know much about me, my likes, my dislikes, and so on.

And the reason for this, is because I had allowed myself to be surrounded by people who needed my help, and I didn’t need theirs, so there was an imbalance to the point where it’s difficult for me to talk about myself towards others. Very rarely had I the chance to express myself, and now this is causing me to be numb to even my own accomplishments.

So when I heard these words, it stuck with me. ‘Choice. I’ve chosen. I have a choice. I’ve made a choice.’ my mind is weird. It followed with a clip from the Matrix Revolutions.

‘Because I choose to. It doesn’t matter what the choices were in the past. Now there’s a new choice: To keep going or not. To keep fighting or not. To stay or to go.’

In each of the quotes that decorate my mirror, there’s a central theme that resonates beneath them. And that is, Choice.

There’s a choice in every thing. To accept it or not. To define it, or have it define you. To quit or get fired. It’s opened my eyes, ‘What sort of poor decisions have I been making in the past?’ 

And that’s been my mantra for the last couple of days. It’s interesting how something, anything in this life, can be broken down to two choices, and what’s even more curious, is the fact that there will be situations where there won’t be a clear decision, “The lesser of two evils” or “to pick between two good choices” I honestly can’t wait for those to come to my plate, but I must learn not to look for trouble, because when God decides that it’s time for me to face such a situation, I’ll face it.

And yet, To have this echo in my mind, ‘You have a choice.’ It’s filled me with such inspiration, such desire, I almost feel at peace. There’s a small part of me that feels restless because I haven’t become a doctor yet. Despite having my plans solidified, I’m still anxious to see it come to fruition, and I’m ready to put my all into it this time.

I feel like I just reach the summit of a mountain, and I’m able to see every road around me, every possibility is available to me. I should’ve felt like this graduating college, or high school even!

But the choices of my past have made me stray quite a bit from my goals, and now I have to carve a new path to get to where I want to be, which means that I’ll have to work twice as hard to get there. But that idea seems to put a smile on my face. I can’t wait to put myself to the test.

I’m starting to like this freedom I’ve discovered. I chose to like this freedom that I’ve chosen to accept. Ha ha ha… This is going to be fun…

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The Impact of Being Remorseless

Or “How I got fired for not being contrite”

So.

I was recently fired from my job as a Fulfillment Associate from Amazon (manual labor) and I was fired on the premise that I violated safety protocol and upon explaining myself I was viewed as apathetic, while I thought I was being professional.

After roughly 10 minutes of question and answer, if I was aware of what I was doing and so on, when I was handed my final paycheck, I smiled, shook hands, grabbed my stuff and walked out the door. Didn’t even look back once. I sat in my truck, in the parking lot, and… I tried to think about what just happened. ‘Did I say something wrong?’ ‘I thought I was being honest.’ And the strangest thing overcame me… it was…

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I was mulling over the preparations of explaining this to my family, I’ve never been fired before, and didn’t really know what to expect. But I did and it felt easier than I thought. My brother-in-law convinced me to go to my Muay Thai class later on that day and I did. when I got back, I ate and heard that my sister wanted to talk to me before more time had passed.

Her tone was a mix of anger and disappointment, I thought she was trying to attack me at some points, but I didn’t retaliate. And again, my tone, my expression, my very presence was blank. During the lecture, it came up that I didn’t actually feel anything about what I did (although in my mind, I knew I didn’t do anything serious), that I should be feeling remorse about the whole situation. For one, my family did depend partly on my income for food and whatnot; it provided a sense of relief for my family members, me having my own income; and ultimately, I believe that it showed that I was growing up and on the path of growing into my own individual.

So at the end, I asked her, “How do I feel remorse?” and she listed reasons that were similar to what I listed above. And it was strange hearing these reasons. They made sense, my having a job was important, if not for myself, for my family. And yet… I wasn’t truly happy. I felt stuck, especially on my path to Medical School, which was always on the back of my mind. I didn’t know what to do, how to close that gap between where I currently am and where I want to go.

But why didn’t I feel anything? This was my very first official job and I got fired in less than a year! Why am I not feeling anything? Am I so disconnected from my own emotions that I can’t feel the impact of something as significant as being fired from a job?

So I started reflecting…

‘I’m not that disconnected, I couldn’t be. If I was, then I wouldn’t have behaved the way I did when my father died.’

The next day, I learned that it wasn’t just I alone who was fired. It was 3 people total, all of us who happened to be within 10 feet of each other…

‘Wait a minute… Three people? In one day? Each of them with their own reasons and one after the other? That’s not right. That couldn’t be right…’

After a while, pieces start coming together, and I get a clearer image of the whole situation. And in hindsight, I trusted people at their word, without question, and without any common sense.

‘Of course, they’d fire me if I gave them a statement saying I did what I did, I didn’t ask for the evidence they supposedly had, I didn’t defend myself in any manner, I just plain agreed to whatever they said… Idiot.’

And now, because I refused to feel anything, remorse or otherwise, I’m now unemployed and kicking myself for letting my guard down and believing them to be honorable people. But something isn’t right…

Something isn’t letting me feel down. If anything, I feel somewhat… Liberated.

How can this be? Why? And then it hits me…

‘Father, I walk the path you set before me, although I do not know where it leads.’ ‘Father please guide me, in your infinite grace, for I feel lost.’

These words, and many, many more, are words that I have said in prayers to God. Maybe I didn’t feel remorse at the time because God didn’t want me to, maybe in the back of my mind, He told me, ‘I have a plan for you.’ Maybe, this was supposed to happen, to place me where I must go.

It was modest hope, but then I was looking at studentdoctor.net and found something rather interesting: my local University has a post-bachelor’s program, a chance to re-take science classes that I didn’t do so well in, to re-take the MCAT and get a higher grade, to right the wrongs I’ve done to myself academically, and to be a stronger applicant for Medical school.

All this time, I felt like I had back-up plans, but I didn’t really put any stock in those plans, until I saw this. This is where I must go, I immediately thanked God for this. I may not know what remorse is, but I definitely know what gratitude is! And I definitely know when an opportunity knocks on my door!

I think I’ve found my path, more importantly, the path that God has placed before me.

… Oh, and for the record:

re·morse

rəˈmôrs/
noun
  1. deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.
    “they were filled with remorse and shame”
    synonyms: contrition, deep regret, repentance, penitence, guilt, compunction,remorsefulness, ruefulness, contriteness; More

Faith like a Seed

Today, I was having a conversation with Nena and Greggy, and the conversation shifted towards me and my problems with faith. They both repeated, in their own words, the concept that Faith is only felt within, it’s not something tangible to be seen with the eyes nor the ears, it must be felt first, then there’s something to be seen with one’s eyes and ears.

And it was funny, because the examples they used, were things that I’ve seen in my own life, that instance where something tells you to pull back and you casually listen to it, only to have avoided tragedy, like that accident I saw a couple of weeks ago. And it was reminded of me, that God only gives us what we need when we need it, even if it’s something as important as a job or the future of some young individual trying to be a doctor. But as my sister put, “That means that you’re not ready for this yet, that God is saying, ‘I need to prepare you just a little bit more'” I believe that what she speaks is genuinely true, not that those were exactly God’s words, but that there’s a reason why I’m not in medical school yet, why everything has, and is, happening exactly as it should.

And from all of the things that they were describing how faith should be felt in one’s life, I felt like these things were already happening. Which led me to believe that, that level of faith that I thought eluded me, was already in front of my all along.

I remember a phrase that goes, “The last person to realize that they’re surrounded by a body of water, is the fish.”  It’s quite possible, that I was already at the point that I wanted to be in my faith, but that I didn’t believe I was in it, still tells me that something is missing, “You believe in God, the Devil and all of them, but you can still not have faith.” another helpful quote from my loving sister, “To have faith, is to love something so much that you’re willing to die for them.” So this makes me wonder if I have enough faith to be willing to die for it. I always thought I did, but then I think about all of the times when I didn’t take the chance to thank God for all that He’s done for me, in front of friends and family. Heh, so many missed opportunities…

But now things are different, I have the faith planted within me like a seed, now all I need to do is with all of the patience in the world, watch it grow, as I strength it, feed it, care for it, and nurture it with all of the love that I have. And eventually, it’ll no longer be a seed, it will be something that blossoms into beauty and love.

I’ve gotta say, writing my posts on another medium and then putting it on here is working out pretty well for me, this is definitely something that I’ll maintain.

Archetypes and Activities

Day 21: Take a look at our excellent series on the four archetypes of the mature masculine. Read the descriptions, and think about which archetype you most strongly resemble, and that which seems to be your greatest weakness. Write about how you can achieve better balance between all four archetypes and identify the specific ways in which you can strengthen your weaknesses and harness your perhaps overpowering strengths.

Alright, it’ll take WAY too much time re-reading all of the series of the four archetypes of mature masculine, I’m going to base my answers on this chart and what I can remember.
OK, in my current place in life, there’s not going to be much that I’m strong in, but we’ll see.

  • Lover Archetype: I believe that I’m fairly strong in the Lover archetype, the concept is that you love life and everything in it, and I do. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, or who I’m with, I’m always looking at life with happiness or optimism. Heh, in the truest sense, I’m a Lover.
  • Magician Archetype: OK, this is the constant striving to learn archetype, and due it’s broad spectrum covering just the general desire to learn on any level, I’d say I’m also a Magician, I’m always trying to learn new techniques, ie. Handstanding and now the Typewriter Pull-up, I’m seeking to learn more about my faith, and just broadening my horizons on several levels. So I’m not a complete Magician, I’m well within the high end of that triangle.
  • Warrior Archetype: Although I’m not really a warrior in any sense, I’d put myself right at the end of the Hero archetype, I’m still searching for a Purpose, trying to still be Mindful, and all of the rest of the traits that would make one a complete Warrior. So although I’m not a Sadist nor a Masochist in any sense, I can’t in complete honesty call myself a complete Warrior either. So I’m in the middle of this Triangle.
  • King Archetype: In this archetype, The Divine Child is a man who’s young at heart. Based on Isa’s labelling me as a “Halfa” (Half adult, half child) I’d say I’ve achieved the Divine Child and am somewhere in the King Triangle. I’m not ruler of anything except myself, and I’m no where near independent enough to be. So for this, I’d put myself as still the Divine Child, I’m not even in the triangle of the Mature Masculine spectrum yet.

Day 22: Imagine you’ve been provided with a livable income for the rest of your life. You have no need to work, but aren’t rolling in money either. How would you spend your time? Your answer will say a lot about you and what your passion may be. Perhaps this discovery confirms your career choice, or maybe it makes you realize you’re not actually where you want to be in life. If it’s the latter, think about how you could make money with that passion, and even draw up a game plan for getting to that point. As much of our lives are spent at work, to dislike what you’re doing will not only drain you of energy and willpower, but also leave you looking back and wondering why you didn’t do anything to change it.

Heh, if I have livable income, then I’d find a way to start saving some of that for a rainy day by restricting myself of some luxuries and then after I have something of a sufficient back-up, I’d, while still living restrictively, would make some purchases of things that I’d like to have: Gaming Consoles, Movies, etc. But in the end, I’d like to go out and make the most of my time, doing something productive, or creative. With sufficient income, I’d go to school, get another degree, or resume my attempts to get into med school, and one thing I would like to do is travel, and see the world, expand my horizons and live a good life full of experiences and interesting people. I always said that if I become a doctor, I’d help people for free if I could. All I need is that one chance! I’ll get in! “Positive thinking”, my sister always tells me, “Positive thinking.”

A Stream of Randomness

Day 12: Give stream-of-consciousness writing a try. This is where you basically just write out whatever comes into your head at the moment it comes into your head. It can feel bizarre, and it’s certainly not structured, but it can lead to some valuable insights into what’s going on in your mind. I’ll give you a 10-second example from right now, while looking out my window: “Boy, I have a nice-looking grill outside and the weather is beautiful…just what we need after all this cold and snow. That cloud looks like a ship from Star Wars… it makes me want to be outside.. maybe I need to spend more time outside and appreciate the fresh air. Perhaps I’ll open a window!” Random? Absolutely. Offering some helpful insight about my desire/need for fresh air? Affirmative. Try this out for 10-15 minutes. You may uncover something — no matter how small — you hadn’t previously realized

Hmmm… I think this is also called, “Free writing” but I’ll give it a try…

Timer is on. I’m not too fond of this current Linkin Park song. I remember sitting in my bro’s old T-bird singing along to the lyrics of their original songs. I wonder why I keep clicking on the NF chat if I’m not going to say anything. Man, I need to cut my hair. but I still don’t know how to cut it without having it so short and make it look just right. I’ve noticed that my hair has a life of it’s own, first it was parted in the middle and long, and now it’s make itself into something of a cowlick. I wonder if I put enough gel in my hair, I’ll look like one of those guys on Mad Men. Wait, I’ve never seen Mad Men. Man, the Advil PM is kicking in now. My eyes feel weird. I wonder why I’m so paranoid when the songs that I’m listening to have whispering voices in it. I need to stop being so scared. Man, I loved Final Fantasy V, that was a really good game, and the music was awesome! I still can’t believe Nubuo Uematsu sat 1 row, and about 8-9 chairs down to my left. My phone is now fully charged. I wonder how Marlena is, I wonder if she liked the movie, 47 Ronin. I’m really glad that the ending was the same. Man, Saga is weird, I like it though, I can’t wait to read more of it. Man, my throat feels like something is there, I knew Siry was going to get me sick, I knew it! If only she’d listen to me. I wonder if I die from this same sickness or something related to it, would she listen due to some life-scarring event like my death. My eyes are getting harder to keep open, this is a funny feeling. I wonder if I’ll ever learn how to play the Piano like how I hear in some songs. I hated that song “right Therr” by whatever-his-name-was. I kept feeling like punching someone every time I heard it. Why do I have this lamp if I never use it? Why was it dumped on me? I’m glad Nataku can finally stand on his own, I really had no way to keep him up, wait, how long have I had Nataku? I remember Shen Long was a present, but where did I get my Nataku Gundam? Oh well… My closet is open, I wonder if there’s anyone else that’s still awake right now. Man, I’m tired, that’s definitely the medicine kicking in. Hmm… I want to keep my Halo 4, or was it 3? calendar, but the year is over, so what do I do with it now? I was hoping Britt would have signed it, she’s cute, but I think she wouldn’t go for a guy like me. Come to think of it, I haven’t played a console game in a long while, I should really get back in to it. Maybe some of those guys from that Young Adult Ministry have played console games. That Alejandra girl was pretty cute, but I think she’s too young for me, the rule was “half my age plus seven.” So she was barely out of High school, so that’s a creepy thought. Wait, is tomorrow the third Monday of the month? I wonder what that doctor saw in me to help me learn how to take pressure manually? Maybe she felt sorry for me. I should stop feeling embarrassed about my low GPA. I need help, I need to follow a doctor who can help me get back on track. I wonder how Harlan is doing, I wonder if I should’ve gone to the Caribbeans with him. I really hope he’s alright. He’s a good guy. whoops, forgot to put this on full screen… that’s better. Man, my eyes are getting heavier… I wonder if I pass out right now, will I hit my head on the metal frame of my bed. It sure is dark out there, but I guess that’s because I have light in here. I’m yawning too much. I need to learn how to do a back flip or a side flip so I can wear my Assassin’s Creed hoodie and look cool while doing it. I love this song, Distant worlds. It’s sad– what’s that on my neck? huh, I didn’t see anything. oh well, must be a hair. I put my timer to 15 mintes, right? Oh yeah. I wonder how much time I have left. Another Yawn. I really hope I don’t get sick.

Tests, Allies, and Enemies

Day 10Take a look at the hero’s journey, and identify where you are in that journey. Doing so can help you better understand where you are in life, and help you figure out where to go next. You can take it in the context of your entire life, or you can take it in the context of a certain phase of your life. Either way, you can be sure that you’re part of a greater journey, and knowing what comes next can help guide you along.

Oh man! The Hero’s Journey! I love that formula! So let’s see, I need to place myself on the Hero’s Journey diagram

vogsmall

If I were to put my life on anything, I suppose it’d be on “Tests, Allies, Enemies” that state where I need to prepare myself for the road ahead. I’ve graduated Univ. and have taken the MCAT and submitted my application, so I guess that’s the “Tests” portion of my Heroic Journey. I guess that leaves “Allies, Enemies” Well actually, my sister and her family moving in with us, would be a great thing to put under my “Allies” list, because they’ve given me a car and are supportive beyond all doubt, the girls keep me humble and ironically, it was my tension with Siry that is causing me to understand and get to know my Faith better.

Under “Enemies” I don’t really know, I guess it took me longer than it should have to call about my transcript problems, that’s a mixture of mental hesitation and UCR not being as useful as they should be. Let’s see, Loans would be my “Enemies” because I need a job to pay for them, and, well let’s face it, no one likes Loans.

I guess if I was being metaphorically specific, I’m in the “Tests” portion of this stage. I’m being tested on several levels of my life:

  • As I try to surrender to the Will of God, my logical mind is interfering, therefore not allowing me to really let go and let God.
  • As I remain young and single, my will is tested every time I see something that tempts me to be reckless and dishonorable.
  • As I continue on this Path of being a Doctor, my wisdom, knowledge, and resolve are tested as things continue to into the unknown.
  • As I exercise, my resolve towards being stronger, is tested by my desires to sleep in and be lazy.
  • Life is always a constant test to see whether or not I’m a good man, or if I’m just saying I’m a good man.

So there I am, I guess that means that up ahead is the Approach, I suppose that’ll mean that once I get accepted into a medical school, I’ll be preparing myself for what will come ahead.

A Letter for a Day

Day 5: Write a letter to a loved one. Chances are high that there is someone in your life that you’d like to say something important to. Maybe it’s a wife, a parent, a grandparent you never really got to say goodbye to…take the time today to write that out. It can be positive, negative, or anywhere in between. The beauty of this letter is that you aren’t sending it in the mail, you’re simply “voicing” something that needs to be said. Should you choose to share it later, that’s okay, but you don’t have to. Doing this can be a great way to heal anger that’s been pent up inside, or to release a pressure valve of sadness we may have been harboring over something lost.

A Letter to a loved one, eh? That’s interesting… “Something that needs to be said.”

Dear Father,

I know you tried to give me as much as possible, and tried to teach me by your silent example, and I know that there are some lessons that you wanted me to learn and it simply didn’t stick. I also know that there were some lessons that you didn’t want me to learn and I unfortunately did learn. I know you never really understood what I say to you, or why I am the way I am, or even why I laugh at the jokes that I do, but know that your smile always brought me gladness, and that I now know how much pain you’ve had to bear each and everyday, and that, to smile in the middle of all that, only makes me admire you more. Raising all of us wasn’t easy and you’ve stumbled more than anyone’s willing to admit, but with me, at least, I would not have had it any other way. Dad, before you died, I wanted to ask you if you were proud of me, and because I didn’t put much thought to it, I never got the chance to ask you, and knowing you, you’d probably call me a taras and tell me “Of course I’m proud of you!” and probably tell me things that I already know about my being the first in the family with a Bachelor’s or that I’ll be a doctor soon enough, I just gotta “restart my brain.” But the truth is that, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be a doctor, I’m stuck here, Dad, and some might think that your passing has something to do with it, but I thought we were good. We were partners, I thought that we had an understanding and that, despite my last question, there was nothing left between us. I wanted you to know that, I’ll find a way to get out of this, and that I still have you in my heart. We’re doing alright as a family now, David and the girls are getting used to life here in California, Mom’s still strong, and laughing, we’re taking good care of her. I’m not sure how else to continue this letter, so I’ll just say that Dad, I know that you’d say that you’re proud of me, but I need to convince myself that what you think of me was true, and I won’t rest until I become a doctor. Thanks for giving me that void, that space I need, to keep pushing myself.

I love you Dad,
Taras