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.

Looking Promising

So it’s been a week since my Princeton Review classes have started, and I must say, heh, this is interesting.

On one hand, the style of teaching is FAR more in terms of preparing me for the MCAT than anything I’ve been through before, which means, those 6 months previously spent trying to study, were… pretty much… wasted… Also, as they’re teaching me, I’m learning all sorts of interesting things, I’ve finally MASTERED Electron Configuration. Man, I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. Also, they’re helping me see the questions in manners that I couldn’t possibly discover on my own terms.

On the other hand, It’s freakin’ hard! In our Chemistry sections, We’d do examples from one of the books provided the In-Class Compendium, or ICC,  we’re given a passage and 6-7 questions to answer and so far I’ve only gotten 1-2 questions out of each passage, granted we’re learning this, so it’s just progress, but we’re taught what to look for and expect before we do the example and so far it seems like I’m not getting it at times. It’s not like the questions are complex equations with a plethora of constants and formulas, it’s just… twisted. They throw subtle changes, and it feels like those weird little word games, when they tell you to say/read: “Roast”, then “Boast” and then they ask you, “What do you put in a Toaster?” Toast?! WRONG! It’s Bread! And the reason why you  thought ‘Toast’ is because you thought too quickly, and on the MCAT, not only is the pressure on you, but you have about 1 minute and 20 seconds roughly to answer each question of varying difficulty, all to take a test that, quite literally, no one has previously prepared you for.

… Sigh… OK, Rant over. I just have to do it, that’s all, if the questions are trickier then I have to think trickier, if the questions are worded differently then I have to think smarter and read the questions more closely. I can’t just sit there and complain that this is hard! I have to just do it!

The world will always be full of curve balls and smokes and mirrors, because they’re looking for someone who can see through all that, who can face the darkness and all of the illusions within it, and see the truth. Is it hard? Yes, that’s just true, but change has always been a difficult game, and the best parts of life are often times the hardest to fight for.

Needless to say, this is one uphill battle for me. But I can’t give up now, I have come to far to give up now. I got a fortune cookie that said, “Men do not fail… They only give up trying.” So far, I’ve thought of it as a “Keep trying” sort of fortune, but I now realize that, it’s much deeper than that, it’s “Pick yourself up when you fall, Stand and Fight!” Which is essentially the same thing, but, I guess I needed to discover that more in depth definition.

This is going to be interesting, that’s for certain. I’m looking forward to how I can meet the challenge of this Beast once more. I guess I’m going to have to keep fighting… Ha ha, What other choice do I have?!
Here… We… Go!


We were leaving the theater, we had just seen Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, and I was walking next to my Father and I asked him what is favorite part of the movie was, and in his heavy accent he said, “Oh the ‘Fadder to a dead son, the husband to the dead wife.'”

I remember during the movie, when Caesar was provoking Maximus by describing what the soldiers had done to his family, I could hear my Father mutter something, like “Ayy…” or something to that extend, but what I understood from that simple indistinguishable sound was that you do not insult another man’s family!

And this is true, it was the reason my Father loved that particular scene, because it showed one man’s love for his family, living or deceased, his devotion to them was nothing short of admirable, it’s what drives him to try and kill the Emperor, revenge for what he has done to his family.

Granted, revenge is never a good thing, but I’m talking about devotion and love to one’s family. My Father loved seeing that on the silver screen, and I bet it’s because he sees a reflection of what he does, although I’m not sure if he was aware of this at the time.

In either case, from that moment, as well as each time I see Gladiator, I’ve learned that you can insult a man in any way you wish, yet you do not insult a man’s family, this is his legacy, his blood, and where his home lies. Everyday we go out and brave whatever storm that comes our way, yet we do this knowing that we can always come back to where we feel safe and secure, my Father was not a wealthy man, yet because he can always come home to those he loved, he never needed the money, nor the luxury, we were rich enough just having a meal together, laughing and watching TV, all of us sitting on the couch eating popcorn, that was all we needed. It was all he needed in order to be truly at peace with the world.

If nothing else, it was the sign of honor, if not more than that. Honor is defined as “honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions” Well my Father believed in his love for his family, and that singular belief has taken him to limits other men only dream about, and all the while he’ll have a smile on his face, not because he’ll be admired or praised for enduring such things, but because he know why he’s doing it.

I recently came across a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche that really resonated with me, it goes, “He who has a ‘why’ can endure any ‘how’“. Why did my Father endure so much pain and agony with nothing but a smile on his face? Why did he never complain when faced with working long and exhausting hours? Why was he able to get up every day for 20+ years going to the same job day after day, as the commute kept getting longer and longer?

Why why why? Because he has something to work for, to fight for, to endure all of this and more for. Because for him, pain is temporary and insignificant compared to the feeling of being hugged by his kids or kissed by his wife, or to hearing the sound of laughter as we tell jokes and stories, or to feeling loved and admired when we look to him for guidance on anything.

He chose to do it, each and everyday. And he’ll always choose to. Because that’s how dedicated he is.

… Heh, as I’m writing these, I’m feeling less and less like a man, and more like a little boy again, at least when compared to my Father.

Hmm… My Father had his why and that’s what helped him get through it all… I need to discover my unwavering reason for enduring all of the wrath of Hell and Earth and everything else that will get in my way…

… Heh heh, so far I’ve got nothing… Well, nothing so far, but I can sense that something is building up. We’ll have to wait and see…

The Forgotten

Nikola Tesla, inventor MANY things, including AC power and the Death ray, was overlooked by Edison and his invention of the light bulb, and his fraction of inventions that paled in comparison to Tesla’s. Upon reading more about the man, I’ve made it my goal to one day build my own Tesla Coil… If possible. It’s sad to see how often we over look someone who seemingly does SO much,  for someone else who has done so little. I wonder why that is…

The men and women behind the curtains, fighting the battles that the world will never see, saving it from dangers it never knew it had faced… This always makes a good story, like in the video game Tales of Vesperia, where you play an outlaw who leads a party to make the toughest decisions that saves countless lives, and through circumstance, your best friend, who’s a soldier, winds up taking the credit, despite his knowledge of your actions and sacrifice.

I remember being little, I’ve often told people that I would be one of those forgotten warriors, that I would never be the man people applauded and cheered, but I would be the man behind him, doing everything he could not do; in essence. succeeding where he would fail, reaching peaks that he would never attempt, facing opponents that he would never defeat. And I relished in that idea. I suppose I still do, because in my mind, I don’t want to become a doctor for the prestige, glory, and income that comes with it, I want to become a doctor because I want to help save lives and despite the fact that there are other ways to do this, I believe that this is the only route for me, personally, to take. To be the individual, worthy enough to hold someone’s life, literally and metaphorically in my hands.

I honestly think I can become this man. My only limitations are often the things outside my control, like my car breaking down several times, Mother becoming sick, and other such related events. But as a Catholic man, I am confident that everything happens for a reason, God has a plan to place me exactly where I need to be when I need to be there, I just need to make the effort into getting there. Yet, with my limitations comes knowledge, and wisdom to help me in the future. For example, thanks to my car breaking down, I can change anything on a car from it’s oil to it’s transmission module, which makes repairing my own car easier. Each event that seems to have pulled me back or hindered me in some fashion has helped me obtain experience that I would otherwise not have obtained. And it’s not just practical skills, they’ve also helped me learned patience, humility, to laugh at my own helplessness (which is truly a difficult thing to learn), to dust myself off after a defeat, determination, the values of kindness and compassion, and so on.

I know one question I will be asked is, “What makes you think you’re the One worthy of this?” And for such a long time, I have struggled with the answer, at least a proper response that is satisfactory for it to be my answer. I can’t simply say, “I just know I am.” that won’t do, that’ll just lead me to failure. So how can I properly explain this feeling inside? Not to mention that I must very clear in my answer, otherwise, I’ll end up tripping over my words and I will show signs of uncertainty…

I know that the answer lies within me. Somewhere within… Underneath the scars and the dreams, lie the answer to why I believe that I am the man who can hold life and death in his hands. I did a quick glance at a survey done by Kaplan that said that 49% of medical school applicants are in it for the money, that ‘wanting to make a difference’ and ‘the desire to help others’ are just plain, empty words. Will my words be just as empty? Will I fail to rise to the occasion and meet these penetrating questions without my courage, passion and strength? I should already have all the motivation I need in order to fashion a proper response, so why am I hesitating? What am I missing? Death? Life? Love? What more could it take to rid me of these doubts?!

… I suppose I’m not the only one with doubts, especially in this line of work. I have to do some internal searching and find the truth behind my motives, as deep and personal as they are, if they are asked of me, I will, no I must speak the truth. I’ve begun typing a list of everything that can possibly be my reasons for doing this, I will be sure to keep looking over it and reminding myself of the reasons why I’m in this. I know all of the reasons are within me, but knowing me, I know that I’ll only remember a few at a time and even less than that under strenuous circumstances.

I have all the strength I need to fight this fight, however I cannot allow myself to forget why I’m fighting.