New Friends and the Blood Moon

Last Saturday, I meet up with another Nerdfitness friend and his wife. It was in the evening as they had just gotten to California, but in short, I had a blast.
For the most part, meeting new people makes me hesitate with nervousness, but I wasn’t concerned at all. In fact, I was looking forward to this meeting for some time! My friend, PB, had been helping me with areas in my life and I couldn’t be more glad to have finally put a face to a kindred spirit.
I must admit, it makes me smile to remember us talking and laughing as if we had been hanging out for years. Should PB and his wife ever returnto my neck of the woods, I’d be more than happy to hang out with them again.

*   *   *

Last night was the infamous Blood Moon. Earlier that day, I was shopping with my sister, we bought a canopy that we’ve had our eye on for some time. It took us 3 hours to have it completed and that’s including my sister, Greggy, my bro-in-law, Isa, and myself. Needless to say, we were exhausted, but by the end of the day, we were sitting around, laughing and enjoying ourselves. It became too late for the girls and several others to stay up for the Blood Moon, so we all decided to head inside. My bedroom window faced in the opposite direction, so I couldn’t see the moon directly, so I looked it up on the internet, my curiosity piqued at the idea of a red moon. And it was amazing! A phenomenon the likes of which I’ve never seen before was displayed before my very eyes!
There well be more astrological events in my future, and if I can help it, I’ll witness them firsthand.

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To Give Thanks

Day 30: Jot down a list of all the things you’re grateful for. It could be as simple as “Family, Job, Home…” or as detailed as “The bacon I had for breakfast, the weather being warm today, the chance to sleep in this weekend…” When we aren’t feeling chipper, thinking about what we’re thankful for can help get us in the right mindset. No matter how down and out you may be, there is always something to be thankful for.

What I’m grateful for… Alright then!

Family, Faith, Home, Friends, Mistakes, Nerdfitness.com, ArtofManliness.com, Finding Balance, Chocolate, Hope, Music, Wisdom, Science, Nerdy things, Nubuo Uematsu, WordPress.com, Fire, Sentimentalism, Philosophy, Energy, Training, Laughter, Adaptability, Unexpected moments, Food, Life, Self-Improvement, Video Games, Anime, Time spent with friends and family, Christmas, The Wind, The Rain, my Culture, Opportunity, Time, Human Anatomy, TV, Movies, Inspiration, Sib-Ring, Courage, Human Nature, Mother Nature, Medicine, Determination, Kindness, Balance, Art, Prayer, Light, Warmth, Helping others, Guidance, Redemption, Meeting New People, Pets, the Sun, the Moon, The Stars, Travelling, Introspection

Hmm… I think that’s about it, although I’m certain that I’ll be thinking of new things to add to this list, heh, even as I’m writing this piece down, more things come to mind. Oh and of course, I’m grateful for this 31-day Journal Challenge

Location & Equipment

Day 27The importance of where you live: our home and environment have a tremendous impact on our lives. Take a look at the eight factors that should be considered when choosing where to live. Maybe you’ve never actually chosen, and you’ve just ended up where you are by default. Take the time today to think about the idea and importance of place. You may determine that where you are is perfect, or you may realize that you belong somewhere else.

Alright, so I think I’ll just lay out the eight factors and reflect on each one.

  1. Professional Opportunities: My current location has plenty of Professional Opportunities, doctors to shadow, places to volunteer, heck, the only thing I’m missing is a research lab, and I can get that at the University which is like less than half an hour away.
  2. Aesthetics: I have mountains in my window and outside my front door, all I’m missing is really an ocean to the side and I’d be set.
  3. Recreational Opportunities: There are plenty of local parks around me, as well as theme parks roughly an hour plus away. Although I’d have to usually travel quite a bit for something interesting, it’s not so bad from where I’m at.
  4. Climate and Geography: The clean open air and sunny days often make me long for snow, for the most part, I’m content.
  5. Available Mates: Despite my shyness to talk to a random cute girl, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of them around me. Just saw one in Michael’s earlier today. I need to overcome my shyness first.
  6. Proximity to Family and Friends: At the moment, I’m still living with most of my family, and my friends are quite a bit away, but not so far as to lose track of them.
  7. Environment for Child Rearing: I have no kids, but if I did, I wouldn’t mind having them grow up where I’m currently at. There are plenty of good schools around and they can still get in touch with nature.
  8. The Cost of Living: I’ve no idea how much it cost to live here, but I’m aware that it’s was quite expensive, if I could afford it, I’d live here.

I’m not sure if I really got all of the priorities that a Homeowner bears, but for now, these are what’s important to me.

Day 28: Finally in this three-day journey, you need to gather the tools necessary to make your life a masterpiece. Take a look at the article, and define the various tools that you will need and use to work towards those purposes and goals you laid out a couple days ago.

This article talks about tools of life that a man should have in order to make life complete as a man. Which are listed is as follows: A Mentor, A Mastermind Group, Journal/Pocket Notebook, Online Tools, Some suggested reading, and Discipline. So I guess, I’ll break them down to see which ones I have and don’t.

  • A Mentor: I have my Bro-in-law, My sister, My Mom, but while each of them are full of wisdom and bear traits that I admire, I wouldn’t consider any of them my official mentor. I’m grateful for their wisdom that they offer when I ask of it, but they specialize in the personal matters of my life being family, and don’t really know much about my academic or professional world, so they can’t really offer me guidance in those fields.
  • A Mastermind Group: I’ve been going to this Young Adults Ministry that my church has, and it’s full of people around my age, and so far, it’s rather too soon to give that this particular label. The purpose of this group is “to discuss and debate, and receive both criticism and inspiration.” the closest thing I have to that is Nerdfitness.com, hardly a ‘group’ but it’s the only thing I got.
  • Journal/Pocket Notebook: Well, this is my journal, albeit a public one, and I don’t have a pocket Notebook, but the concept of it was something that intrigued me before, I need to look into it again, or maybe make my own.
  • Online Tools: a LOT of these look REALLY cool, and I think look into them later on down the line.
  • Suggested Reading: These books are meant to guide you, I’ll write them down and if I see them in a bookstore or somewhere I’ll try to get them.
  • Discipline: Heh, this is something I’m going to be constantly striving to obtain. This is really a trail by fire tool, some days I’ll be like a Marine, other days I’ll be like a couch potato. I need to be more Marine than Potato

So that’s it. I’m really missing a Mentor, which can probably be a doctor; a Mastermind group, which can be formed later on; a Pocket Notebook, which I can make; and more Discipline. I have some tools, but I need to get more.

The Early Years

Day 20: Think about the period of your life in which you have the greatest nostalgia for. For me, it’s definitely college. Staying up late with friends, being forced to be creative with date ideas because I didn’t have any money, doing nothing but learning all day long…it was fantastic. Once you identify that time period, think of why you’re so nostalgic about it. There’s a good chance that there’s something from that time that you’d like to regain or recapture. Maybe you realize the importance of having close friends, or perhaps you’ll come to understand your desire to bea lifelong learnerNostalgia can be healthy if reflected on and not obsessed over. You may not be able to recapture the past exactly (see Jay Gatsby), but there are elements of it that may make you a happier fellow

Hmm… The greatest nostalgia, that’s gotta be my RCC years, the first college years of my life. I had no car, a handful of friends, my first job, and lots of fun! I am really nostalgic about this, because everything felt fresh and amazing due to the first time experiencing anything.

I’ve felt the warmth of true friendship, as we hung out after school, inbetween classes, and even studying. We hung out nearly everyday and laughed the entire time. One of those friends was Baby, and she helped me put my life on the right course, academically. I also got my first job as a Librarian, and was just having a blast with it! Joking around with the patrons, making friends nearly everyday, and even had good times with my co-workers. I got to interact with a lot of people, and what little money I made was sufficient.

With no car and hours of free time between classes, I took up hiking and really pushed myself to see the world from views reserved for so few. It’s funny, I think hiking in those times not only helped me grow physically, but philosophically. I was always humbled by the mountain and determined to climb higher and higher, I took in the view and learned not to lose myself in the fast-pace life others are in. It was great!

I guess, these were the best times to me, because I saw the world as new. I wasn’t tired from my journey nor beaten down by the odds and cynicism of the world. I knew my potential was at it’s highest peak, and the world was my oyster! I had optimism just pouring out of me and nothing could’ve dampened my spirits. I was young and content with the life I was living, a life that was moving forward at a quickened pace. I miss them most in these times when I’m stuck in this slow, crawling pace that my life is going through right now. Hmm… I guess I’ve found something that can help me later on in the future.

A Punishment to Some; To Others, a Gift; To Many, a Favor

Day 11Memento mori. “Remember that you will die.” Admittedly, this isn’t the most pleasant topic. There is, however, great benefit in meditating on the reality that at some point, you will in fact die. It motivates you to live the life right now that you want to be living. Meditate on this, and write out your thoughts. Does death scare you? Does it motivate you? It’s okay to be honest.

This quote was from Seneca, talking about Death. Heh, Death, my old friend. It seems like when I was young, Death was always around me, in such close encounters, that it can’t be anything more than a miracle that I’m still here in this life. But now that I’m older, Death has taken on a different role in my life. My Father’s own death was just… so sudden and unexpected, we never really got to prepare for it fully, save for the weeks when he had to stay at his job to save on gas, and didn’t come home. Here, Death feels like a cruel thief, stealing someone so important to me, but my Faith reminds me that Death has but only one Master, and that is God, Himself. Yet, my Father lived a life how he thought was the right way to live, despite the things that would’ve liked to have seen, he had all he ever needed within us.

So now to think that I will die, this is a rather interesting thing to ponder over, because some part of me thinks that I’m still young, so I’ve got that idiotic idea that I’ll never die,  but it’s mostly because I’m genually familiar with Death, I can remember that day when all I wanted to do was sleep, not knowing that I’d be sleeping for eternity, and how my family tried to hide their fears under their determination to keep me awake. In the years following, I’ve lived life with a flavor that was unique, and yet, as time has passed, that flavor is all, but gone.

Now, I don’t fear Death, I fear the unknown. Death to me, is like I said before, an old friend. I know my life isn’t even CLOSE to being finished, and yet, I don’t fear the idea that Death can come for me at any time. But I do use the death of others as a motivator, at least in the sense of trying to become stronger/faster/tougher: “What if something fell on the girls? Will I be strong enough to help?” etc. But my own Death? Nah, I’m fine. I even sometimes think about my funeral, who would show, what would happen afterwards, and so on. Heh, it’s kinda fun thinking about Death, but that could also be coming from the mixture of my Mexican side, who respects Death; my Youthfulness, who doesn’t think will die at all; and my Catholic faith, which tells me not to fear Death for it will be bringing me closer to God. I guess in the end, I feel like I owe this Life a lot of things before I meet Death, but then again, it’s up to God to determine that.

Sacrifice

My world is defined by it, built by it, ruled by it. It is through sacrifices and what comes after, that my life has been what it is.

The Sacrifices of others, both known and unknown, however distant they may be related, I’ve come to realize that I’m constantly affected by it. I have heart-to-heart conversations with my family and it comes down to the fact that, they’ve given up something or have done something that causes them to be put at some sort of emotional risk.

At first, I had no idea of this concept, until I begin to think about some of the things that I have given up and will give up for the sake of others. My time spent with the girls, the heart-to-heart conversations where I’m having this discovery, and other situations where I’m giving up my own well-being for others. Now I’m seeing through different eyes, but this is a bit of a problem, on the one hand, I can appreciate those close to me, a lot more, I can laugh with them and learn to see them for what they’ve done.

On the other hand, for those who still don’t know of the sacrifices, and act as though nothing has been done, I’m more short with them, thinking that they’re being disrespectful to the one who had sacrificed. But that’s a problem, because the best sacrifices are the ones where no one is aware of what has been done. Otherwise, one would be sacrificing for the sake of acknowledgement and later on, praise, and that’s the completely wrong way to live life.

So needless to say, it’s really I who have a problem. I cannot get mad at people for reasons unknown to them, that’s unfair to everyone, I need to learn to calm down, to let it go.

I’ve been having that problem lately, trying to calm down, but that’s a post for another time.

The point I want to make here, is that I never really realized how much my life was paid for through others. I never knew how many fights there were on my behalf, nor how much time, energy and sanity was spent in order for me to become how I am at this moment. Which is why being the best that I can be has always been crucial to my life, I guess it’s only now that I realized that this had always been the reason. I must be a good man because so many people have given up so much for me! What kind of guy would I be if I simply threw it all away for no reason?!

To sacrifice something for someone else is the greatest sign of love and trust. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the love for the individual, the greater the trust, the greater the potential the individual has to do something or be something grand, because it’s not the energy of just one person, but two in one life, causing the capacity of potential to skyrocket and the quality of life to be richer.

So I need to keep going, and soon, I will be the one sacrificing family, friends, peace of mind, sanity, social life, and eventually my whole life, for the sake of others. And whether or not they’re aware of it, it doesn’t matter, because in the end, I will find a way to love them for who they are, heh, it’s always been in my nature to be an idiot like that, to have hope for the world.

These Frequent Dark Days

Yesterday, I went to my Uncle’s funeral, I saw his picture, and now I have a face to put to his name, as it turns out it was someone I recognized after all.

There was a Mass in his honor, and we all went to my cousin’s house for food and to catch up with relatives, at the end, they showed a 13-minute movie and last words and memories for him. It was interesting seeing and hearing about a man I never got the chance to know personally. The tears shed by the family and friends spoke untold volumes of memories, respect, and love, all of which, I’ve never seen before, or at least not from him.

But it was really nice hearing these stories filling in the empty spaces I have about the man. I’m glad to see that the silhouette I have in my mind, is getting fuller and fuller of tales about a man who loved to sing, loved his family, loved going out of his way for others. The funny nicknames he had, the songs he loved to sing, the wise words he told to others to help guide them, this is a man I wished I had known personally.

This is my second funeral in a span of 3 years.

There’s a fine print that comes with being born as one of the youngest member of the family: Dark Days Lie Ahead.

I’m going to see the deaths of MANY people within my own family, whether it was natural or not, expected or not, hopefully all older than me, because nothing brings pain to someone than seeing someone else younger pass away, that’s assuming I don’t die in advance, but that’s besides the point.

I’m curious as to wondering how all of these events and future events will affect me, will I grow colder in the light of constant deaths? Will I push others away for fear of having pain enter my heart when they leave? or will I develop a sense of being able to let go when I get attached to people?

That last one is what I think I’ve already developed quite a bit.

Is it strange that I’m able to seemingly to have a social Out of sight, out of mind take on my friends unless there’s a situation that calls them to be on my mind after we’ve part ways. But when thinking about other people, I don’t ever see myself thinking, “You know, it’s been a long time, I should talk to this person again.” My conversations with people don’t seem to be affected with time, I remember talking to my little sister only to find that several events have passed with several people when the last thing I remember was that these were people she barely knew. I was shocked, Me:”Wait, I thought you didn’t like Guy Y!” Her:”Oh yeah, I didn’t at first but we got along now.” Me:”How long ago was this?”… And so on.

I’m only concerned that when a girl asks me can I live without her, I’m going to be an idiot and say, “Well of course I could, I lived before I knew you and so on, there’s no evidence that I still cannot do the same even when you’re gone.” Heh, see how romantic I can be?

It’s strange to not feel attachment like the ones I would hear about from friends, I mean it’s not like I treat people terribly or simply don’t care about them, it’s difficult to explain. I feel independant. I know there are ties I have to family and friends, but in terms of my life being attached to people, I feel like I can keep going regardless of who’s with me or whether or not they’re there. My morals and beliefs are simply my own, I’m subject to changes and slight alterations, but I don’t think there’d be anyone who can come by and completely change my entire perspective on life. I’m bound to make mistakes, and learn from them, but I’m aware of that, and am willing to adjust to whatever situation that comes to it, which is probably why I feel this way. Also being the youngest, I’m aware that I have a deep seeded desire to go out and make a name for myself, breaking free from the title “Baby of the family” and other such degrading names.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone in my position has done such a thing. Maybe I’m preparing myself for all of the times I will stand alone, I’m almost certain that I’m going to face a LOT of things on my own despite my family, and friends who offer me their support. This experience with the MCAT felt like a foretelling of what lies ahead in my life. I’ll always have people who have my back, and I’m truly grateful for that, yet, there will always be a gap between what I know is troubling me and them seeing me troubled, so their abilities to help me are always limited, if not applicable at all. I sound like a real jerk for saying that, but sadly enough, it’s going to be the truth, heh, it’s the truth right now, actually.

But I guess, that’s my problem. I should see this as a sign that I need to explain my situation better when someone asks me what’s bothering me. I mean, it’s not their fault that they don’t understand what’s going on in my world. Hmm… Guess that means that my feeling independent has it’s downsides, I would have to deal with this so that those who want to help me can help me, if only by listening.

Hmm… So I guess we’ll see how in the darkness of these future days, my true character will be revealed.