Where the Warranty Expires…

I just recently turned 30 years old.

It’s strange having this very statement cause me to pause. I’m a man in the middle of my journey, and although I have some accomplishments on my belt, there is more still I wish to do. And now, as my niece puts it, “I’m no longer a kid. I’m an old man.”

I have noticed that my body is starting to hurt in places that hadn’t felt pain before, my infamous bottomless stomach is starting to get full, and my energy is starting to wane in certain times. I can definitely feel it… my body is getting older.

Yet mentally, I feel like my thought processes haven’t changed at all, save for some emotional maturing that was mentioned in previous entries. And I know that I’m still as fit as a fiddle.

So what is it that has changed? Why do I feel this “Age” in certain levels in my life and not in others?

I believe this question was answered by my Brother-in-Law. He told me days before my birthday, that when I hit 30, I hit the age “when the warranty expires.” I inquired as to what he meant, and he explained that I’m at the point where I can’t push myself as much as I used to. My body will not be able to hold like it once did, and if I do, I’ll regret it.

So now along with everything else, on my mental plate, I have to consider how my body can hold out to whatever I can dish it. But this isn’t something I’m too worried about. Quite honestly, I’m actually seeing this as a glass ceiling. What better way to test my limits then by knowing that I’m approaching them? As much as I’ll regret it, I’m curious, if nothing else.

I am 30 years old. Huh… What a strange statement. Time is such a funny thing.

Still. Now that I know that I’m a point in life where things are going to get interesting, then all I can say is, “Bring it on!” I’ve no fear of getting older and wiser, seeing how far this body of mine can be pushed and how much it will push back. All I can do is just embrace the changes that lie ahead.

 

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Love is like having a Dog

A couple of weeks ago I had a coffee date with an attractive girl. We talked and the conversation flowed as well as it could and then we played ways. Several members of my family (mainly the females) asked me how did it go with her. And I gave my assessment of the young girl. Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with her and although there’s nothing with the girl, I just couldn’t see her as a potential for me. One thing I did get out of it though, was an idea as to what kind of girl I’ll be looking for in a potential girlfriend.

A few days ago, I was having a phone conversation with my sister and it shifted over to relationships. As it turns out, my brother also went on a date and his assessment of his date was similar to mine, essentially we just didn’t click with our respective dates. But he is taking her out on another date. I was confused due to the fact that he also reported to not having any chemistry with his date, yet he’s planning on taking her out on a picnic.

You see, I knew walking away that my date and I didn’t click and that a relationship with her wouldn’t be possible. So there was no reason to have another date, this was just one and done. My sister knows how I think and reason (to an extent), and upon telling her this, she’s not surprised in the least. She even helped me try to understand why my brother would take his girl on another date. And then she explains it like this:

“To be in love with someone is like having a dog.”

(My sister always uses her own personal experiences as an example to explain.) Having a relationship is like having a dog. The dog provides a special connection and establishes a relationship with its owner. The dog (usually) doesn’t provide any special services or fulfills any vast need. It doesn’t work, provide financial assistance, or even that good of a conversational partner (depending on how one talks to their dog). But at the same time, you want to be around it, you love it when you spend time with it, even when you’re just sitting down not doing anything. I love our 2 dogs, I’ll take care of them and care for them, not out of any obligation but because I want to. They make me smile and laugh just by being who they are. Even when they do something bad like eat off of the table or go to the bathroom inside the house, I’ll be frustrated with them, but I’ll always forgive them.

My sister and her husband have a surprizingly similar bond. She’s very independent and yet she misses her husband terribly. She has a need for him just to be there. As much as he gets on her nerves, she still loves him and needs him to be there with her (her words). Even if they do nothing at all, she’s perfectly content with his mere presence.

This is very unusual in my eyes, most likely due to the fact that I share no such bond with anyone. And yet, here I am seeing it firsthand, a relationship that I would like to emulate.

Although I won’t contact the girl further, I have what kids now say, “Relationship goals”. I have an idea as to what I would like my future relationship to be with whoever becomes my significant other. It’s interesting, to have this thought. I honestly find this whole subject fascinating.

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 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…