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

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“It’s not too late” said the Rose

It’s funny, despite my fascination with Fire, and my male stereotypical love for destruction of things, I really like gardening.

Today, I spontaneously did some gardening, pulling out weeds mostly, but I liked how I was finger-deep in soil, wrapping my hands around weeds and pulling them out without breaking the roots, and then moving on to the next one.

My actual garden looks pretty horrible, due to various reasons that drain my energy enough to brush off gardening on my list of chores. Yet, despite the lack of good keeping on my part, when I was gardening, it felt as if nothing changed, nothing has changed since I last tended to these plants, obviously the plants have aged, and withered a bit, so there’s nothing but stems, but the energy in these plants seemed… dormant. Within a few days of watering, a very beautiful and large yellow rose bloomed, and now there’s more coming. I thought it was fast, to go from nothing but stems to a full blooming Rose.

So as I spend some time this morning pulling out weeds, I was thinking about the plants themselves, I’m a firm believer in the concept that Trees and plants, spend all of their energy in prayer to God and that’s is their only purpose, to grow in both Life and in Faith constantly reaching for the Heaven, which explains why we often associate plants like flowers and roses to Christ. But it’s metaphorical to reflect upon in comparison to one’s life, a plant doesn’t question Heaven why it’s leaves turn red, brown, and orange, it merely lets go of the parts of the tree that it once held on to, for it was time. It braves the winds of the Fall and the cold of Winter, and yet it remains standing, knowing that at its roots, it is stronger than the seasons, stronger than the changes, stronger despite the sacrifices.

And it’s reward? Spring time. When the snow melts and the clouds part and the sun rises high in the sky bring life, the trees reveal the results of their bravery: leaves, strong bark, a solid body, and it still reaches for the sky, for Heaven, for God, not to say, “Why?” but to say, “Thank you.”

And I believe this is true for all plant-life, so when I was gardening, I was thinking to myself that I was, in some small part, helping these plants get closer to the God that loves them so.

So if this is true for plants, what does that mean for me? What does the Tree tell us? Or what words are spoken with the voice of the Vine? When we smell the Rose, what is its reply?

Hope.

All plants tell us that we must keep going, despite our losses and sacrifices, we must press on. There will always be cold, harsh winters,  changes that seem to come out of nowhere, just when everything was nice and peaceful, change always comes right around the corner and sometimes it takes something with it, but none of it can stop you from reaching. Weathering every storm without breaking from who you are is how you can truly bloom in this life, even if no one cared for a very long time, it is never too late to start over and try again, there will always be roots to grow from, and with enough care and effort, you’ll blossom all the more beautifully.

Hope will always continue to grow, so long as you keep reaching with all your heart, through the good times and the bad, with the gains and the sacrifices, with the roots and the leaves.

Hope is the flower that blooms in our souls when we’re faced with the bleak. It is the unmitigated sign that we’ve endured and have not withered. People can always smell the fragrance of a flower, and like a flower, people can sense the hope that lies within one’s heart, hope that encourages them to be who they are, fight their fight, and strive to achieve their goals. It’s intoxicating to those who have sensed it, they, themselves, feel something stirring within them, inspiring them to one end or another, simply because they’ve ‘smelt’ this ‘flower’ that’s near them, the fragrance of Hope fills their senses and they are moved by it, as if smelling the perfume of a tulip.

Maybe, that’s why I like gardening so much, because it lets me interact with God’s examples of what it means to be Faithful, to have Hope in my heart and to show me how to brave storms like they do, all the while, still reaching towards Heaven.

It’s Time…

I got my results for my MCAT back… And it’s 25!

I’ve nearly doubled my score, and that’s a good sign. Progress is always a good thing to see.

So then, now comes the fated hour where I will start my application for Medical school. Heh, I know I’ll be refused by a LOT of schools, they have various process and formulas that will weed out MANY students. but there’s always hope that I can get in.

Hope. The last thing anyone should lose.

I know I can get in, I have to just expand my search, I just need to keep an open mind about where I can go and what I need to do. I mean, when thought about logically, thousands of people with worse situations than my own have been accepted, and thousands of people with much better qualifications than my own have been rejected. It’s both discouraging and inspiring at the same time!

I have a few schools in mind already, so I’ll start my application as soon as I have everything set, and then we’ll see where I wind up. I’ll be both excited and freaking out at the same time as I go through important points in the process.

Now it is time to see what I can do. It’s time for me to see if I’m worthy of the Trails of the Doctor! Or rather, if I’m even worthy of getting in!

Facing the Beast once again

Thursday, January 24th at 8AM

I flew to San Francisco on the previous Monday, to get used to my new environment, and to do my final preparations for the MCAT, the monster of a test that I faced before, and found only defeat in it’s wake.

Now after the MCAT Prep course I was ready to face it again, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday found me in either my hotel room or in the Public Library studying, taking practice tests, and getting used to the format of the test, leaving it only to find a place to eat, but studying none the less.

Then Thursday came, I was ready, I woke up on time, grabbed my essentials and walked out the door, being completely terrible with directions, I found myself walking away from the location of the Cable car for roughly 10 minutes, so I almost ran back in the opposite direction to try to catch up. Luckily I made it with time to spare, other than being a little sweaty, I was fine and calm. I walked in there knowing full well that the MCAT Prep course teachings have left me in a far better state than before, I wasn’t just walking in blind like before, I felt Ready.

I left around 11:30AM, only taking 1 of the optional breaks, but when I walked out of there, I was full of dread, stressed, something went wrong, I felt it, I had no idea how I did, my head was hanging somewhat low leaving the tall buildings, I didn’t even feel the relief that I was done until much later on in the day. I heaved heavy sighs and simply couldn’t shake off the depressed feeling from my mind.

So now looking back, I can still feel it, that lingering feel of doubt, it’s not a complete “I know I failed” but it’s not “I performed marvelously” either. To be quite honest, I don’t know what it is. Yet, if anything, I would call it most likely a… Humbling feeling.

Humbling… that’s as close a label as I’m going to get for this feeling. I am humbled by the MCAT.

Calls from my Mother and my Sister both included the fact that if I did not performed well this time, then it was God’s plan that I did not, He needs me elsewhere and that’s just it. Being informed of that, helped me deal with the humbling feeling, but some part of it still remains. It’s not completely a bad feeling, but it’s not a happy one either. I just feel… I don’t know.

But I’m remembering how I acted when taking the first MCAT, I was uplifted, prideful even, I made a really big deal out of it, told everyone who’d listen that I was taking the MCAT and joke around about it, and then I felt a severe blow from reality and walked away defeated. This time, I hardly told anyone save for family and some friends, I guess my defeat left my tongue in check and I didn’t elaborate on it at all, but they made a big deal out of it, they came to me concerned about how I did and how I felt, and I would respond in roughly the same form to all of them.

Heh, on the one hand, this is a sign that I’m truly supported by people near and far, on the other, with all their support, it would kill me to disappoint them! Man, there’s just no winning with my mentality…

The Beast has really helped me, in more than one way, that’s for certain. My eyes and views are now different than the first time  I took it, one could even dare to say, I’ve matured a bit, heh heh…

But, whatever happens, I must be ready for it, whether or not I did well, I must be prepared for the actions needed to be done, plans and back-ups for each scenario. Man, I really hope I did well enough to apply to medical school with, I just need a solid score; a chance, that’s all I need, just a chance to get in there and show them what I’m made of!

Well pondering over it now, isn’t going to do anything except make me lose more sleep. I’ve still got 23 days left before I can find out how I did. Well… 22 days now…

The Small Things

It was a typical Saturday, late in the afternoon, we were coming home from the Mass, and my father, who was driving, turns towards whoever was sitting in the passenger seat, saying, “Ahh? Did you say ‘Pizza’? OK! We’ll go get pizza!”

Mind you, my father would say, ‘Ahh?’ as if some derivative of the classic ‘Eh?’ that people would often say, as a replacement for ‘What?’ or ‘Whaaa?’

With the silence now shattered, the Passenger, which would be either one of my brothers or myself, would start calling my Father crazy for hearing things, and deny saying anything in the first place, yet my Father remains unaltered and drives us to whatever pizza place he had in mind…

The following Saturday, the cycle continues…

I asked him one day, why he got pizza every weekend, and he told me that in Mexico, he never got any pizza. It was a simple joy in his life, and he relished it, however small. To me, being raised on such a luxury, pizza, was hardly considered a luxury at all, but more like an insignificant morsel, at ready access whenever a whim moves me so, yet for my Father, Pizza was fascinating, it was always something new to him, always something to be enjoyed and always something that brought happiness.

Rule 32: Enjoy the Little Things

I can see it now, the hard days that just beat you down, the unforgiving people who are too caught up in their own affairs, those times when it feels like all of the world is on your shoulders and your new name is Atlas, but then, something comes along and makes you smile. A little girl gives you a flower, someone you never knew smiles sincerely at you, you catch that whiff of a freshly brewed coffee, a Sun rise, a tasty treat that you never had access to before.

This was Pizza for my Father, no matter how bad the days, there was always something small and seemingly insignificant that helps him get through, that lightens the load, if only an ounce. Granted, he had great times with us, but this was during the mundane parts of the year, when routine sucks one’s soul, and the world feels gray, every weekend, Pizza rejuvenated him, if only for that week.

And so, I know now that I have to find the small things in life, things that might not matter to anyone else, but me, or things that people pay no mind to, and find such pure joy within them. I know I already have some, and I know that there will always be more, yet, through my Father, I’ve learned the power behind something so small, heh, kind of like Hope, it’s small, fragile, and can be utterly stamped out, yet it still remains, so long as one person is willing to go out to search for it…… or if he happens to be the driver.

For me, I’ve always relished intangible things, such as a strong wind, or Rain, or the Stars, or even clouds, just standing there and experiencing such things brings me to peace. Yet, I’m not without my treats, I’m a complete sucker for chocolate, I often joke that if there was Chocolate-flavored poison, I’d drink it.

But the point is that these small things are needed. They need to be there in one’s life to give them a breath of freshness, when it seems pointless to keep going, or trying so hard. An act so small, can give someone such a sensation that their entire lives and perspectives are changed through such an act.

Whatever it is that brings you joy, however small and insignificant it may be, please enjoy it, because it’s meant for you.