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.

 

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.

“I don’t care.”

There are many factors that separate me from the average individual. (Based on how often I hear about it from others) The way I walk, the way I talk, a sense of punctuality, reliability, the vibe that I’d prefer scotch, or to have a causal drink over partying. It’s interesting what information people can gather based solely on observing me. I had no idea I could reveal so much info subconsciously!

And at the current moment, I’m enjoying wonderful moments given to me by the common flu, I recall when I was at work, and something dawned on me. I had spent the previous 2 days bedridden and feeling unproductive in every sense, I even had my meals prepared for me. For some, this is a life of luxury, for me? This is agonizing.

I hate feeling like I’m a burden upon others, and granted, this is merely a sign of their love for me, and their willingness to display it by taking care of me. I hate this feeling of dependency, despite it being a rather big part of my life (I live with my family, my truck is a hand-me-down, I do rely on others on a daily basis, but this is different), I feel like if I’m capable of performing an action, then I shouldn’t have someone else do it for me. I can cook, despite my feeling slightly dizzy as I stand, yet my meals are prepared for me. It irks me.

And yet, Today I felt well enough to go to work, so I did. It was interesting, My energy was immediately down to a fraction, and I wanted to see how long I can last under my current condition, I lasted about 5 hours, before they sent me home, aware of my current illness. My reaction time was slow, my movements slow, my very thoughts and speech was sluggish, to say the least. I want to think I gave off the air that I was quiet today, but I think if one looked closely enough, they’d see that something was off. But that’s not what made the day interesting.

No, what made it interesting was something else entirely. You see, I care about my job, about the people around me, regardless of who they are. If someone was sick, I would show concern, if someone’s behavior was off, I’d take notice. Hell, if it was cold outside, I’d tell the people leaving to “Stay warm out there.” And I do this, because I genuinely care. I don’t expect anything remotely reciprocal, and in the long run, I know my extended efforts will go forgotten. No one is going to remember the guy who seemed like he listened for about a minute or so, and I don’t expect them to. It’d be ludicrous to, and it would make my efforts hollow if I did them expecting some kind of reward in return, that’s not the kind of man I am. I don’t do favors for others expecting a favor to be done for me. I’m not the Godfather.

But what made this day interesting was the fact that people were ‘surprized’ to see me. You see, no one noticed that I was sick and gone, they simply thought that I had a different schedule. They had only noticed that I wasn’t there, “Oh hey, I haven’t seen you in a while” But this was as casual as can be. I aim to be as punctual as possible, and always aim to arrive early, I often volunteer to be the last man on the clock to close shop. They expect that from me. And yet, I find myself surrounded by people who hadn’t “seen me in a while” I guess, I shouldn’t look too much into it, I was only gone for really 2 days. It wasn’t long enough to really take notice.

To be honest, it’d take me a week to realize when someone has left the job, but then again, I’d work a week straight a shift in which I would never see them. And I’d be the one saying, “You know, I haven’t seen ___ in a while.” I guess I shouldn’t take it too much to heart because I’m guilty of it too.

I took a gamble on my health to work, because I wanted to work, and because I wanted to feel useful again, but to be honest, they don’t need me. This organization can function as perfectly fine as if I was never there.

So I spoke to a coworker, saying that I feel a bit out of it, and she replied, “You should’ve taken that extra day off (today). I would’ve, I don’t care.” Her words left a echo in my mind. Not necessarily what she said, but the concept of it.

Why did I risk my health and went to work today, when I knew I wasn’t well?

What good would it have done?

Nothing special happened today, I didn’t have some philosophical conversation, nor gave wise words today, as a matter of fact, I didn’t talk very much today. So why did I risk my health?

Before you think I’m getting cynical and detached, let me tell you my train of thought.

The very first thing the heart does when it is full of oxygenated blood, ready to send it out to the rest of the body providing life, function and purpose is this: It sends it through the Coronary arteries. A branch off the aorta goes straight back into the heart itself, replenishing the heart because it too, needs that same oxygenated blood. The very thing the heart does when it is full of blood intended for the body is to take some of that blood is give it to itself. It takes care of itself first. Because if the heart doesn’t get that blood then it dies and then the rest of the system goes down, so not only does it want to take some blood for itself, it has to.

It has to take care of itself first, “I don’t care how much blood the rest of the body needs, I need this for myself.”

There’s no shame in taking care of yourself, as a matter of fact, that’s why airplane emergencies require you to put on the face mask on yourself first, rather than another, because if you don’t make it, then both of you will die. But if you get yours on first, then you can help others who still haven’t.

There will be many times in one’s life where you can dedicate every moment to someone outside of yourself, but that does not mean that there won’t be times when you need to dedicate this time only to yourself. Because how can you help or work, when you’re having difficulty doing the very actions that are required of you? If I’m sick, then I need to make sure that I’m 100%, otherwise, I can miss a vein when I stick someone, I can mislabel a product (which is very serious) and lose my job. All because I wanted to feel useful? No sir, this isn’t valid. I have sick days in the waiting, I can afford to not work.

I have to remember that although I’m planning on a life that’s dedicated to helping others, I cannot forget that sometimes the one who needs help is me. Sometimes, I am the one who needs saving, the one who needs to hear wise words.

I can’t be the hero all of the time.

Nor should I be. Because then that means that I have no faith in humanity, no faith that there are other genuinely good people out there. And I can’t believe that. I want to live in a world that houses good people, I know I’m not the only one. And I believe that this world is here and now.

This is a good world, full of good people. Heh, I don’t care how little, nor if I’m really the only one, because Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

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.

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.

The Act of Thinking Out loud

Heh, I know it has been a long while since I’ve posted on here. And as I’m typing that sentence, I wonder how many times I’ve said that same sentence over and over. Oh well.

So my little sister wanted me to help her with her journaling and in return she’d help me with mine. Except, she didn’t buy any notebook or anything to journal with, and I remembered this blog.

I feel like I’m dusting off an old friend as I look at the format and some of the old posts I’ve written… Ahhh… The September I wrote about my father. I’ve gotta look through these some time.

But you know, I’ve missed having my thoughts displayed before me. I tried journaling on an actual journal, but I’ve missed the part unique to the blog that it’s my thoughts for all of the world to see. It’s kinda freeing. Despite how much or little it’s read, I like having some part of me out there floating on the sea that is the internet. Probably never to be seen again, like a letter in a bottle thrown into the ocean. Whoever finds it and reads it will probably never know it came from me, but they will have read these words, and like any author, I hope that my words will inspire them to be something.

Man, a lot has happened in my life since my last post. Oh! I know! I’ll just start with the more recent things and work my way backwards, retroactively recalling everything that’s happened to me and probably with some luck, I can catch you up to all of my recent events… Heh, ‘You’ my dear reader, whoever you are. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope I hadn’t disappointed you in the past. Although if you were reading this regularly, then I most likely have, and I apologize to you.

But I plan on coming back here at least twice a week, hopefully my little sister can keep remind me about this, and I can keep my word to you.

So I have to go now, I need to shower and I’ve got an early day tomorrow, so I’m ending this entry here.

Until next time.

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…