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…

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A Red Halloween

“Boys and girls of every age, won’t you like to see something strange?”

The end of the year is coming and soon, Fall will turn to Winter. I love this time of the year, this tone brings people together, there’s good food, memories are made in nearly every event that will occur, I especially am fond of decorating. Thinking up of ideas to display the holiday spirit, seeing the creativity in nearly every house and family. Even the holiday themed movies are interesting, one in particular was the Book of Life.

Produced by one of my favorite directors, Guillermo del Toro, my whole family was looking forward to seeing the movie that was based on the Mexican Day of the Dead. The movie was funnier than anticipated, but it revealed to me, how little exposure I’ve gotten to the holiday. Halloween came natural to me, I get more than a kick at the idea of scaring people, but that’s not what Día del Muertos represents.

This holiday is about family, it’s about honor and memory, ultimately it’s about love. It’s nothing new to hear about Latin American morals surrounding the idea of family, and this holiday fits perfectly in that. Our loved ones who have passed away continue to live on happily so long as we remember them fondly in our hearts. They are insulted when we cry over their deaths but would rather that we tell stories of the best times we’ve had with them. To laugh over the things that make them so dear to us, is the best way to honor them, it doesn’t matter whether or not there were things left unsaid or regrets between two parties, what matters is that Life goes on, that there is love present our hearts.

The love between two people are said to overcome any distance, why not the gap between this world and the next? Isn’t that the whole concept of Christianity? That God’s love is so grand, that it covers the whole whole and people’s hearts, is the message that Christ has been trying to tell us all these years.

Heh, it warms the heart to think this way.

Love. It helps us look back with courage and fondness, but to also be able to look forward, to make the best of our lives and to not be complacent with apathy or cowardice.

I thought about why we never celebrated Día del Muertos and, much to my regret, it was just something that we never really did. Whether it was just too painful or there were no fond memories to reflect upon, I wasn’t introduced to the celebration of it until that movie, The Book of Life. Because now I have someone to remember, someone whom I love and have had good memories with. I’m not sure if the rest of my family will want to participate, but at the very least, I still have this journal.

This year will be interesting for me, to celebrate Halloween and Día del Muertos, to terrify others with the face of death and then to sit with him and, reflecting and laughing. This will be my strange holiday.

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.

Piece by Piece

In the last few days, I’ve been able to obtain 3 letters of Recommendation, 1 from a Physician, and 2 from former employers, now I just need one more and then I’ll have a complete set!

Also, I’ve surprizingly made my sister-in-law cry and my eldest brother tear up with my Personal Statement. So now, I’m hoping that if the people reviewing my application would get teary-eyed as well, then I’d be set, but Vicky told me that it was because of the memory of my Father that was written in the Personal Statement. So I’ll need to modify it some more, and then I’ll have my application completed.

And then, it will all come together, like a completed puzzle, the Final Step in my Application, The One.

For now, anyways.

It’s strange being so close, and yet, I know in the back of my mind, that this is merely another step towards a VERY long journey, but how funny is it, when each of these steps only reveal themselves to be insignificant when passed, yet utterly unforgiving when you fail them, regardless of by how little or how greatly.

I guess that’s how Life is, if you don’t complete a step, you cannot move forward unto this particular path. For unless you complete this particular step, you will not be able to taste what is on the other side, those are the rules, this is what you’ve signed up for, this is how the game is played. Most people are so bound by the rules that they will never see an exit, they’ll never think that it was ever possible to break the rules, so lost in the Matrix that they no longer see it.

Heh, Piece by Piece…

Over the span of several years, I’ve laughed, cried, fought, bled, tasted defeat and victory, utilized science and religion, stood tall and fell short, made friends, enemies, and seen them both disappear, I’ve had my eyes blinded with rage and opened with wonder, my heart melted with love and broken with loss, my soul rekindled by hope and lost with sin, and my mind has remembered each and every sensation. each and every memory, and little by little has put them together, to inspire me, to teach me, to help me, and to guide me.

And everything I have done and thought, and haven’t, everything relevant and everything completely insignificant, all of it has, and will in the end be the building blocks, the foundation of who I am, and who I will be. People aren’t singular beings, they’re the sum up everything they’ve experienced, both good and bad, all of it, pieced together to make a Whole. We are literally walking worlds interacting with each other, each of us as individual and unique as the stars and planets themselves.

This world will change, of this I have no doubt, but what a lot of people don’t realize, is that these changes are simply pieces of smaller changes that have come together as a whole. Brick by brick, Hand by hand, Soul by soul.

Piece by piece.

Even more Changes

Man, these last few days, I’ve been staring at a blank screen wracking my brain, trying to figure out what to write about. It didn’t help when I had a desire to write something. But I’ve come to realize that there are a lot more changes going on in my house, for one, I’m completely re-arranging my room, it’s a bit difficult to sleep  because even my bed feels strange.

But the idea is that of the classic flame metaphor, “Getting rid of the old things to create space for new things.” These last few days, it’s all been about donating the old stuff and putting new things in its place. 

I’ve always liked the idea of donating things to places so that others can get something new from something old. Heh, this stems from the majority of my childhood wardrobe being consistent of Hand-me-downs from my elder siblings, so for me, if it doesn’t bear sentimental value, then I’ll give it to others. But it’s always interesting to see what you can dig up from the past by trying to make a better future. I’ve found old shirts and random objects, but nothing of importance. 

Yet, to change things requires effort and persistence. I mean cleaning up years of junk makes one break a sweat, no doubt, but all changes that are needed, never happen overnight. Even Death takes time to adjust and accept what has happened, tears must be shed first, and the stages of grieving must be performed in order for one to reach the end of acceptance. 

Maybe the changes are subtle, maybe they’re grand, the idea is that one must always try to find a way to change for the better. Granted, not all changes will be for the better, but the choice on who you are is and always be yours, when something good or bad happens, it has always been your choice to take it one way or another way. I’ve always tried to stay optimistic, but I’m not perfect, when my Father died, I was certain that my Mother would follow, due to her poor health and her attachment to my Father, yet here she is, still around, laughing, praying, still breathing with her one lung. 

I guess I needed something of a break from writing into this journal, these last few days, I’ve been to busy to ponder over things, and when the hardest jobs were done, my mind started pondering again. So I’ve got some things lined up, for the future, but for now, I need to keep making changes until I’m at my optimized conditions to work to my best!

So on that note, I’ve got some work to do, submitting papers, filling out things, and just plainly cleaning on all sorts of levels.

The Red Pawn

I’ve always thought that the question of whether or not there was Free Will was answered with the idea that One is the Pawn, only able to move in one direction: forward in time; and that God was the Chess player, outside of the rules of the game, yet allowing Himself to be subjected to it, and all the while, as a good Chess player, seeing every single possible move the Pawn can make, involving every single possible outcome. Now where Free will comes in is that gap that lies within the Pawn and the Chessboard. While God does truly indeed see every outcome the Pawn can make with any move, God doesn’t move the Pawn. The Pawn can be influenced, subjected to, directed, manipulated, even instructed into making a move, but that ultimate decision is left solely to the Pawn. The Pawn, while subject to all the aspects and laws of the Game, like Physics and Gravity, always has the power to move in any means he/she thinks should be done. While Destiny lies in every move thought out and predicted by God the Chess player, Free will is no illusion as the Pawn takes another step forward, either under some sort of influence or not, the Pawn makes each step as his/her own decision.

I was watching Bedazzled, with the Lovely Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil, and one of the cell mates say something rather interesting, pertaining to one’s soul…

“It belongs to God. That universal spirit that animates and binds all things in existence. The Devil’s gonna try to confuse you, that’s her game. But in the end, you’re gonna see clear to who and what you are, and what you’re here to do. Now, you gonna make some mistakes along the way, everybody does. But if you just open up your heart, and open up your mind, you’ll get it.”

Given my recent turn of thought-provoking events, that last piece echoed with me. If one allows oneself to be consumed by the Grace of God, then the Pawn will be able to see the moves that God sees, and take the right path on the Chessboard. The Pawn WILL make mistakes, because the Pawn is ultimately human, and can’t possibly see in to the future, so he’s/she’s bound to stumble, both literally and metaphorically, but the idea is that God hasn’t given up on the Pawn, regardless of whatever shortcomings.

So one has to decide which move is the right one, and whether or not, the last move was a good one or not, because as Pawns, we can only move forward, we are bound by the direction of Time and thus, cannot go back, the game is still going because every decision we make is a move on the board whether we move forward or not.

Therefore, all of us are Pawns until the very end, when the game is over and we’ve reached the other side of the board, will we finally see what we ultimately become with all of our hard work and suffering, and the other Pawns will look to us and see what we truly were: a Rook, or a Bishop, or even a Knight, or if one was exceptionally well in life, a true King or Queen…