Category Archives: The Past

On Overcoming Rivals

On Overcoming Rivals

I never thought of myself as a competitive person because I saw how much more competitive many others were than me.  I never cared to win much at sports or other “see who is best” events.  Maybe it was because the effects of losing didn’t last long or I’d just rather not dive to the ground just to keep a ball in the air.  Regardless, I did engaged in my own competitions from time to time, but they weren’t always so sportly structured.

Often my rivals were simply my friends in school.  We were all trying our best to get good grades and we were all in the same boat when it came to intelligence, so it was often a close call.  I only had to win by a few inches, not cram for a whole mile.

Other rivals were family members of a similar age vying for attention or adoration from the adults, which we were never actually starved for.

These competitions were constant throughout childhood.  As I got older and became aware of these behaviors, I realized that the scars I was accumulating and causing were not longer a result of healthy competition.  It was down right mean.

Though all of this I always thought of myself as a nice person.  I was at heart a people pleaser to the point where I put other people’s wants above my own.  But I wasn’t fully a nice person.  I inflicted social pain on others when they didn’t even know there was a competition.  I felt triumphant when I finally felt better than a specific person.

Then I looked back and realized that they were just being themselves, reacting to the world, looking for a friend.  Here I was jealous of their natural advantages, needing to prove myself when my friend just stood there defeated by my behavior.

Its been over 10 years since I had this realization.  I’ve since made new friends who were so beyond my own situation in life that I felt no need to compete.  We are simply not comparable because we play life in completely different arenas with completely different rules.  We can simply talk about life and try to understand each other without one-upping.

I still encounter my old rivals, often with compassion and guilt over having “beat” them when they were already too far down to fight.  Others, I just avoid, having never settled the score.

Waiting for Prosperity

Waiting for Prosperity

Raquel sat waiting by the river for something positively exciting to happen to her. She’d had enough of the boring and miserable aspects of life. Death, loss, being broke, toxic relationships, career setbacks, etc. You name it, it’s happened. All these dark sides had shaken her confidence and belief in the attainment of dreams. She found herself going out less and not wanting to get involved in social activities because of the hidden costs associated with them. As she sat she reviewed all her naïve hopes from years past. “I was going to be great! I was going to put in the hard work necessary to make a grand living, gain respect and create my own small empire of wealth.” It distressed her to reflect on the situation in which those dreams evolved. Unfortunately, far from reality was that time of life. So small was the social circle and breadth of knowledge of how the world really operated, it was no wonder that she had once thought she could accomplish all that.

She in herself had changed too. When those dreams were stamped into her mission in life she had yet to experience her own joys of life outside the buffering childhood. The joys of solitude and general dislike for seemingly pointless and repetitive social cues were pivotal examples of how her own personality blocked her attainment of those dreams. Without at least a tolerance for politics how could she expect to navigate organizations in power or even encourage people to follow her should she wish to create her own environment? Some social constructs were fairly easy to navigate, however, those we generally found easy to everyone else as well making them less lucrative and/or just plain lazy.

In a way she was over those old dreams. After all, many of them had been accomplished so it was just a lingering few that refused to be fulfilled. Dropping the dreams was an option, but the feeling of “if I try just a little bit longer” always kept her coming back to them. The idea that she simply lacked new dreams was also toyed with. But her new found knowledge of the world shrunk her dreams to fit that realistic reality and thus new dreams were actually accomplished rather easy as they we both easily attainable with her current skills or simply dreamt up from a more practical mind.

All of which brought her to today, a place where she believed that simply waiting around for a lucky break into prosperity would do her more good than targeted action.

Summoning past lovers

Summoning past lovers

In a brief moment of despair at not being in love for far too long, I summoned up my favorite lover from my memory.  After dancing the softness of his skin and reliving the sparkling spot in my soul where his memorizing eyes met mine, I finally remembered what it felt like to be in love again.  For a brief second the portal between us opened again, long enough for me to whisper “but i love you…”  Swooning once again in a state of ecstasy, he awoke from my spell, “Mareks…Mareks, darling are you still there?” said a sweet voice over the phone. “Hm, hmm, yes yes, uh blue, blue is a great color for the guest bedroom, look I’ve got to go, I’ll call you back when I’m on my way home” he replied….”Love you too….cheers….bye”.  He nervously stood up and looked out the window over Sydney Harbour.  He remembered too.

Clocks and the Market for Other Worlds

Clocks and the Market for Other Worlds

This world is highly evolved, I’m still amazed by the existence of the clock.  I think it is funny that one day someone looked up and realized that time exists and we can track it.  I think it is even more funny that people write about different worlds because seriously this place exists and has a history (proof of which is given in the existence of a clock) so other places must exist too, right?  What I don’t understand is why this idea of other worlds became embedded into everyday life; here is my guess for how it got started:

I think that once everyone realized the odd existence of this world and postulated other worlds, the idea sparked the dawn of a new industry.  Everywhere people started preaching of what they thought other worlds would look like.  Since technology didn’t exist back then, there was no way to answer the question of “But how do we get to these other worlds?”  So the smartest preachers said “You get to them when you die!”  “When we die?” shrieked everyone in the crowds.

The farmer preacher said “yes! but only if you plough my field really well for your whole life, will you be able to get there.”

And the Doctor preacher said, “Only if you maintain your health and the health of your family will you get to see the best of the other worlds.”

And the evil preacher said, “only if you give into temptation, will I let you have power in the other worlds.”

And the scientist preacher said, “If we can build a space ship together, we can fly past the stars and take a super nova wormhole to travel to other worlds.”

By this point the idea of other worlds had become so prevalent in the society of humans on earth that no one dared question it.  Over time certain preachers gained larger followings than others and we able to wield power over larger and larger groups of people.

It just makes sense to me to stay living for the real world… the one we know exists, then figure out the other worlds when we get there.  But maybe that’s just how I travel.

 

You’re so vain, you probably think this blog is about you

You’re so vain, you probably think this blog is about you

My words are ink blots, designed to play upon the very essence of what my readers want to hear.  Sadly, I have neither granted wisdom beyond what they already knew, nor I have provided them with insight beyond what pieces they had already put together.  Whatever it is that they seek they will not find here.  But what of me you ask?  What do I see in it all?  in every word I see his bright blue eyes peering down at me in first sights spark, I feel his arms toss me into the sky only to catch me in his bed of roses, I hear his foreign voice resonate through my mind in a harsh language spoken so sweet, I see that smile that was only for me that night he took me to watch the Emerald City’s lights, and I feel my heart start pounding again like it did when he put his palm to my chest and astonishingly said, “you have a pulse.”  In the divine, star-crossed madness of it all, I have to catch my breath and smile because I can still feel him pulsing through my veins.

Old Emotions

Old Emotions

I envision that in my old age, after all the major phases of life have passed, I’ll often ponder back on my old emotions.  I’ll spend time remembering how long it took me to classify and name them all and how hard it was to tame them to the point that I can appear in public without incident.  I’m sure by then they will sit in my mental tool box as neatly arranged packages, patiently waiting until I decide which ones I need to use for life’s, now commonplace, occurrences.  I imagine that by then they will know how to take their turn and so very few of them will take me by surprise.  Even if I am by chance caught off guard, I will have already developed a technique for being caught off guard and so will not cause anyone alarm. Thus all this time I now spend starring endlessly at my ceiling, pondering what the hell just happened, will eventually be spent on more practical tasks.  Though I am sure I will miss these oh so wild states of fits and passion that currently embarrass and haunt me.  I will probably yearn to encounter new pieces of myself and wish that it all wasn’t so well organized….

Why I Didn’t Go To My Ten Year High School Reunion

Why I Didn’t Go To My Ten Year High School Reunion

I looked at the list on facebook of the 60 or so individuals (out of over 500) who indicated that they were actually going to the reunion and thought to myself, “most of those people aren’t worth seeing for the $65 ticket fee.”  I just finished my MBA, 65 bucks is a lot of cash for me until I get my act together.  Also, I can see what people look like and what they are up to on facebook.

But most importantly (and this is so high school, I love it) the cool people who were supposed to plan the reunion had cool things going on in their lives and so they were unable to plan the reunion.  This left the planning to the highest bidder.

Well… so, well, you know, I didn’t go to uncool people’s parties in high school, so why would I pay to go to a party ten years later that was planned by those same uncool people?

Just sayin’.

On Culture Clash…

On Culture Clash…

For an eighth grade project, I had to build a miniature bridge out of glue and toothpicks with a boy in my science class.  Of course we waited until the day before the project was due to complete most of the work, so as you can imagine, I was in the boy’s large garage for quite a long time after school that day getting the project finished.

I wasn’t prepared for the long haul, so when his mother came home around 8pm with a whole bag full of sandwiches, I salivated at the thought of eating one.

As she walked by us, his mother said something to the boy in another language with a nod in my direction.

“Oh good!” I though, “She’s asking him to offer me one.”

I was right!  A few seconds later he asked, “Do you want a sandwich?”

“Yes,” I excitedly replied, “please!”   There was silence for a second while he gave me a quizzical look before replying back to his mother in their native language.

After his mother’s response, he told me, “Sorry, but in our culture it is impolite to accept food at someone’s house even if they offer it to you.”  His mother then handed him one sandwich.

While he took a break to eat his sandwich, I continued to work on the toothpick bridge as I planned my strategy to get home just in case they didn’t let me use their phone to call for my ride.

On Reading

On Reading

This is long over due, to the point where this should have been my first note.  But I had the urge to pull Proust from my book shelf and read his opening paragragh/sentence to “Days of Reading” and I still so full heartily agree.  I cannot say it better.  There is just some nostalgic essence in remembering the many books I kept my nose in.  I understand why they want children to read, more so than ever, because I can draw on experiences that I never actually experienced to aid my waking life.

I feel a sadness for it actually. I cannot get back to that place in my mind, I cannot revisit those stories as I first experienced them because I am no longer at that stage.  I no longer escape life into fantasy because I’ve managed to merge my fantasy with real life and I am content.  Therefore I seek no solace, no need to reach into another world of make-believe.  Now I am merely interested in cool concepts and stories that guide me into deeper understanding and meaning into my actual daily existence.  I am at one side excited about all I learn about in the real world beyond my home town, but at the same time depressed over my inability to connect with characters and events of stories long past.  An entire world of existance taken away from me by time and experience.  I’m forced to grasp to what I can, desperately for some peace of mind to avoid becoming like those jaded folks who tell me that fantasy world never existed in the first place.  Oh believe me, it is real, I have my personality to prove it.

Push/Pull or Pull/Push

Push/Pull or Pull/Push

There is one behavior that I do that is really starting to drive me nuts, perhaps because I can neither figure out exactly where it came from, how long I have been doing it, nor what triggers it.

I have bits and pieces of data I’ve analyzed but I just don’t think it is enough to put the behavior in any specific category where it can be modified it and turned into something fruitful. On top of that, I am not even sure if other people notice it, if they don’t then…. i shouldn’t mind continuing to do it…. but i think people do notice it, or at least feel it.

It depends on the other party’s sensitivity and willingness to actually call others on what they are sensitive to. Without direct feedback I am left to analyze merely possible reactions to my behavior, which, in turn, drives me into a deep confusion because for a moment I forecast the idea that the reaction I got was actually directly related to my action,

then pause,

there are more possibilities, after all, peoples lives are really complicated with scattered experience so who knows, who knows if my behavior has anything to do with their reaction. After all they would tell me wouldn’t they? They do know what they are doing, don’t they?

No, no, think of all those gossip girls who never told the outcast why they would agree to let her join the group and then fill out and submit the list of chosen ones, omitting her name before she could come by and take you up on your promise. If she was pushy or not, you agreed to it, right? Can I believe you this time like I used to be able to?

So in my experience and education, people don’t tell others why they are pushing them away, they simply act as if they aren’t and then they do…. leaving me to wonder what the hell I did. Was I annoying? did I put them off or cancel too often? did I not answer the phone or take too long to get back to them? Did I cancel on too many times? Did I? Did I? Did I?

This is when the details get fuzzy (you’re thinking, “i thought it was already fuzzy,” but oh no my friend there is more to my confusion over human relations). I think I learned this behavior a long time ago and although I do know and have seen what it does to other people, I have found myself doing it to others on various levels of severity without giving it much notice or forethought, sometimes playfully over a poker game (it can be funny an taken as sarcastic – assuming my sarcasm is understood) but I can’t find that fine, perfect line where I am free to be me without causing injury, or at least feeling as though I have.

The fuzzy continues… push/pull and pull/push have to link at least two behaviors. There are many times that I pull and I pull and I pull and I pull, then a push behavior is thrown in. Perhaps in defense, perhaps for some other reason, but I don’t know what to do when, after all that pulling, the push seems to have undone all of my work. Undoing my work is like punishment, have I done it to myself or has it been done to me?