Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No doubt about it

Doubt, v. - to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.

This is about doubt. About the disbelief that all you strive to achieve, you never will. That everything you want will never be yours. It’s the feeling that you are neither worthy nor competent enough to achieve, all obstacles painstakingly out of reach. Doubt can spell the end of the road for many, and will prove a daunting roadblock for others. It can envelop you like a cloud, and in the same fashion, blind you to the outside world of hope. It is because of doubt that many never begin to try. Doubt is dreams never pursued, adventures never embarked on, life never lived. Indeed, doubt can cripple a soul like an earthquake can a house, toppling it flat, leaving it bitter, let down, and embarrassed that it once aspired to flourish. Doubt is the daunting winds that keep the ships docked, and the planes grounded. Doubt is the coward’s easy-way-out, his escape from failure, surviving merely to do so without ever realizing what could have been, or perhaps should have. It prevents the creator inside each of us from bringing anything to fruition, halting production before it leaves the drawing room floor. Doubt is the Devil.

Waiting dormant for its moment to strike, doubt will eventually rear its ugly head just in time to shatter hope, and destroy ambition; ever eager to abolish your sense of self worth, doubt can and will hit you where it hurts, penetrating all superfluous levels of your spirit, reaching the core and ceasing it where is stands, leaving it frozen, scared to move forward. So what are we to do about doubt? Is there anything one can do? What has been done? The only answer can be to rise above, to remain steadfast on any endeavor you have embarked on, refusing to let doubt dictate your intended path. There is no set method, nor a guaranteed result, only a goal: to eradicate any sign of doubt in the name of all you believe in. Shed yourself of the skin of distrust and emerge triumphant, undaunted, and eager to succeed. For once you do, you will find you are all the stronger for it, built on a more solid foundation, less permeable to doubts relentless attacks. Now that you have survived the night, you can live the day.

From an external force, doubt can be equally debilitating, for your inner world depends on the approval of those around you, as you feel what is felt unto you. Therefore, if you receive nothing but doubt, you are capable nothing but doubt, it becomes all you know, an ugly constant staining the otherwise beautiful masterpiece that is your soul. Imagine you are working towards running a marathon, something you have aspired to do your whole life; you’ve trained all year for it, tearing up the gym and adjusting your diet accordingly. You have strived and sacrificed for seemingly forever, all in the name of your quest, and finally the day of the race looms. Now imagine, that in these waning moments leading up to the race, your family and friends strike a crushing blow and reveal to you that think it unlikely you will finish, let alone win. Here is your moment to be strong in the face of doubt. A seasoned runner –in fact a skilled participant in any discipline- needs not the reassurance of those around him. The fire inside the confidant man burns bright red, he is not concerned with the opinions of others, his only concern is his goal, the finish line, and there is no doubt in his mind that he will cross it. This man can be you, it can be me, it can be anyone, all it takes is the ability to put your head down and push through. Picture the mule that carries 400 lbs. of luggage and supplies up a steep trail in the snow, without pause he pushes forward, unfazed by the seemingly impossible task; or the alligator who hasn’t eaten in a month, who, near starvation, is found patiently waiting, confident his moment to come, and he will eat. The secret lays in faith, not faith in god or in a divine governing force, but in you, the real governing force. Learn to trust yourself, and you will prove immaterial the skeptical thoughts of others.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Today is a bad day. Not for very serious or life-threatening reasons, but rather a string of more conventional nuances. Let me tell you what happened: First, I couldn’t find my headphones this morning; and no im not some music junkie who scratches his eyebrows off if he doesn’t get his Kanye fix. But you see, life, or more specifically life as lived day by day, is one big chain of events; for every action, a reaction. When I couldn’t find my headphones, my reaction was anger and frustration. Which lead to slamming my hip into the doorknob during a frenzied search. Which lead to jamming my finger in the door of my car. Which lead to spilling hot coffee on myself at the gym. And all of this began yesterday, when I missed court and realized that I have not one, but two unresolved citatations, amounting to a not so grand total of $850. You see, in one grand cosmic joke, when one thing goes wrong, without fail our cruel universe finds it funny to pile on more shit after more shit after more shit. Leaving you, naturally, with a shitty day. Being that it’s only noon, I can only imagine what bumps and bruises await me the rest of the day. Attempting to put it all behind you can occasionally work, but your temper hangs in the balance, held tight by your last nerve. A couple “woo-sah” moments can help, that is, until you knock a glass of water off a table and watch your sanity literally shatter into a hundred pieces. I firmly believe that every part of today will be shit, and there is little I can do to remedy this.

Why do things work the way they do? I’ve read and watched The Secret, and I feel as if I have a decent understanding of the grand scheme of things, however, it seems that an undisputable answer to the question of why still eludes me, and forever will. Example: I returned from work, only to find that my headphones were not indeed lost, but instead my mom had attempted to appropriate them from me. So the initial spark that led me down a rocky road of anger was just a fluke, and my irritation completely unmerited. Now im left to ponder why. I'm inclined not to believe that it was a part of some master plan laid out for me since birth, and that all will be revealed in due time. This seems to good to be true, and certainly has not been up to this point in my life. Instead, I choose to believe that nothing is certain and nothing is guaranteed in this world. But even though I stated earlier that the rest of the day would be shit (and indeed it was), this holds no bearing for tomorrow. Because in it’s own way, the universe will find a way to remind me that it is still on my side, and eventually it will set me back along the correct path, and I will be convinced that this day was but a fluke. However bad, it was just another day amongst many to come, both good and bad. For all I know, tomorrow could be the best day of life. Now that might not seem to make any real sense, but that’s the way the universe likes it, nonsensical and random. You see, there are an unlimited number of possible outcomes for any day, and each outcome stems from the many unique decisions made by the subject in question. So I should say that the universe does not act completely randomly, instead more consequentially. And while it may be impossible to predict or prevent the future, it is possible to curtail it to your desires. Simply know that if you begin your morning wrong, the day that follows will in turn, be wrong. However, the adverse is also true. Start your day with the same emotions that you wish to end it with, and you have successfully tilted the cosmic odds in your favor. Congratulations.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reality Reproach

OK, here we go, time for a full-blown rant. I typically try not to do this, but very few things bother me as much as Reality shows. I hate slow drivers, slow walkers, the obvious, stupid people, bad reception, idiot waiters, and being asked “credit or debit,” but not nearly as much as I hate Ax-Men. And in fact, more than I hate ax men, I hate that there's also a show called American loggers. Which for all intents and purposes, is exactly the same thing. I hate that people like these shows and actually sign up to go on them, knowing that only disgrace can follow. I don’t care nearly enough about catching crabs in order for me to tune in every week, let alone for a second and third season. However, someone must, because everywhere I turn im bombarded by “Fresh Meat,” or “Celebrity Apprentice.” Fuck off. I mean literally I can stroll down the guide on my T.V. and find about thirty different reality shows at any time of the day, all equally unreal, that all suck in the exact same way. We watch some terribly scripted melodrama play out, then get the play-by-play in the form of a confessional from all involved parties, as if I need some retard to break down for me why he pulled the dumb sluts hair. I also like to point out that the only formula for making a reality show, is to employ Murphy’s Law, you know: “anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” because truly, shit is always fucked in those shows. Im supposedly watching the best loggers in the business, but it seems as if they can’t get their act together for two minutes. If your pussy of a son doesn’t deserve to be out there loggin’ with the big boys, then send his bitch ass home, don't cry about it to the confessional camera, while you wait for him to grow a pair. But inevitably, by the end of the episode, the same son who was as useless as tits on a bull, pulls through and shows his true colors as a logger; all is saved and production can continue on without a hitch, until next week that is, when I predict of one the generators will go out, threatening to tank the entire business, but due to some last minute heroics, all is saved. Its almost to the point where I’d rather they start the episode from the end, and then proceed to show us how everything turned to such shit. I mean, It’s not like we don't know what was going to happen anyways, because if you’ve seen one reality show, you’ve seen em’ all. This goes as far as to say, that taking an episode of “Keeping up With the Kardashians,” and applying the same plot arc, you’ve seen an episode of “the bachelor.” It’s the same old bullshit, day in and day out. In fact, the networks know its bullshit, but they still put it on, because some amongst us want to see real housewives, as apposed to fake ones. As always, someone will attempt to vouch for one of these garbage programs and say, “oh but this one isn’t like the others, it’s actually good, have you even seen it?” Holy fuck! No I have not seen it, and I don’t need to. I have no desire to watch how disgraceful a person can be to his or her own race, let alone man kind as a whole. With each new show that comes out pushing the “trash” limit way past it’s previous resting point, we end up with a disgusting picture how tasteless we are as a people. We yearn to see fights in bars and blow-ups on the job site. Why, because our own lives aren’t shitty enough? Must be, because we choose to watch the epitome of trash make her mother proud by doing challenges in an attempt to win the heart of a bi-sexual Asian midget with big tits. This must really make some feel good on the inside, to know that your not that person; and I see the merit in that, I just feel like the same way Barry Bonds is a bad look for baseball, Snooki, and any “real” person like here, is a bad look for man kind. Imagine what Europe would say…

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Your awkward is showing...

What is awkward, what makes a situation awkward, and perhaps most importantly, are you an awkward person to be around? Some common forms of awkwardness, are: extended pauses (or to some, silence in general), calling someone the wrong a name, which is accompanied by the even more awkward attempt to explain why you have no clue who your talking to; or my personal favorite, the botched handshake, which is that dreadful tango performed by two guys trying to figure out how to shake one an others hand. And while it’s true that each individual has their own personal awkward moments that they experience in a variety of ways, for the most part, awkward is awkward, and it sucks.

First allow me to explain the handshake conundrum. The scene is as such: Someone you know is approaching in the distance whom not only are you decently acquainted with, but you are most likely going to have to talk to; and before there's talking, there’s greeting. With your peer approaching at a break-neck speed, you need to move quickly to guess which form of handshake you think he’s likely to employ. However, regardless of any prior knowledge you think you have regarding this individuals greeting preferences, there’s will inevitably be terrible confusion surrounding the whole ordeal. Is it going to be a classic handshake, or are you going to take back to 02’, and “pound it.” You could even go for a more complex sort of palm-slide-to-snap sort of deal. Perhaps even a “bring it in…” type man-embrace. With so possible outcomes, the uncertainty is the real killer; you’re never sure what’s coming, and your attempt to read the persons body language typically results in painful failure. But alas, eventually someone must take charge (it’s never me…) and just go for it, in hope that the other will follow suit. However, the reason this is one of the most awkward moments known to man, is that it never goes according to plan. One person dives in for a mafia inspired man hug, while the more germ conscious amongst us tend to opt for the pound. Now, the hugger is left to wonder why he was rejected in his attempt at male unity, and the pounder has to delicately choose how he proceeds, so as to not further offend the hugger. This will typically sour your conversation, and leave you wishing you had never bumped into this person in the first place. Next we have the delightful situation in which, during a greeting, you accidentally greet the wrong person.

So low and behold you are standing in the middle of Borders minding your own business, and you hear your name called. Whirling around, you realize who called you, because he/she is staring right at you. However familiar the face corresponding to the voice might be, there is zero chance in hell that you know the name. A unique déjà vu sets in while you search your soul for the name. “Is it Jeff? Jordan? No Jack! Wait no…” Or maybe it doesn’t really start with a J, even though you’re positive it does. What makes it worse still, is that he clearly knows your name. So what do you do now? Is there any suggested course of action? While typically only used to delay the inevitable, I do believe there is one useful tactic: instead of responding with “Hey (insert name here)!” You simply leave out the name, extend the “Heeeeeyyyyy…” and move swiftly into conversation. Who knows, ask the right questions, and halfway through the conversation you might remember their name, allowing you to deliver a solid goodbye. The only problem is that not knowing someone’s name is so insanely awkward, that you can barely form sentences, let alone revealing questions. Once they’ve realized that you’re not on first or last name basic, they feel worse than you. Furthermore, it’s your fault; so in the end you still feel, and appear, like an ass. So by this point you would assume that if you’ve gotten past the handshake and you knew whom you were talking too, then the rest of the conversation is a breeze, right? Wrong.

Perhaps the most traditional form awkward can take. It is experience by everyone, everywhere, and it can end a relationship before it even begins. I'm talking about, of course, the awkward pause; the most gut wrenching, thumb fiddling event to take place on this planet. Even when conversation seems to be flowing freely, one strange statement can come along and bring the whole thing to screeching halt. Adversely, an awkward pause can occur before the conversation even takes off. Anytime small talk fails to turn into real talk, it dwindles to no talk at all, leaving both parties in silent agony until someone issues an overly polite goodbye. However, my favorite type of awkward pause is when you begin talking about a certain someone just in time for him or her to walk in. Frozen like a one winged bird who cant fly south for the winter, you will forever have to live with the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not she heard you talking about how much of a whore she is, or what a dick James can be. There's no time limit on an awkward pause, someone could make a clever remark and re-right the ship, or the S.S. Awkward could continue to sail on for a couple agonizing minutes.

Armed now with a couple examples of awkward, I wish I could tell you that you’re better off, and that you will avoid any awkward moments; but you wont, and you’re not. The truth is that awkward will find you no matter where you hide, no matter who you are, without fail. It is an inescapable part of life. Sadly we often find that no matter how alike we truly are, as humans we are destined to occasionally feel uncomfortable around each other. Moreover, we live in a world filled with topics, and a pop-culture machine that tells us which ones to talk about, but we still can’t find any common ground. But the truth is, this is neither good or bad, it just is what it is. Because as long as we have the urge to interact with each other from time to time, awkward will always be there, waiting to rear it’s ugly head.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Feelin' Right, Right Now

I am writing this right now at 6:51 on Easter Sunday. I have eaten about 6 lbs. of food, and I’m half-heartedly watching the women’s final four game, between UConn and Baylor. I am in my bed, but I have not yet taken off my clothes, and by the looks of things, it might be a while. With the sound of rain in the background lulling me further into a comatose state, I doubt that I will get up for the rest of the night. Every breath is a deep one, and all my senses have been lessened to a virtual inexistence. My eyes heavy, and my motions slow; I can hardly be considered conscious, but I’m happy. In fact, there is very little that could improve my mood, for at this moment, I am exactly where I want to be. Perhaps it would be nice to have someone to share it with, but currently im fine by myself. It’s as if im dreaming while awake, constantly drifting back and forth between the real world, and the lucid reality hidden behind my eyelids. In a moment like this, writing is easy. The words flow through my body, from my mind to my fingers, with the greatest of ease. Like the appendages of Mozart, my hands move freely without question and without hesitation, every word is felt, and not feared; believed, and not questioned. I can allow myself to just simply be, without contemplating my own ontological existence, and questioning my every action. It may seem as if this feeling might be easy to come by, and for some it may be; but as I sit here now and write this, I can honestly tell you it’s the best I’ve felt in months. If perfect were a reality, and not just an indefinable idea, this would be the closest I could get. You see this is a superlative kind of feeling, characterized by a Zen-like kind of calm we can only hope to achieve. We know it exists, for we have felt it before, but when we attempt to recreate this mood, it eludes us every time. We are left disappointed and perturbed, wondering why we cant live every second in this surreal realm, why we cant relax. But I do not fret; in fact, I think it would be impossible right now to worry about anything. I might throw a movie on in a bit, and allow myself to drift away into a deep sleep. Hopefully I don't fall asleep to fast however, because then I will have missed out. I will have failed to soak up every moment of bliss, as to saturate my soul with this current frame of mind, in hope that it might roll over into tomorrow. For I am smart enough to know that this feeling doesn’t come around too often, so cherish it. Consider that you’re like me, and you see a world that appears to be resoundingly negative. You attempt to relish any moment you experience surrounded by positive; and hold on to it for as long as you can, because there's no telling when you’ll be feeling this good again.