Monday, March 31, 2008

Cant Stop Wont Stop Eh-uh Eh-uh

I think I'm beginning to realize that I walk a fine line between a so-called "iron will" and just being stubborn. Especially over the last few years, there were a couple BIG decisions where I maybe should have quit what I was doing and tried something else, but I wouldn't let myself quit. It's not simply the fact that times got rough or difficult, but that they became so because it probably wasn't the best match or the best decision for me; that I could've been a lot happier and more successful doing something else.

Courage, Determination, and Triumph, you say??

I've pined over it again and again, but my most prime example would be my major, Systems Engineering. Man, that first semester of college was a rough one. You can ask my parents, but it was a bit of a blow to them what with my high school track record and all, and they honestly asked me if I want to major in something else, and that if that's what I wanted to do, that I should do so. No more of this switching your major before you submit your application stuff; my parents honestly thought that I was unhappy with engineering and maybe if I switched to something I enjoyed, I'd perform better (I do not know whether that hypothesis is statistically proven, but I'll assume so). At first, I thought, "Finally! My way out to do what I want to do!" The only problem was... at the time, I didn't know what I wanted to do. On top of that, I had been given a glimmer of hope from a professor who thought there was somewhere I could fit in (Systems Engineering, thank you, Ms. Beck) and that if I could just get selected for it, I'd find my place. Well, I got in, and I started performing a little better, but definitely not at the academic level I previously was once at. And of course, part of that can be credited to my not giving it 100% and studying and working academically as hard as I could have been (due to laziness, a desire to have fun, AND extra curricular activities), but I also was never passionate about my major or the work I was doing, and for whatever amount of my "non-success" I can credit to that, I do.

NROTC. Oh boy, there's another one. Another item that I was nearly 100% sure I didn't want to participate in, but my parents insisted that I "try it out". And so I did. And just as I felt with engineering, it didn't kill me, but I wasn't passionate about it. I mean, I'm happy with where I am now. I'm glad to see and be a part of the bigger picture, something bigger than myself; being a part of something that's idealistic and rooted in morals and principles. I'm glad that my job is more than just a paycheck. It's more than just trying to make as much money as I can. But NROTC, I seriously wonder if it was for me. I think I can say that I performed more competently in NROTC than I did in my major, but the passion wasn't there either. I know there are lots of MIDN/former MIDN who were very passionate and gung-ho about what they were doing and their jobs and stuff, and I congratulate them on that, but I can honestly say that wasn't me. While I'm satisfied with where that path has taken me, it just leaves a small shadow on me for doing something that I wasn't REALLY passionate about. Why did I do that? Because I didn't want to quit.

$77 per month?! SNAP SIGN ME UP!

So why don't I quit when it seems so obvious that these paths are not for me? I just don't want to be looked at as a quitter, as someone who couldn't "hack it". As vain and stubborn as that may sound, it's the truth. I don't want to have to come home and have people ask how my job/work/whatever is going, and then tell them I'm not doing that anymore because it wasn't for me. And THAT'S where the line between toughing my way through it and just being stubborn comes in. Am I really a "quitter" if I try something, find that it isn't for me or that it really isn't something I want to do, and thus stop pursuing it? Am I just being stubborn when I don't want to quit something because I'll be embarrassed to tell people I quit something, even if I don't completely enjoy what I do? I don't know, though I've asked myself those questions many times over. You really do have to fail me and kick me out because I will not quit no matter how marginal I am. Kind of like you'll have to stick me with a needle and draw my blood because I can't do it to myself (does that metaphor work??).

(No quips for this one)

So in the end, I guess I don't know what to write it off as. Am I "tough" because I just refuse to quit no matter how bad the times get? Or am I a stubborn idiot who keeps subjecting himself to self-inflicted trials and tribulations? I think it's healthy that I bring the question up within myself as a way to learn more about who I am, but I guess I'll just never figure this one out. At least until I figure out what it is I really want from this life.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Be Prepared: Scout's Honor

The unpredictability of life is both comforting and a pain in the ass. I suppose which one it's going to be at any given time is based on whether life gives you sour grapes or..... good grapes. And it feels like people tend to become more narcissistic (sp?) when they're given sour grapes. They say things like, "life sucks" and "oh, woe is me." They really are engulfed at how much crap they're being handed at that moment. I don't people focus as heavily on the fortunes when they're good ones. They may say things like, "life is good right now", but they never ask why it's happening to them or what they did to deserve it. And the only time you can really see this sort of thing is in the places in between. What are those places in between? It's you living your life as it's meant to be: unpredictably.

That freakin' fox and his freakin' grapes

2008 has already fed me my share of good and sour grapes, and I've swallowed every single one (that's what she said). Most recently, I've been trying to give myself an optimistic kick start despite my recent negative outcomes, but it's only in these moments at night or early in the morning or during the still deadness of mid-day that I really just remove myself from the smallness of my point of view and I'm able to see the vast, wide void that is an unfinished life. There are so many things that could happen to me from this moment on; there are so many places I can go, so many people I could meet. There are people who could re-enter my life who I never thought I'd hear from again (though I guess not as hard nowadays what with so many online social networks going on all at one time). And when thinking in these moments, you really can't see life with negative or positive light. You just have to see it as the middle of the road, non-biased life you lead. Regardless of what's happened to you or what may happen to you, you can throw it all nonchalantly over your shoulder with a shrug and say, "such is life" (Licenmo, for you). And I think that's how you move on.

People may argue, "Well if you're moving on with life, why don't you just look at it with a positive outlook?"* But it brings to mind the great sports figure, Peter Le Fleur, who said, "I found that if you have a goal, you might not reach it. But if you don't have one, then you are never disappointed." It's not that I'm saying don't strive for things, don't look for the bright sides of life, the silver linings; it's more that you have to realize that both good and bad things will occur in life, for no better reason than that's the way life goes (ALMOST a Janet Jackson reference, but I think she was talking about "love"), and getting wrapped up in either one of these things will leave you stuck.

Peter Le Fleur vs....

...Janet Jackson. Let's dodge ball.

I agree that living life is feeling the emotions and feelings that accompany these events in life. Without being able to tell the difference, without being able to realize both, can you say you're really LIVING life? But I also think that being human means we potentially have the tendency to get stuck on those feelings, and focusing on nothing but those feelings, which, frankly, leaves me feeling unprepared and unready to face whatever life has coming at me next. I'd like to be able to emotionally be prepared for ANYTHING to happen to me next. Anticipating the unpredictable. I think that brings me back to life's unpredictability being both comforting and a pain in the ass.

I guess I'm just looking for what's next in my life. Yeah, I'm on this flight curriculum; I'm on this path, but that's only one part of my life (and even THAT isn't set in stone). I want to keep moving towards the next big thing, the next thing that'll warrant heavy emotional response. The only thing is I don't know when that'll be.

*Example of the bad being a bigger focus than the good: when you "move on" with life, you move on from the bad, never from the good, despite the fact that life is neither bad nor good. It just is.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Think A Thought And Scribble It Down

This won't be a real post, as in it will have no form other than a random checklist of song lyrics, quotes, one-liners, and quips. You can interpret their subject matter, meaning, and importance for yourself. It's all free for the taking.

"To love is to be brave.
Or stupid.
Or both."

For a lack of better
Words to say
All I said was goodnight
Once again
In self-defense I wont sleep a wink
To prevent dreaming of you
You can sleep on your own bed tonight
Sleep away a silent pain
Screaming out my name
You can sleep in your own bed tonight
I hope for your sake you dont wake up as broken as I am

I'm too busy to write anything,
But if you want to know,
Just ask my heart.

I wanna know
Who's making you smile nowadays?
Because you look so good when you look so happy
I really do wish it was me.

"My heart breaks every night before I go to sleep.
And every time that I dream.
And when I wake up again."

Look into your heart and you'll find love love love

Listen to the music of the moment maybe sing with me
Ah, la peaceful melodys
It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love love

Looks like I'm starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend and I say
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything I thought I knew

It’s really over

You made your stand
You got me crying
As was your plan
But when my loneliness is through
I’m gonna find another you

I'm holding out and

I'm holding on to every letter and every grudge.
I pulled myself out of the day we ever had to meet.
Are you through with me?
And when it all goes to hell
will you be able to tell me
you're sorry with a straight face?

*I'm still in flight school, IFS. It's going well despite what's going on inside. It's time to concentrate on me and make all of this worth something on that day that I'm OK again. But some days, some hours, some moments you just have to purge.