Antagonists

In life, there will inevitably be those in life who will be against us. Those people are many. Whether they dislike you for some small, insignificant reason, from some transgression you have done against them, or for no reason at all; there will be those that will want to sink and maroon you. Those that will leave you abandoned, stranded. Those that would let go of the rope if they were helping up a cliff. Those that wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. Many times, it is quite easy to separate these people from those that care about your basic existence. Many times, it isn’t.

Far too often, these people tend to blend in. Sometimes they may lurk in the shadows of your life, or they might the be the person you sit beside in your home on your couch, watching a movie. It is so difficult to point these people out and thus they may be the most deadly. You can never be to sure of their intentions. You just don’t know until it happens. They start treating you like an outsider for no reason at all, they reject you. Not knowing who the antagonists can cause some form of paranoia and it starts to take a toll on a person, making them weaker.

The only solution to breaking down and eliminating potential antagonists is if they start to blend in with the spectator while you are at the center of some form of controversy. If you are being single out by another spectator, the person you thought was on your side will move themselves to the sideline watching you get humiliated or torn apart by another. They will stay in the shadows, a small feeling of twisted fulfillment will stir within them, arousing emotions of seething “just desserts”. When you fight with your significant other, they will not attempt to diffuse the situation, they will sit there and observe gleeful that things are heading south. You might as well give them a bag of popcorn.
One must always keep an eagle eye out for these things. Or else, there will be dire consequences.

 

– Scotia

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Of Past Days

Lately,

I have been ruminating about the past. Everyone does this to some extent or another. However, this isn’t a nostalgic feeling, it’s more like “putting things into perspective”. Why we do the things we do, who knows but it makes for some good contemplation fodder. I generally do not care too much about things in my past. People who knew me growing up tend to have more feelings of significance than I do.

As said before, this isn’t nostalgia. Its something different. It’s a realization. I realized that things were so much “simpler”. Not in the sense of just a child being blissfully unaware of things but just things tended to be more “point A to point B”. I am specifically talking about high school. While I am grateful for my high school years, I do not wish to return to them. I miss the “feeling” of my existence back then. My existence comprised of several straightforward routines. I knew few people personally. I was able to lose myself in my own reality easier. I can’t say the same thing now. My day now is constructed from several complex routines. I now have more people  I know personally. I cannot dive into myself as easily as before (even though most days it is still ridiculously easy).

It is very hard to get the feeling I am describing into words. I suppose you can call it a paradigm shift. The most frustrating part was that things got unnecessarily complicated about three years ago. There wasn’t as much red tape. I never had to deal with drama. I never had to deal with other people’s emotions as much as I do now. Even with this paradigm shift, I tried to apply old tactics to a new world. In the end, I caught the burn from the backdraft and I realized I had to reevaluate my strategy to this new battle. I had to adapt. I had to learn new tactics. My failure to relate to people, especially those of the opposite sex – would have to be reevaluated. It wasn’t something I wanted to do but if I wanted to carve out a decent existence for myself, I would have to.

I did adapt and I did get new tactics. It wasn’t easy and it took a span of several months to myself but I did it. Because of that, I now know the common denominator in existence. Evolution.

I’m not “there” yet, but I’ll get there.

 

– Scotia

Regret

Regret is probably the one single feeling that I would never wish on anyone, not even my greatest enemies. Regret has been the destroyer of many. It is like a parasite that eats and erodes away at the inside until there’s nothing left but a hollow shell of a man, pining away till their dying day. Many have said to live life without regrets but I don’t think that’s possible. Indecision takes hold of a person and makes them sweat to choose between even the most simple choices. Some are more indecisive than others but there are decisions that are hard for even the most iron-willed of men. Regret doesn’t even have to be about decisions. It can be the inability to take action or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe these do all have to do with decisions.

The only way to eliminate regret is if we had some way where we could see all possible choices that would occur at any given decision to be made at that time. That would only be possible through the power of precognition. As of this writing, humanity does not have that ability made to us. Hopefully we never will.

I have regrets but they are all encompassed within the one sole regret: me wishing I was a better person. In those times I failed to act, failed to make conscious decisions, failed to choose the right option, they’re all encompassed in me wishing I was a better person. Better in the sense of braver, more clear-headed, more ethically sound.

Being a better person. Yeah, that’s it. That’s just what the doctor ordered.

 

 

– Scotia

The Suspended Generation

Radiohead – Optimistic (Right Click to open in new window/tab)

Radiohead might have more to say on this subject than I do, but I’ll give it my best shot anyway.

These days, I can’t help but think of heavier things. With the state of the world right now, any logical thinking human being would. I usually tend to meditate on the past but lately, I’ve been looking to the future. What does the future entail? Well, I guess it depends on your point of view I suppose. If you’re past your prime, in your twilight years, you may have already bought a house, had a family, and established a good retirement fund. Your progeny may have already had children of their own or maybe are well on their way to being married.  You’ve probably already conquered your inner demons and slashed out all doubts you had about yourself. With age, a better knowledge of self tends to come with the territory. It most likely will be smooth sailing for you as you enter the final quarter of your life.

If you’re like me, young, brash, and full of bravado, then the future may be full of doubt or fear even. As a 20 year old, I struggle to find myself in the cosmos of it all. You may call this just another case of growing up, but I’m not buying it. Everyday, as I read the newspaper, watch television, and look on the internet, I see nothing but bad news everywhere. I see nations slipping into defaults, I see stagnant economies, I see war, I see countries building nuclear programs, I see politicians bickering and squabbling amongst themselves failing to arrive at a middle ground. Its nothing but bad news.

A lot of times I hear from people older than me, “Scotia, this isn’t the world I grew up in. Things have changed”. No doubt. I vividly remember one of my uncles telling me he was able to go to college and work part time while paying for his school fees. Why can’t we do that anymore? Why is everything so expensive? Is it greed or something else?

My generation is one that was raised off of reality television, excessive advertising, instantaneous text messaging, and Internet sites such as Myspace and Facebook. I don’t see children going outside anymore, they’re sitting inside on the computer, their video games, and their cellphones. We don’t ask girls out in person. We send them an innocuous little message over Facebook. There’s no passing notes in class. It’s now “sexting”. Instead of living for others, we are narcissistic people intent on making the world revolve around us. Facebook facilitates this process even more. The more likes you have on your posts, the cooler you are. Our ultimate self-worth is defined by our online presence on Facebook. That is what we live for.

Then there’s college. Oh college. More young people now than ever are going to college. I mean, education is nice and all, but I can’t help but ask some people “why are you here?” All some people do is drink and party and BS. These people then graduate with a BS (harharharharharharharharharharharharyouseewhatididthere) in some degree *cough*Business*cough* *cough*Communication Studies*cough* and then go out into the job market. Some people don’t take college seriously and ruin in for a lot of other people because they wish to be selfish and create the “college experience”. Can’t see a future, so I guess I’ll just drink and smoke my life away, right? Maximum payout with little effort, give me that A just for showing up.

Now when we go out to look for jobs, the job market is dismal. Our parents certainly didn’t have to go through this. Even if they are unemployed, at least they are established. How will we even start? Our concerns are valid. A lot of the jobs have been outsourced. Instead of having 5 people competing for one job, there’s now 50 people. Is it the recession? Or is it because a lot more people have degrees? Or maybe a deadly double whammy of both?

What is to become of my generation? Where do we fit in all of this? Is there even a space for us to fit in? What will happen when our parents leave this earth and we literally have to deal with the sins of our fathers? Enormous national debt, environmental degradation, and mutually assured nuclear destruction is not what I signed up for. It just feels like a lot of the older generation just simply doesn’t care about the younger generation. That’s not a good thing. The generation of World War I was called the “Lost Generation”. The generation of World War II was called the “Greatest Generation”. The generation of our grandparents were called the “Baby Boomers”. Our parents’ generation is called “Generation X”. Our generation is officially called “Generation Y”.

Well, I’ve got a new name for us and anyone who comes after. We are “The Suspended Generation”. We’re stuck in limbo waiting for us to drop into the abyss or for us to ascend into the heavens. We are more open-minded, we know more about certain concepts, and we have more information at our fingertips than any previous generation in history. We are also scared. We are so scared. For good reason. The decisions of those who come before us will affect us more than they know. They keep us this way. Until they realize this and invest their future in us with a sincere, honest effort, we will continue to be this way.

The Reason I Still Fight

Southern California Malibu by 45SURF Hero's Journey Mythology Goddesses on flickr

The sun beats down in the early day. Gunpowder shots deafen ears. The soldiers fall back and regroup. They run through the hilly valleys and disappear into the forests. More soldiers come into the fray from the sides, leaping over the fences and through the fields to engage in combat. Are they on the fight for the right? Whose to say.

Life is warfare. Everyone knows that. Some people are on the front lines, others fire the artillery, others give the orders. No matter where we are in the quasi-political hierarchy of life, we are all fighting for something. For some, it is love. For others, it is family. For the rest, it is for self-preservation. I fight for none of these things. I fight because I have dreams. I have a direction I want to choose in life. I have seen the future. It is murky, but it is solid. It is like peering through a rippling body of water and seeing an obelisk sitting on the floor yet not witnessing its distinct shape.

"Murky" by theothermattm on flickr

Being that I have only entered my second decade of life, my dreams and ambitions have often been derided by those that are much older than I am. These “elder statesmen” with their hubris have pushed my dreams aside like junk sitting on a work desk. I have often encountered the statements “you’re too young to know right now”, “you haven’t lived yet”, and “wait until you get my age”. These were the same people that have told me to reach for the stars and if I miss that I will land on the moon among other cliches…

I am seen as being overly ambitious and overly serious. I have been told to “lighten up”, to “live a little”. I suppose it is unusual to see someone who is 20 years old with a drive as strong as mine. As a healthy heterosexual 20 year old male, I am expected to drink as much as possible, commit reckless and often life-threatening behavior, and have as much sex before I become “tied down”. None of this has ever made much sense to me and I doubt it ever will. Since I do not conform to the behavioral standards set by a large majority of my male contemporaries, I am seen as “prudish”, “regimented”, and “odd”. In my opinion, a worldview based on finding your way inside a woman’s “Chinese box” at the end of the night is simply unsustainable and counterproductive.

I cannot blame these people, for they do not understand that I have nothing to lose but so much to gain. I have nothing to lose in the sense that I have not built anything up and I can only increase my standing. Then again, I do have something to lose. No one is waiting for me to fail with the exception of myself. If I do not reach my goals that I have set for myself, then I will consider myself a failure. The situation is too dire and the stakes are too high for me to fail, even though I hypothetically have nothing to lose.

Now that I have gone on about why I must succeed, it is a logical step to say what exactly I want out of life. The first and foremost thing I want out of life is relocation. The phrase location, location, location has always been important in life’s modern warfare and it will become ever more so within the coming years. I want to move out west. California to be more specific. I know what you’re thinking. “Everybody moves to California”. Well, there’s a good reason for that. California is known as being one of the most geographically diverse states in the continental United States and it has great temperatures all year round. However, I don’t want to move to Los Angeles and call it a day. To be more specific, I want to eventually move to this place in California called Big Sur.

Big Sur by carl_l_grant on flickr

Big Sur by karith on flickr

Big Sur by Slippy Jenkins on flickr

For those unfamiliar with Big Sur, it is a region on California’s Central Coast about a little halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is a three hour drive to San Francisco from there and a five hour drive to Los Angeles from there, that is if you take Highway 1 and if there is no traffic. Big Sur is a popular tourist location and for good reason. It is hard for me not to think of Big Sur and think of the values of freedom, mystery, and optimism. Big Sur is just a vast wilderness that begs for the adventurous to explore her curvy bends and tall mountain valleys. It is the perfect mix of forest and coastline.

However, as with many Californian cities, real estate here is expensive. That is why it is important for me to really shoot high and develop a game plan. I know this will not happen overnight, but it will happen. It MUST happen. I do not plan on moving to Big Sur immediately. I plan on exploring other locales first. Not sure if I want to live in Southern California or some other place out West before I make the move to Big Sur later on. However, no matter where I end up in a couple years, I do feel that relocation is central to the ideals that I have in mind and the dreams I want to see fulfilled. Wanderlust. Providing for all needs without having to worry about lack of funds. A breath of fresh air. Satisfaction. A new view on life.

My current environment simply does not inspire me. It motivates me, but it does not inspire me. My primary interest in life is creating art in all forms and I feel that my current environment is stifling and not providing me with the resources I need to do some truly great things. I believe a lot of other young people can relate to my situation, especially those with lofty goals and ambitions. Many of us are stuck in limbo, that uncomfortable space of being let go from your parents’ arms and trying to remember your lessons on how to fly so that you do not hit the ground. It’s that numbing space where you are trying to establish yourself as a free thinking adult, yet you are told by others that you are naive and that you know nothing. It’s discouraging at least, completely heartshattering at the very most.

Some people may disagree with me and say that paradise is what you make it. That may be true, but I have certainly tried to make the best out of my situation and I am certainly trying. However, I have lived here for too long and I need to get out there and see some other things. I am restless and my feet agree.

This is what motivates me everyday. This is what makes me get up at 6:30 am every day. This is what creates the faint tingle that keeps me up at night. This is what makes me put my nose to the grindstone every day, making sure all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s are crossed.

Whenever I’m down and feeling as if I’m on my last legs in the midst of this unforgiving modern warfare, I just think to the future about my house in California in Big Sur overlooking the Pacific Ocean and then I feel as if for once, that everything will be alright.

– Scotia

Big Sur Sunset by sbisson on flickr

How The Cards Lie

 

I’ve discussed something along the lines of this post in earlier times. I believe the post was called Fortune. This is a slightly expanded version of that post. From birth, we are born with a set of cards. They are given to us by none other than our parents. Our parents cards were given to them by their parents and so on and so forth. This cycle will continue until humanity decides to call it quits. We are all players at a table. The table is determined by our location and our circumstances. Are the players our friends? Our enemies? Or maybe a masterful combination of both? I guess it depends on how you look at it. Some players can create a ruse, something that they hope you fall for. Is it that distraction in the corner? Or maybe it’s that smoky-eyed brunette sitting across the table.

Every player gets nervous when sitting at the table because they do not know what cards are up the sleeves of the others. Is it something that can contribute to their downfall, no matter how well prepared they are for it? Is it a card that can end the game as soon as it’s laid out? Or maybe it’s a card that will put all of their entire hand to shame and cause the player to literally “quit”.

Some hands overall are better than others, but every hand has some type of ace. Some people are better at more important skills, some people possess more important attribute. Some people are better at ping-pong. Some people are better at checkers. Some people are stronger. Faster. Better. More athletic. Taller. Some people are more easily able to grasp certain concepts better than others. Some are more or less emotionally sensitive than others. Some people make friends easier. Some people are more attractive. The list goes on.

The real question is what happens when a player that has a terrible hand is at the same table with someone that has a very dominant hand? Is the player no longer a person? Is he or she so insignificant when compared to this titan that it would be in their best interest to fold and cease a losing battle? What happens then? What happens when years of mental conditioning of “everyone is special in their own way” falls apart? How can this be justified by the game of life?

How can one that has a terrible hand in life make the best out of a bad situation when their hand is virtually useless?

 

These are all questions that I do not have the answers to, nor do I think I ever will.

I know one thing for certain. No matter what the hand is like, I hate how the cards lie.

 

There is no reshuffling of the deck.

 

– Scotia

Walks

On nice days, I enjoy taking walks. They help to cleanse the palette and they create a warmness on the soul. I tend to think quite a lot when I walk, especially when observing other human beings and watching the activities of life take place. When I walk, I either have a defined destination or I just walk in a semi-roundabout way back to my starting point. If I have a defined destination, I tend to stay for a while. If I’m walking back to where I started, I tend to walk for a while. Either way, I find that being away from my original starting point gives me a new perspective on things.

On Thursday, it was a nice day in my neck of the woods. I decided to take one of these walks and see if I could figure some things out. There are certain things I find I haven’t made much progress on yet I yearn to do so. This is one of the reasons I take walks. Then there are certain things I get a better perspective on because I’m thinking about them more and more. There are things I have come to conclusions on, during my recent walks.

  • A lot of people are good people with bad tendencies. A lot of people just simply don’t know how to express this side of themselves. Everyone is capable of empathy but choose not to exercise this so that they will not appear vulnerable. In this man-to-man competition called life, I can’t really blame them. We say bad things to one another and put each other down because we are scared. Of everything.
  • There is not someone for everyone, no matter what anyone says. Some people will just end up being alone. Being that spinster with 1000 cats. Why is this? Could be a variety of reasons. Could be that there is no one compatible or could be fear of getting into some type of relationship. Some people just have certain personality traits that put them at the end of the queue for relationships. It sucks, but its one of those unfortunate things in life some people will have to deal with. Am I in this category? Maybe, maybe not. However, as the days pass and the sand slips through the hourglass, all signs are pointing to a very probable “yes”.
  • People worry too much about the unimportant things. Or maybe it’s because I find I’m not really giving too much of a shit about anything. I’ve always considered myself a laidback person and it really aggravates some people. I guess its because I’ve seen past the bullshit or maybe it’s because I couldn’t even see at all. I just figure that everyone’s going to die one day and all the little things we worry about won’t matter. Maybe I’m thinking too long term but that’s how I view it anyway.
  • People waste too much time. A lot of things aren’t streamlined. A lot of people are unfocused and blame it on external occurrences. Maybe if people stopped spending hours upon end on Facebook, the world would be a much better place. Then again, I think I’m asking for too much.
  • I’m fortunate that I have been at the right places at the right time and I have met people that have added to my life. I often wonder how my life would be different if I hadn’t met this person on this day and so on and so forth.

 

So, that’s the subject matter that I thought of on my most recent walk. Not the most enthralling subjects, but still they’re subjects nonetheless. So there you have it: things I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of days.

Can’t wait for my next walk.

 

 

– Scotia