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

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Envy

Envy is a strong emotion. Also referred to as “invidiousness”, it is one of the most intense emotions we can ever experience as a human being. Envy starts as a seed planted somewhere within the soul. It takes root, watering itself on the tears of longing. It grows by resentment. What was once a small kindle eventually erupts into an unquenchable firestorm. Envy is guaranteed to burn alive the essence of even the strongest man, leaving nothing behind but a shallow husk that mumbles and grumbles to itself. That is what envy does.

Envy is born as a result of seeing qualities in others that we feel we lack in ourselves or that we wish we had in ourselves. Envy stems from inadequacy and that stems from a misunderstanding of the true nature of the universe. Everyone has been envious at one point or another in their lives, people are just too proud to admit it. Everyone tries to appear as if they lead a rosy life full of puppies and sunshine but that is certainly not the case.

I have felt envy before. I remember how it felt. It was as if my inner being was being seared with a coal poker. Envy is often not verbalized. One does not think the thoughts “Oh, I wish I was as strong as that guy” or “I wish I was as pretty as that girl”. Envy tends to be a reactionary, reflexive emotion rather than one that is default. It seems to be the body’s defense mechanism against a threat.

When I envy, I tend to get sad rather than angry as I am not an angry person. I then start to dwell on what I lack compared to that person. I then dwell on the question “are these traits fixable?” “If not, what can I do to fix them?” If they are not, then I tend to sink in sadness more. Fun, isn’t it?

I have noticed that most of the time people tend to envy what they cannot have. The subconscious knows this. The ego knows this. When one envies, the population is seperated into two parts: you and the rival. The rival is a threat to you because they are better than you. You then fear that the rival will become dominant and that you will cease to exist. Evolutionary programming at its finest.

Envy is no fun. It is accompanied by a great feeling of distress, helplessness, and hopelessness. There is no panacea for envy. In order to envy less, you must have more.

 

Let’s just hope that you were dealt the right hand in life.

 

 

– Scotia

Snow

Watching snow fall on the ground is quite comforting. Yes, it’s snowing in October. Maybe its some kind of sign or just an indication of the region. If I were to move to warmer climes, I would miss having snow. Its my favorite part of colder weather. Its amazing how each of the snowflakes that drop are unique from each other. From our human eye it looks like nothing special but when put under x100 magnification, it can look quite divine. Even if it looks dreary outside, it is made up for the fact that its snowing, even if sledding or building snowmen isn’t a possibility. Still, even with snow, there is still the fact that there are massive swaths of homeless people who have nowhere warm to stay and it makes me quite sad. Maybe one day in the future, less homeless people will have to suffer from the cold.

If this weather is any indication of the winter ahead, then buckle up. Its going to be a rough one.

– Scotia