Of Past Days


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



As one progresses through certain stages in their life, they will encounter many different people. There are many from different walks of life. That is why it is in one’s best interest to keep an open-mind when it comes to these types of things. “These things” being people in general. It helps to facilitate a good working relationship and base for your interactions with others. Not everyone is going to share the same views as that backwater town you came from.

As stated before, you meet people. You make friends from these people. You make enemies from these people. You make disguised friends from these people. Most people will usually have a good group of friends and will usually end up having a neutral relationship with them. Most people will usually not feel ambivalent or strongly about anything they do or say mainly because of the fact that these people are politically-correct and will avoid confrontation at all costs. There is nothing wrong with avoiding confrontation but when you have to compromise your opinions in the sake of being “politically-correct”, then you have a problem.

Then there will be a portion of people that usually tend to polarize people. Some will usually have a negative to extremely negative view of the person (whether justified or not) and some will have a positive to extremely positive view of the person (whether justified or not). The actual percentage breakdown is dependent on the individual. The actions that the individuals have taken to get here are also dependent as well.

As on par the course with nature, there will be some humans that will decide to rise above the quicksand that is known as complacency. They are the driven ones, they are the ones that wish to carve out a better existence for themselves and the people they are in close contact with. They wish to thrive and strive to be the best they can be. As one climbs the social, monetary, physical (insert adjective here) ladder there will be people that will drag them down.  They are known in 21st century vernacular as “haters”. Many people brag about having haters, this is quite common in our cybernarcissistic hamster-wheel attention span culture. Having haters is a sign that you’re doing something right, no? The reality is, most people have not done much of anything to justify having a large span of haters other than being a complete asshole or jerk to people they meet. These people haven’t done anything revolutionary, they haven’t done anything innovative, they haven’t done anything creative. If they have any haters, it’s because of simple asshattery, nothing more nothing less.

Then, there are the people that have a large amount of “haters” simply because they are successful in some type of mastery. Whether it be business, arts, or sciences. People will be jealous of what they cannot attain. Mastery means putting in the work and effort to become a “master” in your given field, which correlates to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory. Many people are simply too lazy, unintelligent, or impatient to achieve mastery over anything. It is expected in this instant gratification culture to instantly be good at anything. No. It didn’t work for your grandparents and it sure as shit won’t work for you.

When mastery or dominance in an area is on its way to be achieved, there will be naysayers that will come out of the woodwork. Many of them will come out unexpected places. Many of them might end up being very close to you. These people will often tell you that your dreams, goals, and ambitions are foolish and you are better off doing nothing. The goal of these people is just to keep everyone who wish to follow their dreams down so that they will not have feelings of inadequacy every time they see you making a breakthrough. These people were too scared or lacked the resources to make their own breakthrough, now they are stopping yours.

The only way to reach Tahoe’s peak is to cast off these naysayers and plow ahead. A type of solipsistic self-indulgence is necessary, one that borders on the edge of narcissism in order to guard against this threat to sanity.  People gravitate towards mastery and dominance. That is why people in the upper echelons have more hangers on than they know what to do with.
The key, like everything in life, is to separate the good from the bad.


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 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

The Life of the Lonely Individual

I’ve written about Loneliness before. This goes a little bit more indepth. There seems to be a huge confusion on the distinction between being alone and being lonely. Being alone is just the act of being by yourself. Being lonely is the longing to be with other human beings. Being alone can have a positive connotation. For example, a person can be alone and be perfectly happy as long as he feels fulfilled not necessarily by other people but by life in general. The lonely person is an individual who at their very core feels misunderstood and isolated from other human beings. Longings to rid oneself of being misunderstood is the core of loneliness. If you are like most people, loneliness is a temporal state and is quickly rectified by the reassertion of community and camaraderie with others. Loneliness for most people tends to be a fluctuating state of affairs that the individual will eventually realize ebbs and flows like the tidal cycles of the world’s oceans.

There are many people in the modern world that for one reason or another find themselves being lonely at one time or another. That’s just how society is structured. However, as aforementioned it passes. Unfortunately, there are many people for which loneliness is a constant reminder of their differences from society and their inability to connect with other human beings on either a platonic or romantic level. These people who experience chronic loneliness are those that are often put on the fringes of society for not “fitting in”. Humanity has a herd mentality that has subsisted from bygone eras and we will do anything to be in favor of the spectator and society as a whole. The people who experience loneliness the most are the homeless and the gifted.

The homeless feel denigrated by society and hide their shame of not having any money nor any place to stay. Homelessness is a sad state of affairs in our great society and it should be something that should be unacceptable. Inevitably, there will be people who are indeed homeless as the unemployment rate can never be 0. However, the amount of homeless people should be vastly reduced if we wish to call ourselves a great society. At the core of homelessness is the feeling of being misunderstood, which again concentrates their inherent loneliness.

The gifted are people who have felt misunderstood all their lives. They have been cast out from society as being “too weird”, too irreverent, or even worse to the opposite sex – too socially awkward (not in all cases). Their ideas have been ridiculed as myopic or too self indulgent, not applicable to a larger framework of ill-laid plans. These people with abnormally high IQs or ways of thinking have often been the paragon of thought, the liberators of this ungrateful species from the dark ages, the saviors of humanity from the pool of primordial slush from where we once spawned. They are writers, artists, poets, inventors, social activists, warriors, commanders. Leaders. Still, even then with all their services to their fellow human beings, they are cast aside and looked at something as less than human. For example, Radiohead one of the most revolutionary group of musicians to ever walk the face of the planet have had their music dismissed by some critics as self-indulgent, boring, and as one girl I know said: “too depressing”.

There are many people who do not fall into these two groups but a large portion of people who experience chronic loneliness do. They feel misunderstood at their core. Unfortunately, there is no solution for chronic loneliness and the people who experience this must live a life looking inside through the glass while everyone on the inside does not even know they are doing so. It is an unfortunate series of events that there are people who will never be able to experience what community is because they are different from the rest of society. Occasionally, someone bending light will come along to perk up the wilted flower but more often than not that is not the case.  Living a life of loneliness and being misunderstood is their cross to bear and their end will be their inevitable crucifixion by way of their own misunderstanding.

– Scotia


In every college student’s life there comes a much dreaded time of year – Finals Week. This week and the preceding weeks are accompanied by much stress, confusion, desperation, panic, and gnashing of teeth. I feel like a calm island in the sea of chaos as I witness my peers talk frantically about how they need to stay up all night to study for an exam the next day or to turn in a paper that is due tomorrow. I often wondered how students fell into this trap. Procrastination, yes but I feel that there is an underlying issue at hand here. Even since freshman year, I managed to turn in all my assignments on time with little stress. Half of the time, I manage to do turn things early or study early. I then find the week before finals as a way to center myself for the week ahead.

After much contemplation, I have come to discover that the underlying issue is one of ego destruction. Ego destruction is exactly what it sounds like, destruction of who you are, your sense of self. Finals week requires that you give your all and nothing less if you wish to succeed. This means you must destroy who you are and suspend all of your desires and beliefs. Basically two of the things that make you – you. Ego destruction is a very difficult thing to do, even for a person who has destroyed their ego various times in the course of their life, like I have. Every time, it manages to get a little easier but it still hurts. What are the benefits of ego destruction at finals week? Razor-sharp focus, dedication towards studying and reviewing, time management, and many other habits that are beneficial towards the completion of the goal of finals week – success. As an interesting aside, many individuals who take high does of psychedelics (lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA) report feelings of ego death during the duration of their “trip” and residual feelings afterwards.

Today, I was in the library in the early hours of the morning. I heard a girl on a phone with someone, most likely her parents. She was crying uncontrollably and talking about how she felt so misunderstood and how she felt like she was slowly falling apart. I was not eavesdropping, but she was talking so loud that I could not help but hear her. I felt bad because I knew that there was nothing to do and I genuinely felt sorry for her. I can only imagine how many other people feel like this. Ego destruction is something that must be willed before an opposing force comes to destroy your own ego. When you yourself destroy your own ego and accept this, the hard part has been done by you. When a force comes and destroys your ego, it will shatter it into parts that may or may not be retrievable. It is akin to the strategic breaking of damaged bones by doctors so that it can heal correctly, rather than risking an improper heal without intervention. Ego destruction sounds frightening, but it can be an interesting process because it lets you know what type of person you are and how much you can take. This girl was not ready for finals week and because of this, it shattered her. What is the damage? Only the doctor knows.

No painting nails, no playing guitar, no reading of books, no going shopping to the mall, no talking long hours on the phone to your boyfriend, no cooking of birthday cakes, no spending long hours on Facebook. All of these must be suspended until the task is done.

If you manage to prepare early enough, you may not have to undergo ego destruction. Still, everyone does at some point in their life, whether consciously or unconsciously. Finals week will break everybody in some way. The question isn’t how much you can take before you break, it is if you will be able to pick up the pieces of who you were and reassemble yourself at the end of the day.

– Scotia

“A Happy, Productive Life”

From a young age, we are told that the meaning to our life is defined by what we accomplish in this world. Accomplishments come in the form of all sorts of things. They can come in the form of awards given out in the formative years of elementary and middle school such as “1st Place” in a reading competition or maybe in the form of trophies for exemplary performance in athletic performance. As we grow older, past the college years our life’s worth is defined by how much money we generate through our various endeavors. We are made to believe that a rich person’s life is inherently worth more than someone who is homeless. Of course, everyone would desire some form of comfort and security in income. We are told we must work hard and make the best of ourselves in order to outwit, outlast, outplay, and out-earn. But what about people who have no interests in these things? What about the people who have no vested interest in this competition – man to man that burns out the soul faster than even the hottest of otherworldly fires?

In order to advance in society, a person must sacrifice their entire person. Profit maximization requires a destruction of someone somewhere along the line, whether it be from consumer, worker, or manager. Time must be invested into these endeavors, something that seems to be shrinking everyday. The regular shift is 9-5 and becoming a drone is mandatory. We work tirelessly so that we can have some chance in advancing in society and afford the finer things in life. So we can have wealth, so we can have status. In the end, we lose ourselves. If we do not meet these goals that society meets for us, we are considered failures and are branded as undesirable outcasts.

When I think of people who are the highly revered in society, they tend to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, businessmen. These people tend to toil for hours and hours on end in the pursuit of cash. They then lose themselves. It’s no secret that these people have deteriorating familial relationships and for good reason. What’s the point of making tons of money and then coming home late and only spending 2 hours with your family until you have to go to bed?

There are two brothers. One is a hedge fund manager at a reputable investment group. The other works as an independent artist, selling his works making money here and there. Which brother do you think mother and father are more likely to introduce more proudly at a familial gathering? The hedge fund brother’s familial life may be falling apart at the seams but he is the one who they’ll be more proud of.

Isn’t living a creative existence filled with life-enhancing moments enough? Why can’t we be happy instead of going after more? It’s one thing to want a nice house and live modestly. It’s another to desire excess and lose your soul to keep it. I just hope one day that I won’t have to sacrifice myself just so I can live the way I want to rather than what society demands of me.

– Scotia