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

Children

Children are an interesting thing. They’re sentient enough to cause trouble, but not sentient enough to understand the gravity or the consequences of the trouble they often cause. They cost a fortune to maintain (if you’re doing your job right), and then they may often mess up a lot of your life’s plans. I could never understand why people have children. To some people they bring joy, to others; much heartache. They are the cause of a million missed appointments and time well spent at work. When I look back at my childhood, I was a relatively easy child to deal with compared to some of my contemporaries, but I guess that had a lot to do with how I was raised.

Either way, there is no sneaking around the fact that children use up valuable time and money. Still, the question remains: why do people have children? I have told myself even since a young age, that I would never have children. It is senseless. We have evolved beyond reproduction and we now have greater pursuits to worry about.

With the world in its current incarnation of FUBAR version 2.1.5, I would never bring another soul into this world. The world is so full of so many bad things and why would I want someone else to experience all of these bad things? The world has many good things, but I certainly feel that the bad things tend to outweigh the good. The fact that I would be responsible for another person possibly hating their life would kill me. I just feel that this life is pretty much like a curse and everyone who hasn’t be born got lucky. People say that if some people haven’t been born, then they wouldn’t get to experience certain good things. Well, if you don’t exist, you have no knowledge of good or bad so therefore you would not be missing out.

I feel really sorry for children that grow up in adverse environments because they didn’t choose their fate. They were placed there by someone else. A lot of people are unfit to be parents but they have children anyway. Its just simply not right to not give a child a chance. That is why all moves must be calculated beforehand.

Children get the short end of the stick. They inherit the sins of the father. They are dependent on others.They are the ones that get their opinions devalued. They have the most to lose when a parent dies or their parents split up.

People who have children, take better care of them, even if they do cause a bunch of trouble. They didn’t ask to be called Billy or Marissa or Robert. For bringing them into this messed up world, it’s the least you can do.

 

– 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

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

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

Fortune

I have spent many nights lying in my bed pondering why some men have good luck and others have luck of the worst kind. Why some people can’t catch a break while others manage to get away with well, just about everything. Why some people have better family lives, better relationships, better genes. There are a million and one questions I can ask about the seemingly disproportionate nature of fortune.

Why do some people manage to go their entire lives without seeing a shred of tragedy except from a distance in the news and on television? Why must some people endure the trauma of divorce of their parents and then told to “get over it” as soon as possible? Why are some people born to parents that give them up for adoption? Why do some people have extraordinary talents and others have none to speak of? Why some people born literally mentally retarded? Why do some people find themselves surrounded by a huge network of support when things go south and others discarded to the side no better than the crumpled potato chip bag in the parking lot? Why are some people born in god forsaken locales on Earth, dying before they ever get a chance to live? Why do the grandparents of some people die before they ever get to know their names? Why will some people eventually develop something such as Multiple Sclerosis or Alzheimer’s? Why are some people able to crash two Corvettes in a year and have money to spare to buy a third one and pay for the sky high insurance? Why must some people work three jobs just to exist? Why are some people able to just burn and incinerate money like firewood and have more money to to burn up? Why do some people lose it all? Why do people have nothing to lose? See, I could continue on for eternity this way.

People say overcoming adversity brings new life. That may be true. However, for every one story of someone overcoming adversity, there’s 1000 others who just didn’t make it. Don’t believe me? Go take a drive through the impoverished areas of your local city and look around. Dilapidated housing projects. People standing on the corner with no direction. A boy with drugs in his pocket running across the street to make his next sale. Lost. Hopeless. You can feel the desperation creeping through your tightly rolled up windows. From birth, they didn’t stand a chance. Wrong place at the wrong time. Lack of ambition? Maybe. Lack of hope, a thing they don’t even know exists? Sure.

Yet, the real issue at hand isn’t the questions after the interrogative. It is rather interrogative itself.

The “why” of these things happen is a loaded question. It all depends on what you believe in.

If you subscribe to the Buddhist worldview, fortune is attained by good karma from your last reincarnation. If you were a good person in the grand scheme of the universe in your last life, you are now dealt a favorable hand from birth in this life. If you have a terrible hand in this life, then you were undoubtedly an evil son-of-a-bitch in your last life and you are now paying dearly for it.

If you subscribe to the Hindu worldview (depending on which sect), then Brahman (or his many variations) created you and you are tempted by good and evil, bad luck and good luck constantly to determine your karma in this life (dependent on sect, but this is the mainstream polytheistic version).

If you subscribe to the Christian and Muslim worldviews, then God/Allah is responsible for your fortune. God/Allah gave you these things in life because he knew that you were strong enough to deal with it and it will make you a better person. Additionally, your troubles in life can be lessened if you pray to God/Allah and praise him for all your days. Pray to the man in the sky and it will be alright.

If you are a nihilist, then nothing matters because we all die anyway so we can cry and sob all we want but it does not change the finality of death.

If you are a deist, then a higher power made the world sent it spinning and did not touch it at all and fortune is just chance.

I have a problem with pretty much all of these worldviews, especially those that are dependent on deities. I just feel like it seems like all the people who have all the fortune in the world don’t know what to do with it. However, there is a chance that if you are sitting here reading this, you have much better fortune than someone else. But why must this disproportion even exist? Why can’t we all be sitting here on our computers reading blogs? Is there actually a proportion to the amount of good luck and bad luck in the universe? Is the total sum of good luck and bad luck equal, just like the law of the conservation of energy? Perhaps. I don’t know. Until the underlying forces of the universe reveal themselves to me, I will never know why. I will most likely die before I reach a conclusion.

I guess we’ll all have to do the best with what we have, even if it is more or less than others.

Sometimes though, our best just simply isn’t good enough. For anyone.

– Scotia