10/20/2017

Knowledge is cumulative; that much I know. A piece here, a piece there, and soon the puzzle builds upon itself and I reap the high of that discovery. And though there will always be more to learn, each acquisition brings a joy, however fleeting and momentary – the sensation that indeed, we can learn it all, know it all, feel a part of it all.

But then, there lies the crushing downfall too. There are pieces I am missing. Pieces I can’t access. It’s not the 999 pieces already in place that counts, it’s just that last thousandth. Why does completeness matter so to me? Can’t I find satisfaction in the overwhelming rest?

Maybe it’s for the better I do not know. After all, what would knowing what I don’t right now for that one puzzle achieve? Other puzzles wait ahead. But hell, nostalgia is a force too strong, a mystery too compelling to outright dismiss even as I pretend otherwise.

This is sounding too much of a jumbled mess. My eyes are giving in to slumber. Perhaps pick up the pondering train on the other side of consciousness…as if I could do otherwise.

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10/19/2017

Boy, vacations of the mind sure have a habit of going extended, don’t they? Two weeks of productivity, and two weeks of utter zilch in output. I could value consistency on principle, but living that concept has been a personal failure…

Good news is, I have good news to be cheerful for, not least of which is a new position on the horizon. In a funny way, I am right back to where I started last October, almost to a tee. The difference this time I suppose is one more year of age and wisdom (presumably), one more year of distance from…you know, and one year closer to getting over myself and finishing my degree. I meet in myself my toughest adversary: and since we’re equally skilled, it’s been a hell of a challenge to surpass.

Other good news…let’s see. I’m back to being my jolly self 90% of the time. It’s supposedly a perk, so I gotta make the most of it. Maybe find a way to bottle it and save some for those darker clouds passing by every so often.

Goal from now till November: get that first draft in. Nothing else matters. Nothing. Not even if the confidant returns…okay, well maybe I’ll spare a day on that, but just one. October has that extra 31st day for a reason, does it not? Hah.

09/21/2017

“Only” took a year and four months, but I think my mentality of you is finally where it needs to be. No denials, no wishing for alternatives, just is what is. Seeing any reminder elicits warmness for a familiar face without the accompanying solemnness. I even manage smiling, occasionally bordering a small laugh!

I miss you now as I would an incognito friend. I miss our seamless conversations flowing like a dance between two hummingbirds midflight. Simply put, I just plain miss you. But I understand where we are at. I wouldn’t say it’s the best of places, yet there is contentment here. Whatever it is you’re up to, I hope you’re happy, healthy, and achieving all you strive for. I know you’d wish the same for me; let’s keep that a secret between us then, yeah? Hah.

Back to the academic fray I go then – back to the chaos born of words and thoughts as I try to level up some more.

09/16/2017

Feels good to be productive lately. Feels good in general, despite my lack of milestones…but hey, take the victories where they come. It’s been a year of being a shell, a husk of my own sunlight not shining. There’s still 3.5 months left to be bright and optimistic, to be what I am known for and what I strive to output.

Missed SIOP’s deadline by 20 minutes earlier this week, which sucked. All on me though, the little lapses of discipline of those 4 days leading to, all me and no one else to blame. At least the paper’s written, but that’s of little consolation. Time to look beyond that though; if nothing else, this should be the year where I learn how dull and disappointing dwelling on missed shots can be. Not to mention also largely pointless…

Instead, learn. Learn and don’t ever stop. Use that energy, that frustration, that sadness, use it all as fuel for your sunlight. I know I can contribute to this world, to my own little spot on it, to make what little bit of it better for my own being there. Instead of counting my misses and leaving it there, learn from them and make the next shot count. And the one after, and the one after that.

I get plenty of rest. I don’t need to squander my waking as well. Writing is on hiatus, but I still have writing to contribute elsewhere. And when I pick up the poetry again, I will give my renewed vigor there. Never stop trying. The road to best me is becoming a better me, hour by hour, day by day. And with some luck, I’ll get just enough days and chances to hit new peaks.

09/10/2017

What a day that was, productive for all the reasons having naught to do with me it seems. I should be tired, but I’m not. I should be joyous, but there’s just a dullness with a hint of hunger and imminent sleep.

I’ve been denying the inevitable for a bit too long. An excuse here or there to drag out a day otherwise to be spent productively. Vice, it seems, has a way of weaving into habits, and going through the motions by substituting between vices feel almost too comfortable. I’ve even lost weight, which seems odd. Perhaps the erratic schedule is taking its toll, a notion that should bother me far more so than it currently does.

It’s been a long time coming, but I think it’s finally time to shelf some things. Perhaps even this blog. Certainly most things on my laptop. At the very least my daily carousel of distractions. I owe it to myself to write things that needs to be written, not things I’d rather write at the whim of a moment. To move ahead, we have to leave behind. I keep putting some shackles on, as if being shackled by your vices is comfortable. I can’t have that.

Momentary fun has consumed so much of my year already. Suffer for progress then; my internal happiness will catch up sooner or later. I trust myself, yes – now’s the time to put that trust to the test. 3 days. Let’s start with the deadline in 3 days.

08/27/2017

If I focus only on what I don’t have, what sadness of a life that would be. Moment to moment, aiming for that just beyond reach. Some things have to be of course: a little frustration and a failure here and there keeps one motivated to stand up again after tripping on pride, vanity, or hubris. Whatever my virtues are, these vices prove a constant source for self-improvement.

Combat against my vices have been especially tough of late. Discipline has been lacking – where motivation fails, discipline has to pick up the slack. But when discipline is also absent, then I get what I have been all summer long: a rather slumping slide towards utter inactivity and nil for achievements worth mentioning. Things have been getting better of late, but I can do better still.

I’ve been saying goodbye a lot lately. Mostly to things and objects which I have used as sources of indulgence over these past months. Games, snacks, the occasional side-quest life makes available. Just a few things left here or there. The journey up the hill becomes easier the more weights we remove. I have to find comfort in the movement, should I choose to abandon comfort in the sedentary.

Would have been fun to have you around for the journey. We’d make good life journey companions from what I’ve seen. But hey, that’s the thing about traveling, sometimes people don’t wind up heading in the same direction. I hold out hope our roads will intersect again before too long, but unlike my vices, some things are harder to get a grasp on. Let’s hope then: it doesn’t cost so much between the tired steps along the upward tracks to hope. Bigger miracles have happened – I’m merely asking for a minor unlikelihood.

08/24/2017

The good:
-I can start to feel the results of my workout. There’s a ways to go, but the steps are taken. A good way of feeding my vanity without being all social media about it.
-Motivation and at least a some action on research. Summer has a way of slowing things down, as does game of thrones, LCS, and soon football season. And slow as pace goes, it’s not zero.
-Maybe it’s the workout. Maybe it’s the progress of everything however slow. Whatever the cause, I’ve been in a happy, positive state of mind.

The bad:
-Job hunt has been super slow. And who knows where I’ll end up, but it seems less likely by the day that here is an option. A humbling experience, if not a frustrating one.
-My pacing is off, my writing is off, but time is short and I need to find that groove sooner rather than later.
-And of course, I miss you much as ever. Platonically and not. I could use one of those effortless two-hour conversations. Hell, I’m smiling right now just recalling vague details about them.

7 days left of this month. Some of those days already accounted for. The rest to tackle my ever-growing list of pains and priorities. Pains, aches, soreness. Still not broken yet. Just self-improve and catch the opportunities present. I’ve had my share of disappointments, but hey, still here, still got me. Not much, relatively speaking, but a start.

08/09/2017

Some nights such as these, I can’t help but reminisce, and if I reminisce, it wouldn’t have been too long before my thoughts wander ‘round to you eventually. A good place, I might add. A happy one, despite how things played out. I am dually blessed and cursed with a positive disposition, which in this instance could be argued as a blessing.

Tonight, however, I miss the giggle in your laughter. I miss the effortlessness with which we dance and weave in our conversations. I’ve had dates since our last real chat, and let’s just say the difference is like a full moon to a clouded star. With you, I had difficulty ending our conversations; with some certain others, I can barely find a rhythm to start, let alone continue.

We’ve changed quite a bit, haven’t we? You really got into running and anime. I recently got back into working out again and shed the winter pounds. I got a new haircut too, less spiky and more comb-overy…an adulting look I suppose, hah. Your music taste is expansive as ever; my night owl ways are much the same, schedule permitting. I guess our cores are still the same, heh.

It’s been an odd year since you are gone again. Despite that, you’ve never been more present in the undercurrents of my thoughts. Life’s thrown me a couple curveballs since that I would have loved to chat with you about. I’m sure it’d probably done the same for you, which I would be more than happy to listen. But here we are, quiet as the midnight air, those words unspoken…

It does bring me joy though how we picked up so effortlessly last time. Maybe next time will be a bit more permanent. A happy soul can hope, right? Hah. So the saying goes though, “greatness is in knowing that it’s not about you.” I’m only half a story, and eager or willing as I ever am to write some more, we’ll need both of us to put something together. Something fun and charming, with a dash of over-the-top cosmic grandness (because why not). Being light-hearted was always a foundation for us, after all.

01/03/2016

It’s amazing how fast break ended, how fast 2015 came and went. I’ll be 27 come Monday midnight, another year and gray hair added. So close to that Ph.D. title, yet the ending will be drawn out if my discipline’s not established and maintained…

I had 3 words for 2015’s resolution: rebuild, attain, succeed. How did each stack up? Rebuilding efforts were mostly naught, though some small glimmers of progress recently might motivate me to try a bit harder once I return to Chicago. My mile time must be a disgrace, assuming I can even make it that far nowadays with dignity. Attain fared better. New apartment and roommate, new job, completed thesis, passed comps and just one step to go to complete the doctorate. Succeed was also largely a success: 2 posters accepted, 1 pub under review, reconnected with some friends I have not seen in far too long (and awaiting hopeful for another). The biggest failure was my inability to finish the one-year poetry project, with 39 left to go. If nothing else, I should attempt to wrap that up before January ends.

Overall, 2015 was a fantastic year. I can only hope 2016 continues the trend of each year being better than before (with an exception here and there). There’s much work to be done, and I am willing. With that said, we now need a new theme for the coming year. In line with my desires to develop, let’s make the year about Nourishing: Create, Sustain, Transcend. Create new works, new research, new relationships. Sustain the body, mental well-being, the bonds with others. Transcend my vices and become a better me.

Somewhere in all this I should make a certain vow to never stay up past a certain hour. The night-owl life comes too easily. I should also make a greater habit of using this blog, be it for creative sessions or just as a means to reflect on life more often. It’s healthy to have reminders of where we started and where we’ve managed to grow towards. Despite all my jest of being old, I still got an abundance of youth in me yet.

Perhaps this would be a good place to start drafts for the “Things I’m Learning” series. Maybe I can make a habit of revising older works as well. Some gems lie in the rough (oh so many roughs) that with some polishing could do good. And speaking of good…I should remind myself more often of the good opportunities I’ve encountered and always to make the most of what I have. We can’t after all ask for more if we don’t make use of what we’ve got.

01/06/2015

It has been some days now since I last created a diary entry. A new year has started. My 26th birthday came and passed. Life has been enjoyable these past days during break: family, friends, the dogs. The great many individuals who make life worth living, a few of whom I have not seen in far too long. And then there are those with whom words, and only words, will ever be the culmination of our attempts. It saddens me more than it should. After all, life carries on without them – these non-vital roles, however pleasant or charming or indulging. It is a greedy, selfish heart I have, even if the intention is to share the love. What if they don’t want my love? That is their right to feel so.

A new year it is now however, and that deserves a reflection of last year’s progress and a planning for this one. First, last year: overall, 2014 worked out stellar. Unlike 2013, which was largely disappointing, 2014 treated me quite well. I made progress on key milestones in graduate school, started this daily poetry project (though a bit behind still from that lull during finals week), reconnected with some people I have not talked to for long periods of time (though not her…), etc. I’ve watched some close to me gone through growth of their own. While 2014 did not contain good fortunes for all, it certainly contained good moments for myself, and that is a blessing to be thankful for. One less-than-stellar part of 2014 was my increasingly unhealthy diet and sedentary grad-school habits. While I’ve gained little weight worth noting, I can definitely feel the loss of energy, muscle mass, etc. In that regard, 2014’s theme “renewal” was not completely successful. I renewed external relationships and forgo taking care of my body.

2015 then: commitment. The biggest commitment is to strengthen myself again. An agile mind with a decrepit body will not do. I have seized many good opportunities that came my way last year. I will do the same this year: a good commitment to keep. One of my bigger asset in life is the implicit trust I hold for myself. That must be utilized to its fullest advantage if 2015 is to outdo 2014. And there is no reason why it shouldn’t. Adversity will present itself, but nothing ambition and resolve can’t handle. If I hold any conviction, that would be it: we are capable.