New Summer Goal

I hate to sound like a girl caught up with a bit of extra fat, but I’ve noticed I’ve put on a few extra pounds. 3.5 more than normal.

I can see it on me when I look at myself in the mirror. It’s no big deal right now; I’m still pretty skinny. But those extra lbs came on quicker than they normally have. I wouldn’t even be posting about this normally. But I realized that I can take this news two different direction.s

I was thinking to myself earlier today if I should just not worry about it and should just let myself go. After all, everyone’s weight catches up to them eventually, right?

If this were a different time in my life, if I had the job, the dream house, and the girl, then maybe I would. But this is summer 2008, my last real chance to do nothing except for work on the things I want to work on. That includes my health.

I’m taking a stand against my weight gain. I’m going to fight it all summer. I’m going to fall back into my old diet. I’m going to run at nights. I’m not gong to let myself go.

Barriers

I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme in some of my recent dreams.

In the dream, I’m within arms reach of a certain goal. This is usually a goal that I’ve been actually working toward in life. Every time I think I’m going to achieve it, some barrier prevents me. No matter what I do to get around it, something comes up, something that is bigger than me or beyond me comes up and keeps me from whatever it is that I want. It’s funny because the barrier starts out as something small and easily able to be mitigated, then grows to something huge and unmanageable after trying to fix it.

But last night, I had success. I was on a train trying to get to San Fransisco when my train car detached from the rest of the train. Fortunately, we were still attached to the engine which enabled us to keep moving along. We almost got into a car wreck. There was a hostage situation on the train. The doors got stuck and we weren’t able to get out. My parents called and demanded I come home (trust me, it makes sense in a dream).

But I made it. Stepping off outside of 3Com Stadium, I ran down the street in celebration, eager to call all my friends and let them know I was alive.

I know; silly dream. But I can’t help but wonder if those dreams are some sort of reflection on the direction I’m heading in life.

Issues: Everybody’s got ’em

I like being a sociable person. I like talking with my friends. I like having food with my friends. I like studying with my friends.

But I don’t like to involve others in my problems. I like to be along in my times of weakness.

I had dinner with a friends who talked to me about that very issue. We had been in and out of contact for a while, so it was nice to finally see her. After dinner, we were talking about the stresses of life after school, especially pertaining to her status as an international student. Without going into much detail, she admitted the reason she hadn’t seen many of her friends was because she was stressed about being able to work in the US as a citizen and that getting citizenship would be difficult. Her thesis was that in her times of weakness, stress, or difficulty, she tends to shut out people and try to deal with her problems by herself.

I see that in myself a lot. I don’t like to talk about issues. Sure, they exist, and I’m sure others around me know they exist, but I hate talking about them. I’m not even sure why I do. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to see like someone with “issues.” Perhaps it’s because I want to come off as responsible, as someone who has stuff under control. I have problems admitting to little problems; having bad habits such as procrastination, excessive expenditure of personal funds, and even inheren, out of my control things like learning disabilities. I don’t know why, but I don’t like to talk about or seek help from outside sources about these things.

I also realized that I haven’t been taking advantage of the wisdom of some of my friends. When I was talking to my friend tonight, I couldn’t help but remember another friend express regret about using my friends more in a professional role. I was thinking the same thing with the exception of not taking advantage of her wisdom. She’s been through a lot, confronted the same types of problems that the rest of us humans confront, and is extremely intelligent to top it off. I’m glad she shared some of that with me tonight, because it seems like a confrontation with my isolationist perspective on personal issues was long overdue.

Just on a final note, I hope things go well for her in the future. And I hope after tonight I’ll be more willing to be open with my friends.

Physics

Falling asleep again. I can’t seem to stay awake in physics no matter what. Learning about rotational intertia… all that fun stuff we talked about in high-school physics. If you dropped a stick with its mass concentrated at the top and a stick with its mass concentrated on the bottom, which stick would hit the ground first? That sort of stuff.

Seriously, falling asleep.

True Story

Once upon a time.. there was a boy who was in this third year of college. He wasn’t stupid, but he wasn’t exactly what you would call smart, either. One fine Sunday, he decided he would dedicate the day to studying. So, he woke up at 12:00 after getting only 7 hours of sleep and remaining in a sleep deficit for the whole day. He decided to remedy this by drinking *2* cups of coffee, which caused him to become an unfocused, caffeine overdosed, sleep-deprived person who couldn’t concentrate on anything.. not even facebook, despite having done the same thing time and time again in his two previous years of school. THE END!

*frustration!*

Psuedo Philosophical… and a double post

I didn’t feel the following had anything to do with my last post, hence the double post.

I remember when I was first starting to read Nietzsche my friends and I would always make fun of a famous quote by him. It was something along the lines of “if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.” Now, I haven’t been fortunate enough to read the quote in its full context yet, but I think maybe I’ve uncovered part of its mystery, and I hope that I am not perceived as being pretentious for doing so.

The concept that we as humans have attempted to confine to the idea of “truth” (I know, saying “truth” would have been so much easier, but truth doesn’t necessarily encompass “fact”, “what is”, and a host of other concepts) is perhaps the very abyss Nietzsche was talking about. Humans can look into the abyss, but often times it is a frightful thing to look into . Perhaps this is because of an inability to cope, perhaps this is because of the revelation that a glimpse of truth is able to inspire, or perhaps this is because of another reason, but it seems that the true, unreported number one fear of humans is in fact not public speaking but a true firm understanding of “what is” (perhaps we can call it truth, but we can only do that by realizing that the standard conception of “truth” is not in fact “truth”). Perhaps we as humans, as a race and as a vast set of individuals, are so fearful of falling into a Nihilistic spiral that we have to come up with meanings and purposes, have to construct lies and deceit, have to deceive ourselves so that perhaps we cannot fully understand ourselves and the mistakes we make. Perhaps we are incapable of understanding ourselves because “truth” is that abyss that we are so fearful of looking into. (Borrowing from concepts learned in economics) Perhaps the opportunity cost of comprehending “truth” are far inferior to the benefit of discovering it. Is it worth the possibility of falling into a nihilistic depression to understand “truth”?

That, I think, no one can answer.

Running (me too)

The guy who I run with (ambivalent monk… he’s on my blogroll) wrote a post on running right after his last post. I agree with every thing he said. In fact, I want to take what he said a little further in regards to what running means to me.

I can think of a million reasons why I run. I run sometimes to stay in shape. I run sometimes to kill the boredom/monotony of everyday life. I also run to run away.

There’s been times in my life where things are wrong, so wrong, that I really don’t know what else to do. I’m a writer by trade (of sorts, and among other things), but I can never accurately depict my own emotions on paper. By the same means, I’m also a miserable song writer, else I would have written a hit single by now. I’m not an artist, not an emo-kid (one of my blogs says different though…), not one to confide in others. Therefore, I try to connect with my humanity; I try to exert my emotions physically using running as a catalyst. I run because of love, because of the passing of a good event, because I sometimes feel the need to feel alive. But I also run out of fear, which I feel are the most interesting runs. They start off slow, but turn into all out sprints, as if I’m being chased by whatever has been haunting me. I’ve ran out of self loathing as a sort of healthy punishment (but it’s a miserable reason to run… don’t ever do it). I’ve ran out of anger. I’ve also ran because of loss in attempt to forget.

Of course, running doesn’t make the sad events in life pass any quicker or better than the good events, but it is excellent as a way to cope. Running almost presents me with a spiritual connection to whatever it is I’m feeling. It may not be an actual art, but it is my art.

(Note: Despite how frequent I run, I am by no means an expert runner, and definitely not and will never be a track star, nor am I in extremely good shape like most distance runners are.)

160… 6.8

Thursday/Friday=my day off. You’d think I’d stop being lazy and post blog entries instead of entertaining myself with aimless projects and unproductive activities. What? Blog entries are not productive? I don’t believe it. I refuse to…

A productive activity(?): Keeping in shape. I stepped on the scale today and was surprised to see… 166.8! .4 pounds lighter than the last time I stepped on. Like always, I weighed myself 3 times to make sure the reading was accurate and sure enough, 166.8. .4 lbs closer to my goal of 160. My nightly 5k runs have been paying off!

That is, until I remembered I had hardly been properly hydrating myself today. While I am a little disappointed, I feel it is more important to be healthy while loosing weight as opposed to dehydrating yourself in order to make yourself feel better about the number on the scale. Besides, this isn’t about the number on the scale. I’m more interested in a personal sense of satisfaction, a sense that I’m making a proactive effort to change my body for the better. I’m just using the scale as a way to measure, but if I don’t measure myself according to the conventions I’ve set, the number means nothing. What I’m doing is merely out of boredom, not out of dissatisfaction with my physique.

Aside from procrastinating on 日本語の勉強すること (Japanese language study), I spoke with a couple of Morman missionaries on why they thought I was lost and had no direction or purpose in life. It was entertaining and I promised them I would read their book, but their main argument was that I would know God exists by the feeling I got after reading their book. I’ll read it, but…

No Fire

Today’s fire forecast-

Lightning Activity Level: 2
Relative Humidity: %12 (near record low)

All that means is that we had a small chance of lightning starting a fire that would have burned the whole district down. We’ve had so many of these ‘scares’ that I barely payed attention to this one. I’ll believe it when I see it sort of attitude.

Anyway, one of my original goals of this blog was to convey and write about my various passions. One of my greatest desires is to engage in a vocation that I am convicted is fulfilling. This coming school year, I feel I have the opportunity to experience this by working for a student group (in my area of specialty: public relations) that works to make international students feel at home at the University of Oregon. I’ve volunteered for them two years and this year I have the opportunity to serve as one of their officers. This could very well be the first “job” I’ve had that I actually care about.