Hunger and Perspective

Two conflicting ideologies are battling for prominence in my life. To me, they epitomize “yin” and “yang” in that I need a healthy balance of both.

Staying hungry

I’m at a  good spot in my career. I feel like I’m at a great company doing an internship that’s relevant to the field I want to break into. But being a PR pro isn’t all I want. I feel like there are three areas in my life I want to develop:

1. Physical – I want to be in the best shape of my life this time next year. I’ve been off-and-on with my diet in terms of what I eat and my daily calorie intake, but I feel like I can hit my goals 100 percent of the time if I try. On top of that, I want to be stronger.. a lot stronger than how I am. It’s always been a goal of mine, but I feel like I finally have the tools to make the physical transformation I want to make. Continue reading

Back to School special

Usually, there is such a stark contrast between summer/winter/spring break for me that the transition between the two has been violently turbulent. This term, however, the transition from summer break to fall term has been soft and relatively peaceful.

I guess it’s because I’ve had time to let loose before school started. Between working for ODF and starting fall term, I had a month to kill, and I feel like I really killed it. Between football games, trips to Vancouver (BC!) and hanging out with my friends, I’ve found myself back in the UO/Eugene niche that I’d abandon for 2 months.

And just in time too. With classes starting tomorrow, I need to stay on top of my game in terms of attentiveness and preparation. Where in years past, a sense of restlessness kept getting in the way of me performing to my potential level of excellence, I took my time during break to indulge in that restlessness in order to better focus on my school work and my future career. I now feel more focused and prepared for this year than I’ve ever felt for any school year, and I feel that I need that now more than I ever have.

Excuse Me

“So pardon me while I burst
into flames.
I’ve had enough of the world
and its people’s mindless games.
So pardon me while I burn
and rise above the flame.
Pardon me, pardon me…
I’ll never be the same!”

Pardon Me by Incubus

I’ve noticed a significant change in my attidtude lately. There’s one part of me that is much more antagonistic and harsh than I usually am. And then there’s this other part who is more willing to forgive and reconnect with people who I intentionally disassociated with out of anger or obligation to those they wronged.

And I’ve noticed that these conflicting sides apply to certain people. With some people, I’ve been less and less willing to overlook things they do that drive me crazy. I’ve been much more likely than normal to be rude, offensive or intentionally standoffish to them. Right now, I’m more likely to tell someone off if I don’t like them than I’ve ever been in my entire life.

It’s bothering me. I’m scared because I’m on the verge of burning some important bridges or destroying some friendships that I know I would regret losing. Maybe it’s because this is my last year at UO and I only want to spend my precious time the way I want to spend it. I know the reason is somehow rooted in selfishness (and perhaps a bit of laziness), and that it’s gonna somehow mess things up for me this year, but I almost feel as if I can’t help it.

Having said that, I’ve noticed that I’m connecting pretty well with an overwhelming majority of my old aquaintances… in fact, in many cases, I’ve turned some aquaintances into friends. I think I’m better at getting along with people I meet for the first time and I think I’m also better at being a resource for my friends instead of just being someone who takes up space when we hang out.

Why Philosophy is Important

I studied philosophy informally for the better part of a year. And even though at the time I was infatuated by philosophy, I could never find any pragmatic application for it.

But I feel that dabbling in the writings of Nietzsche, Marx and Mill (along with Locke, Descartes and Humme) forced me to critically analyze my political, personal, and religious beliefs. Most of my beliefs at those times were products of what my family and friends believed. And while environment plays an important factor in shaping beliefs, I don’t think that people’s beliefs should be a product of their environment alone. I think they need to critically analyze what their environment presents them with. Otherwise, I don’t think their beliefs can be their own.

What I enjoyed about philosophy was that it exposed me to parpdoxes and conflicts in life. And while plenty of perspectives were offered on how to ‘solve’ these problems, I somehow doubt that finding the solution was the underlying intention of any philosopher. Even when Descartes used his faith in God to come to terms with his understanding of objective reality, I think he was calling his readers to further analyze and critique his findings.

If I had never studied philosophy, I would still have my mother’s morals, my father’s God and my roommate’s politics. My understanding of the world would be through other people’s perspective and not my own. And while I’ve decided to not devote any significant amount of time to philosophy anymore, I’m glad I spent time studying it.

Summer Sacrifice

This summer, I’m attempting to memorize all 2,000 Jouyo (essential?) kanji before continuing my studies of Japanese. It’s time consuming work. There have been days where I don’t review at all because I’m too tired/sick of staring at Kanji/whatever to keep going. But today, I forced myself to review  a little bit. Of course, that little bit turned into a decent study session.

By sacrificing a little bit of my free time during the summer, I make a significant step towards achieving something most Westerners think is impossible.

I’ve noticed that each summer has been about making a significant change in my life. Two summers ago, it was getting into the habit of running to stay in shape. Last summer, i changed my diet and gave up a bunch of different food types I loved in order to keep in shape. This summer, I’m throwing my free time out the window in order to learn 2,000 Chinese characters essential for reading in Japanese.

This is my last summer before I enter the ‘real world’ and am not able to dedicate summers to projects like I can now. As much as I hate coming back to Klamath Falls, I love having a complete lack of distraction to meet my goals.

Upcoming Anniversery

My blog is almost a year old!

Earlier today, I was looking through some of my old blog posts. The tone has changed from wannabe-philosophical to pseudo-introspective, but has always included an assortment of things I liked or found interesting. But the later posts haven’t been positive like the previous ones have been.

This blog is “Bryan’s Sophia.” I want it to be a representation of things I love. So starting now, I’m hoping to turn this blog into a better representation of things I’m doing, things I’m interested in, and things that make my day.

I’m kicking it off with a blog re-design. The current design may be temporary. I’m hoping to find something that’s a little more “me.”

No particular subject

Ah, Sunday is typically a ‘Crunch’ day, but I haven’t done anything to wind myself up for getting stuff done. I have a social media release due, a resume that I want to touch up and a bunch of research I want to complete, but I’m sitting at the desk in the library concentrating on something completely non-related.

But the weather has been good out, which, believe it or not, makes all the difference as to how I feel. I think, if nothing else, it motivates me. It reminds me that there’s a whole world out there that I need to go out and experience.

It also takes my mind of the fact that some things just aren’t working out as well as they could.

Wow, my blog is becoming more and more abstract…

Over

International Week and Night is finally finished. It was extremely stressful running the event, but even though I’m glad the work load is finished, I can’t help but feel like a part of me is now gone. No more late Wednesday evenings or early morning chalking.

Last night’s turnout was amazing. For a while, I doubted that anyone would show up, but we pulled through and got a ton of people to come. I was down in the kitchen for most of the day and missed the show, but I was able to take part in the fashion show, so I was able to see the audience.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who came and helped out.