On Love

As an engaged young man, I would like to say I had a pretty good idea of what love truly felt like. I’ve thought and even said the words “I would give my own life to this person”. To me, that seemed like the strongest way to communicate what love was.
Love to me seemed completely oriented towards the gift of self to another. The gift of a life for a life. Ultimate sacrifice.
In my life, this has made sense and most likely tempts you, the reader, to at least nod in agreement. Something however has made that just a little more complicated for me.
About a month and a half ago, one of my closest friends committed suicide. The experience has left me shaken and scarred. I try not to talk about my personal experience too often for the fact that I was not his only friend, but I do still feel the pain of his loss. This young man influenced many people in his life. I was just one of people I would dare say he saw me as a close friend. I loved him.
Here’s why I brought up love. I love my fiance and cannot wait for her to be my wife. Again, I would give my life for her. But something is missing in my definition of love so easily given to my bride. Something has shaken how I see the world and how all relationships come to effect us. The love I feel for my bride is and should be exclusive. However, the love I feel for my lost friend fits the definition I gave earlier. I would have given my life for Jimmy. I would have taken the bullet if I got the chance. The pain I felt and still feel for not being there is as real now as it was the night I heard the news. I don’t yet know how to interpret what I’ve learned from getting engaged and losing a close friend through suicide. With time however, I feel I will come closer to a better understanding of love and how it works.
Love is exclusive when given, but it would seem to me that we are not limited in the amount of love we can give. I will love and cherish my bride through the sacrament of our marriage, but that does not take away nor should it strain either of our power to love others. Ultimately, love, in the way I’ve been talking about it, can be given to everyone in our lives. In fact, as a Catholic, I feel that type of love, the gift of self, is a very good way of getting closer to sainthood. Jimmy loved those around him and inspired love in return.
As Jimmy once said. “All I want is to experience the peace of the holy Spirit and to share that with others”
Jimmy was generous with the love he gave to everyone around him. Rest in peace my friend. I’ll never forget you.

Smell the roses?

I watched Ferris Bueller for the first time last night. It was quite an interesting experience. I was a little surprised by both the events in the film and what what elements (I gathered) helped it come to be such a classic. I feel very confused about it actually and can’t quite come to a decision as to what I saw. I liked and disliked the film.

The rebellious and irresponsible actions of our ‘protagonist’ are both delightfully entertaining and oddly discomforting. Throughout the film we see Ferris, with skill and luck, avoid calamity after calamity. The friendship Ferris has with Cameron is special but also, in a way, abusive. I felt genuinely uncomfortable when the $18 million Ferrari was taken and driven around the city of Chicago. I felt my gut twist when (spoiler) the car was destroyed. The movie paints a unique picture where Ferris and his irresponsible choices are hailed and praised while authority figures are lowered and humiliated. No doubt I was very entertained and, like the movie’s intended audience, connected to Ferris through that special freedom we all wish for. I feel incredibly torn on this film. I don’t love it but I certainly don’t hate it. I honestly don’t understand it.

There’s something to be said about that freedom we all wish for. Ferris is our catalyst for experiencing a world of no consequences. A window to a world where we can experience anything we want while putting our life and responsibilities on hold. Ferris is interesting to me though. I’m not so sure I could confidently say that Ferris Bueller hates school. His elaborate schemes and tricks suggest more of a desire for something more. Something different and exciting. A world away from the classroom and its slow and steady flow of information. Ferris is (I believe) closer to a person who gets tired, but doesn’t want to quit. This is where I think I struggle most when it comes to connecting with the movies’ idea.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

This line, is the fundamental thesis of the film. Stop and smell the roses. However, Ferris’ actions, directed towards smelling the roses, are done so at the expense of nearly everyone around him. It bugs me how much Cameron, the primary victim, will have to suffer due to the choices of his friend. I agree with this line wholeheartedly but I don’t believe people should ever have to pay dearly in order that I may stop and smell the roses.

When it comes down to it. I need more time to figure out whether or not I like or dislike the film. On one hand, Ferris is a selfish, irresponsible deceiver. On the other hand, he may have a point. I’ve missed out on some really special things in my life due to my choice to remain responsible, and I’m not confident I’ve made the right choices.

My first flight.

This very moment I am flying to Seattle aboard an Alaskan airline. This is my first flight ever. The word excited does not fully express how I feel right now. I have wanted to fly my entire life. To finally get to see the tops of of the clouds is truly blissful. I struggle to write this post because I can’t stop looking out the window. It’s so amazing to look down and see the perfectly organized plots of land divided by the thin threads of winding roads. Truly remarkable. I haven’t seen real mountains yet so it’s hard for me to describe clouds as mountainous but that’s the only word that comes to my mind. I just can’t get over how beautiful it is. I wish I could see this view every day. I have my doubts towards ever having an opportunity to fly commercially but I will certainly pursue getting a private pilot’s license. Looking out the window, I keep thinking how I don’t want it to end. It’s a little uncomfortable how close I am to a stranger but I just love this. I do get to have my dear girlfriend, Katrina with me. We were able to sit next to each other. She enjoys flying but has seen it enough to not care that much. I wonder if I could ever feel like that.She compared the first-flight experience to seeing an ocean for the first time. I can understand that and I do truly enjoy the beauty that holds. Two shades of blue divided by the incredibly straight line we call the horizon. It really is a wonderful sight to see but I feel different now compared to how I felt in that first experience. Flight is incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get tired of it.

Cuss Feelings 

First of all, let me say that the title of this post may sound similar to a book title. (I believe) Don’t get these mixed up. This mind ramble I am prefacing is nothing but personal thoughts at the moment 

     Feelings, moods, temperaments, attitudes and other such mental related states. These all play big roles in defining who we are and how we live every day. The paths we take in a day depend greatly on our frame of mind. When it comes to eating a meal, working hard, listening to someone and many other tasks, each employment of our mental faculties depend greatly on how we feel and our current moods. Many of our instincts in certain moods help us in those times that we need it. In a bad mood our lack of social contact may help prevent hurt on another by an accidental slip of the tongue.In a case of a good mood we may feel inclined to give our good friends a pat on the back.My question, to the corner of the internet I hope few visit, is this. Do feelings and moods truly matter?

    My plan was to go on ranting about it but my eyes are trying to close so I’ll have to make a part 2.

Am I being selfish?

   One of the odd things about selfishness is that even though you’re making yourself primary, most of the time we don’t realize we are doing it. In our culture it has become so habitual to say the me, I and my words that we can’t even tell how much of our conversation contains ourselves. In the book How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, I believe he mentioned how people love talking about themselves and therefore a good listener is often liked. (Don’t quote me on that though, it’s been years since I didn’t finish that book) I have often wondered when I have to “endure” listening to someone talk, if I am being selfless by listening, or selfish by wishing I could speak my thoughts. Me, my, myself. Is the desire for someone to stifle their rambling a selfish one? Or is this a reasonable desire for our own involvement? Honestly, sometimes I really wish I could unload a little. I do sometimes. Actually probably more than I should at times. I just happen to be so picky with my listeners and I simply detest “small talk”. Gosh I hate small talk. Well, only if it goes nowhere. Small talk that fill the task of “catching you up” with events of the day or meals. Most anything can break from pointless small talk but only (I believe) if the speaker is asking for involvement.
    Ok. I might have something with that. What do I mean by “asking for involvement”? Let me venture a little. If someone speaks and no feedback is given, this could be small talk. If someone speaks tailoring their speech for feedback. This could also be small talk but there is an opportunity for more. Now, if someone speaks not either caring for or expecting feedback, this is small talk. So here’s my idea. I might be getting annoyed at the seemingly selfish speech coming from my friend because it does not seem to involve myself by needing or inviting feedback. The words that convey an event are simply told and not discussed. …. hmmm. Ponder this, I will. I need to call my gf.

I’m ok

    Well … I was a bit of a baby in my last post. I will admit that my wording and attitude was rather sour. I pretty much ran to this blog kicking and screaming like a spoiled child and whining about things I could not have. This was very selfish of me. I am sorry to those who’s legacy as truly remarkable people was attempted to be tarnished. I may never be able to express my gratitude towards those who give so much, but I truly am grateful. I absolutely love that my gf was given an opportunity to experience something as incredible as Hawaii.
    I love her so very much and I miss her terribly. She has been keeping me in the loop as much as the time difference and Hawaii’s cell reception will allow. I wish she’d text more casually but I suppose it’s hard when I don’t have much to add to her excitement. I hope when she comes back she will fill in at least some of the silent gaps of communication. It feels like I don’t know what’s going on over there but I look forward to hearing about all later. I wonder if my dear is writing any of her experiences down. I should inquire on that tomorrow.

Well that was interesting.

     I was invited to a game night this evening by one of my gf’s classmate friends. He was getting together the usual group (minus my gf because she’s in Hawaii) and somewhat randomly sent me an invite. Not sure what spawned that idea but I was really happy for the company.
    It was a very fun evening with super smash bros, pizza and several board games. I (of course) was probably rather awkward but I did my best to be friendly, personable and engaging. I really did enjoy each and every one of them. The host this evening, who was also the person who invited me, he was very polite and friendly. All of the people there seemed to not even care that I wasn’t really part of the group. I mean, I had only met them for a short time before at a bonfire. I feel like I wouldn’t mind getting to know them a bit better as well.
    Now seeing as I over think everything, what can I take away from this evening? Well the whole invite came as a surprise to me. My first impression at the bonfire was not the most welcoming one. In fact I seemed to be the person in the way of this group talking to my gf, their friend. I was not trying to do this. I simply had a “it would be funner if you weren’t here” sort of vibe. So why invite me to another event? And without my gf! …. I’m still a bit puzzled about this but I’m trying to find this out. If my gf talks about me like I feel she does, one will of course become curious. They probably wanted to know a bit more about me. Honestly, my gf doesn’t talk about them much so I wanted the same. That probably sounds bad. She sometimes tells me what they all do as the group just not really about them individually. I only knew a few names before I met them.
    It was a bit awkward at first. Once we got passed the questions of why I wasn’t also in Hawaii (which was mostly a “well I was kinda not invited and/or told I couldn’t come) it got better after that. (I forgot to mention that in my last post) Anyway, I think I laughed more tonight than I have since I was back up north with my friends in the dorm. I can’t remember the name, but it had questions, improve and other sorts of turn based embarrassment. I truly hate games like that but with the right crowd, I always walk away having had a good time. As long as I never have to sing or hum. Which thankfully I didn’t … this time.
    I’m not sure what to make of this evening. I suppose I’ll get a chance to talk about it when my gf gets back. The combination of the time difference and her staying very busy makes for tricky communication. I will of course be patient though. Things will sort themselves out. Eventually.

Have a nice trip

     Well, my darling girlfriend has finally left for her vacation to Hawaii. She went with the two professors she is living with and her sister. They had invited both my gf and her sister at their expense. I am truly happy that she was given such an opportunity and cannot feel greatful enough for the generosity of these very fine people. However, due to an uncontrollable envy and selfishness, this is a somewhat challenging situation.
    Let me start out by stating the obvious. I wish I could have gone. There are a number of reasons why this should not be but only two from what I can think of truly prevented this.
    The first reason is I would have been financial. I would have had to pay my way. Even if the generous professors had extended an invite towards me with expenses taken care of, I am not sure I would have been comfortable with accepting that. Long story short, I have grown up in a family that felt strongly towards working towards what you want and never (unless it’s a small gift) rely on the generosity of others. I believe it ties into that feeling of never wanting to owe anyone which is very strong in my family. Regardless, the generous professors did not offer to pay so I would have. This would have most certainly cost more than I have. Also, with my pending payment for a class at the local college here, I cannot afford to spend anything more than what I have now. I’m not sure how much a plane ticket would have cost but I believe this class costs about the same. Maybe a $100 less. Due to me being a guest student, I have to pay out of pocket.
    The second reason is that I was not welcome. My girlfriend has known the generous professors almost all her life. She has grown up with not only the blessing of their friendship with her family, but the continuous generosity they have always displayed. They truly care about my dear and they always have. Far longer than I have had the honor of knowing her. They want nothing more than to for my gf to succeed and build the best life she can. Hawaii is not the first, nor the largest act of generosity towards my dear gf. The reason I believe I am not welcome is because they have not expressed a keen eye towards myself. I am a very shy individual and they are not very talkative or overly welcoming people. I try to do well in school and I try to give my gf all the encouragement and love I can but they seem to see me as a detriment towards the plans they have for my gf. They are not openly hostile, nor has any verbal communication come forth to confirm my suspicions, but certain actions and ques have repeatedly suggested these sentiments.
    I must admit, I have not been doing the best job at making myself a likeable young man in their eyes. Every time I come over I am with my gf in her room or the living room always separate from them. Whenever I am over, either her sister is there or it is just the two of us hanging out separately from the professors. I have suggested a few times to my gf that we should hang out with them or let them try to get to know me but I have yet to see this happen. My constant separation from them has led to a clear divide between activities they do with my gf and activities I do with my gf. I have never received an invite from them to do any activities with them and my gf. Nor have I had an opportunity to invite them somewhere. There is a clear separation between the groups in my gf’s life. In order for me to always be there, I need to break through the walls and put myself into these groups. I am trying to do this but as I have stated above, this is somewhat challenging.
    For now, my gf is in Hawaii and I am here. There is so much more to say about this but I fear if I go on, either my anonymity will be put at risk or I will simply say something I’ll regret later. I have a lot of work to do this summer. I don’t know how I’m going to handle it but I’ll give it everything I have. I just wish it wasn’t so fucking hard.

All I really want in life.

When it all boils down to it. There are very few things I truly desire in life. Now before I go on, I must clarify. This is not to be a list of the items that fallow the statements “It would be wonderful to have that” or “It would be nice to live there”. Although those that list can be important when it comes to motivation, it is still a very secular view of how I tend to perceive success. Financial wealth is a luxury and a bi-product of hard work and dedication. I admire many of the people who were able to climb this ladder to the top because they were inspired to work hard in life. This is not what I value. Wealth in my eyes goes beyond the material standing. Wealth is not strictly what you gain, but also what you gave. When I say I have very few things I desire in life. This is the approach I have. I wish to leave my mark on this world. I wish to make a difference for the better. Allow me to elaborate.

Now I feel that the statement I made above “Wealth is not strictly what you gain, but also what you gave.” this has been said before. I cannot recall who but I dare not take credit. This statement however highlights what I believe it means to be truly successful in life. To succeed with how many lives you have touched. Another (perhaps butchered quote) comes to mind. It requires a bit of an anecdote, so bear with me.

There is a man who is sitting on a log with two children on his lap while a few others stand beside him. This man who we know nothing about is laughing and smiling as he seems to entertain the children all huddled around him. As you observe this pleasant sight, someone says “Now there’s a man who is truly wealthy”.

     I could have swore I read this somewhere but it is 2am and I wish to proceed with my thought rather than properly cite my sources. This small and insignificant seeming man makes an impact on those around him. This man is happy regardless of what happens or what has happened, he is happy to be a father figure to these young children. I feel a good father figure has some of the most incredible wealth imaginable. Bill Gate’s wealth (which I believe was above 52 billion, last I heard) cannot compare to the love and sacrifice a given by good parents. The greatest gift parents can give to their child is life. There is nothing more profound and meaningful than that. I don’t think I will ever deserve what my parents have given me. They have brought me into this world to experience everything. They raised me from birth to the point I left home. They gave everything and now ask for next to nothing. What am I supposed to do with that?

Life is an incredible gift. In a way, to give what you have been given can also be very powerful. That is why I wish to become a father. I have little faith that I will be perfect. The lord knows my parents weren’t perfect, but it was because of them I am here. I’m here to take on everything life has to offer because of them. The shit storms and the beauty. Now that I am a little older and I have experienced a fair amount, I think I’m starting to realize how amazing life can be. I have had some (mild) scarring experiences in my life and I have also met a someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. The fact that life has it’s drastically different contrasts does not taint life. It enhances life. Not to say have been through horrible times, nor am I saying have I escaped them, but things never look quite as good until after you’ve gone through some rough times. Somewhat like a loved one getting in an accident. With one phone call you’ve got your priorities figured out.

We are each only here for a very short time. We’re just one worm of existence in the 4th dimension. Or a point in the 5th. There is very little we can do to effect what happens on our planet, and even less in the universe. Wealth (for me) is not in what you wish to gain through the time you have, but rather, the time you can give. I want to be a dad.

For all those dad’s out there who inspire me: Destin Sandlin, Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, Al van der Beek, of course my father, and probably many others I am forgetting. Look out, I’m going to try and join the club.

Why this blog exists

After much consideration and some minor coaxing from one who is very dear to me, I have decided to start my own blog. This was not something I planned to do, nor was it a spontanious decision. The thought of making a blog has always been present at the back of my mind. This thought was always encouraged by random desires to write, ramble, shed opinions and even vent about countless different subjects. Although I have never been one to keep a journal, I can’t tell you (you being the unlucky reader to have stumbled upon this site) how many times I have had an experience or strong opinion of something that I wished to have jotted down somewhere. There have been times where the desire to document something was so strong that I would pick up any random notebook and just start writing. Alas, this was not a good habit. For now, while I wish to read some of these sudden writings, my use of many notebooks has prevented me from finding all of them. This is yet another reason as to why I wish to have a blog. I consider it a public yet slightly anonymous journal where I myself will take more pleaser out of rereading than any passerby visiting the site.

I look forward to filling this site with more content in the near future. I have a few post ideas that I am looking forward to writing. Some of these ideas will come to explain the name of this site and why I chose it. Others will be nothing more than the fulfilment of a random desire to write.

Let’s see how this goes.