A Walk in the Park: thoughts on life

I had just finished a track workout today, and I jog-walked through the park next to my school to warm down.

As I was walking along the path, for some reason I began contemplating my existence, and how one day undoubtably, I would die.

Yeah, alright…perhaps I was being too morbid. I’m afraid of death, I guess most people are. The weird thing is, this afternoon while walking in the park, I felt calm, and asked myself why worry about something that is inevitable? Why worry about what you can delay but not solve, when we have only so much time on this earth? I don’t really believe in spirits at this point in time, so for all I know, we only do live once, and then we’re gone. A speck of sand in a desert, a drop of water in the ocean, is really all the time we have. But it’s wonderful that it exists…that we can make so much out of what little we have.

As I was walking in the park, I realized that life is indeed like a marathon. It’s a long race, a difficult one, and it’s against yourself. You meet lots of people along that trail, some you run and talk with, others you’d rather not see again. Regardless, at some point we stop running. Whether you finish or not, the race comes to an end, either from completing the race, or not being able to.

You may come to the end, and celebrate that you’ve completed your marathon. You might laugh about it, talk about it with the friends you made on your run. And then, it’s over.

Sure, you can go for a record, beat everyone else. You can also walk the whole thing, although that may take a lot of time. It’s the same thing as being the change you want to see, acting on vindication and unerring motivation, or simply enjoying the small things, and appreciating the world and yourself for what they are.

No matter what one chooses to do on this long run, the most important thing is to enjoy it, and make that journey worth everything you gave for it.

With this, I’ll leave you all with a short poem:

 

Life

Life, what does it mean?

A long path of hope, despair

Blink, and it departs

 

Thanks for reading, and as always have a great day

A Speck of Sawdust

You brought me light when things were grim

I won’t give up although I’m not on track

Try to drown my sorrows on any whim

I’ll clench my teeth but I won’t look back

 

Do you see the pain behind a work of art

Hidden words behind a demure smile

The anguish inside ripping them apart

A trace of wonder that’s been there awhile

 

Although one day you’ll forget about me

You’re my heart’s desire, its paradigm

Just another face lost to the endless sea

My face still lights up like the first time

 

I might be lost in a passing breeze, or buried in the time that’s floated on by

I’ve overextended my stay, been a gentlemen and a jackass, but I have to try

I won’t be able to look back years from now, not cry looking you in the eye

It’s selfish I know, but I love you so, and if nothing else just tell you goodbye

 

I know you may not see this, but I’ll show you someday.

I wish things had been different, turned out another way.

 

For X.T.

Je t’aime, toujours.

 

I hope you enjoyed the poem.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

Failure

To try, to fail.

To struggle, to fail.

To learn, to fail.

To give one’s best, and fail.

To hurt, and fail.

 

Sometimes there seems to be no end

Over and over, we try, fumble, and stop

It hurts even as you learn and try again

The wise people say it’s the only way to grow

You fail again, even as you try to understand

 

Never ending, a vicious cycle descending

A weight of worlds spiraling downwards

Tense breaths as the calm slips away

Again. Get up, analyze, learn, try again

Once more you tell yourself. One more time

 

Finally arriving, it arrives with the bill

The cost of failure, the resources to try

Rather than anger, only a void to fill

The price is one’s time, sweat and suffering

Even with nothing, you’re left with a gift

 

Humility. Knowledge. Growth,

Hope.

It hurts, it burns, it heals, it mends.

Ever-present, either in the moment or by the scars left behind

 

Thanks for reading, it’s been awhile.

Have a great day

Midnight Memories

(Quick note: sorry for not posting in a bit. Almost didn’t get this one done, but felt a need to get back on track for content. To me, this poem felt like cheerful passion almost transforming into slightly reminiscent melancholy.)

 

You make my heart strings flutter…

I tell myself it’s crazy but

You make the smooth guys stutter

T’say anything less is an undercut

 

You led me all the way there

I was a cause n’ you were the reason

One day a last name we hoped to share

The better half of me, you’d tease in

 

To move forward was all that she asked for

Those times are gone, we know better now

We may not be the same people anymore

But I’ll make things right again…somehow

 

 

To the mistakes that stung, midnight past poetry, and the relationships I ruined.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

 

Confidence

Swaggering, an air of control despite chaos, maybe someone who’s full of themselves. That might be the first thought that comes into your head when you hear that word. However…that might be better represented by arrogant. The truly confident are aware of their goals, aware of their abilities, and acting suave to provide the best mentality for success.

The difference is that the cocky person may not be able to back up their supreme confidence. Sure, they may be pretty good, but are they exceptional, and are they humble enough to learn from those around them? Even the best are willing to stand aside and learn when they meet someone who has superior skill. If the person is too full of themselves, or becomes cocky, it is likely that their display of self-assurance is merely a facade intended to impress others or boost their huge ego a little bit.

The confident person knows that there is chance for failure. However, they don’t let this affect their mentality or thoughts, instead setting it aside as something that doesn’t matter in the moment. They know the extent of their abilities, and what their limits are. They know what the problem is, and that given a good effort they can most likely succeed. Rather than worrying about the chance of failure, and letting the torment hamper their results, instead in the moment it is distanced, like the distractions disappearing as one enters the zone.

Success isn’t certain, any number of things can go wrong. Maybe that day you’re feeling sick and have a match you need to play, maybe you blank on a topic of the exam for 15 minutes, maybe unforeseen traffic issues make you late to an appointment. Something can happen, and throw you off track. That shouldn’t be a big deal though, because things happen. By truly being a learned individual, and knowing your craft, even in times of confusion and turmoil as long as you maintain the calm and collected confidence you can achieve the best of yourself at that moment.

Never lose your calm, never let the panic set in. We can fail, our lives can crumble in front of our eyes, but remember…it’s just an illusion. Failures can lead to success and growth, while personal struggles reveal our flaws and areas of needed reinforcing. By staying clear-headed and confident, we can weather the difficult patches and gradually become someone who others respect for insight and clarity.

Stay confident, not arrogant…but aware and knowledgeable about where you stand in terms of knowledge, skill, passion.

Thanks, and have a great day.

Small Steps

If you write 200 words a day…you can write 73,000 words in a year, or a 300 something page book. Of course, it’s anything but easy to write consistently about the same thing every day of a year when you have to endure writer’s block, other activities, and boredom. Often times projects go unfinished because the writer begins to think their idea is stale, uninteresting, or not a good topic to write about. People fall off schedule, take years and years just to create a piece of literature which may not even be well received. Sometimes the books fall behind the TV shows which are based on them… (*cough George R.R. Martin *cough cough).

Writing a book isn’t easy, taking long hours to think a storyline through, weaving the small details in, and creating the flow of words which draws the reader in. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be attempted. It just means that you should start small. 200 words a day, building up, and pushing through the roadblocks. At one point after hours of toiling and revision, frustration and bitterness, you realize that you’ve created something significant and monumental. It may be an ugly monument, it may not be valuable or high quality even. But what you get out of it is the fact that using small building blocks, it was possible to build something so much larger.

It’s the same thing with many aspects of life. Spend half an hour a day exercising…and a year, two years, decades later you are that much healthier because of it. Meditating and goal setting 10 minutes a day, you find that through time you have become a deeper thinker, and are no longer a slave to your emotions, and set more realistic goals for yourself.

I’m not saying that writing a book is easy, or even that simple, far from it. But if we never try to cross those mountains and break the walls in our lives, we will never experience the pleasure of achieving a tremendous goal, surpassing a daunting task, or looking at a wondrous creation by our hand.

I wrote this post in about 20 minutes, and at this point it’s ~350 words.

Life isn’t always about huge leaps and bounds. Tackle the bigger goals in life, and take it one small step at a time.

Thanks for reading, and as always have a wonderful day.

First Place (and insecurity) 1/26

Standing on that podium, slightly higher up than the people next to you, you hear the cheering, and see your parents beaming, and the crowd applauds as you accept your award. The feeling of elation as the post-competition adrenaline races through your blood is evident to everyone as it courses out through the wide grin on your face.

That’s what it felt like, 4 years ago to get 1st at the Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon. That’s what it felt like to be valued, to feel like the best. When I completed the race, I didn’t even know that I had won. I was on top of the world when I heard. To make matters better, my brother had to leave early from the award ceremony where he had gotten 2nd place in a different race. Collecting the award for him felt so right. I was the winner of my race, I would stand in the podium for my brother, who was also a winner. That was 4 years ago. that was a race for 11 and 12 year olds.

The victory for me that day just validated, and hit the underlying problem for me. As a younger boy, I was unaware that I had insecurity issues. I had plenty of friends in elementary school, and I was good at many of the things I chose to do. I missed the next annual competition for vacation in Hawaii with my family. But I returned the year after, expecting a good race, and a 1st or 2nd place finish.

A few things went wrong that race. I got there late, almost got disqualified, cramped up, all little things. But I wouldn’t have it…that year, I finished in 5th place. I cried long and hard after I finished, in the middle of the field with people around, I didn’t care. 5th…how could this happen to me? To me, it was anything but my fault. I was the victim. My dad spent the next hour consoling me, fixing up my bike, and getting me donuts. I felt a bit better, but it hung with me for a few days. From 1st to 5th.

I didn’t see it at the time, but I was insecure in addition to highly competitive. Why else would someone who got a nice plaque cry about not winning? The year after, I had grown a bit. I placed in 3rd, but (we weren’t there for the awards ceremony since my dad and I thought that I had gotten 4th and not made the podium). I took it well, and that I had done my best.

In hindsight, I’ve learned incredibly much from my experiences. I felt what it was like to be truly great at something. I had felt what it was like to lose, to fail, and to not achieve what I had strived for. But most importantly, I had grown. I saw how hard it was to be the best at something. Being the best is not something for the amateur, it has to be worked towards, thought about, and passionately pursued. 1st place is so much more than just a medal, a plaque, an award. It’s even more than just the experience. First place means all of the hard work, blood and sweat paid off.

Most importantly, it means growth. Even if you don’t get first, you can grow. It’s all about perspective, it’s all about learning. Ask yourself if you have any insecurities, and talk about it with someone, or try to think about it from someone else’s point of view. You may just find out that no one cares much or even notices what you’re so insecure about. Keep moving forward.

Thank you, and have a nice day.