Silence

“What do you want?”, I ask

A blank stare meets my gaze

Looking into those eyes, I see a glimmer of hope and curiosity

The crinkle of a smile reaches his lips

Then it’s gone

 

“Who are you?”, I ask

A flash of worry streaks across

Looking into his eyes, I see worry, fear even

A shiver passes through

Then stillness

 

“What are your dreams?”

A feeling of confidence sweeps over

Looking into those eyes, I feel worry, loss

Drive but no direction

Then nothing

 

“Why?”

A fissure in my conscience

Looking in the mirror, I feel broken

I don’t know

Then deafening silence

 

 

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

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

No

The day when I can stand tall and say ‘No’

Is the moment when I know I’ve grown wise

I’ll need nothing by my strength to glow

Have no more anguish and pain to despise

 

The day when I’m braver and act with my heart

I won’t let anything quell my hopes and dreams

I have all the resources, the willpower to start

No reason not to start right now, no rationale it seems

 

So why not say no to those who hold us back

They are of no consequence, make your dreams come true

Don’t care about them, don’t let them give you flack

Open your eyes, and act in line with the values you look to

 

 

Hey. So I wrote this piece a little for myself actually. I need to say no a lot more forcefully. I set boundaries with my own morals, with my time, with myself, but sometimes I let others act against this because they aren’t me. However, this can be really unhealthy towards me…and I’m feeling it. I’ve let this unwillingness to stand firm to others be a weakness in myself.

Because of this, I am writing this post at 11:47 instead of 1 hour earlier, or perhaps even earlier. I’ve given my time away on a busy day, because I didn’t say no strongly enough.

For those of you who may struggle with a similar issue, please think about it. Ask yourself what you value, what comes first. Say no if anything comes between what matters to you most, because it’s in the way whether it’s an activity or event, or someone else who “needs” your help. Chance will have it that they asked a dozen other people, and you could spend your time better than stabbing yourself to help them.

Now, perhaps you might consider me overly cynical in this last regard. However, keep in mind I’m not saying be a jerk and ignore everyone who needs your help. Sometimes people are genuine, more often than not, actually. Just…be careful, and value yourself.

 

As always, feedback and discussion is appreciated.

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

Arrogance

“The tree ripe with fruits bends over in its weight”

An analogy for arrogance, it means that with accomplishments under one’s belt, one becomes overconfident and only aware of their achievements.

For me, I experienced this recently and felt a need to write about it. (Also to let you guys know that I’m still writing, even if not as consistently as I’d hope.) After a few compliments from people, and a good approval from a teacher on an assignment, I got it into my head that I was some incredible writer, and that with ease or effort, my literature would be profound and of high caliber.

This coming from the same person who admitted that likely, the first 500 blog posts would be sad, or mediocre even.

Sometimes we get our heads stuck up our asses. That was me until I got a major essay back. My teacher gave me a B- or C+ on it. This was a 10 page work which I had invested hours into, spent my time dozing off thinking about my analysis. All coming to fruition in a work that was unappreciated, and I felt, improper for the effort.

Of course the first emotion would be indignation. I felt a brief spark, momentarily angry and upset at the rewards for my efforts. Then I remembered that my teacher is a great teacher, and holds her students to a high standard in their work in order to drive them further and to achieve more. She knows that I’ve written good work, and she’s told me honestly when she thought my piece was good quality. Clearly this wasn’t.

I kept my cool, not because I’m that mentally strong. I did it because I realized my goal was to become a better writer, and that my english teacher is a strong writer, and that I have much to learn.

It hurt a bit, but I took a step back and thought for awhile. Yes, I had invested lots of time into this essay. But was it well-spent? Clearly not, and with that realization, I understood that my essay had become too garbled, too broad. I was trying to write a paper on human nature and its essence, when I should have focused on answering the questions that my teacher was asking.

A lot of the content was fluffy, some of my evidence was contradictory, and some of the reasoning was shaky at best.

Only after seeing this, could the grade be understood. The grade received was the grade that it deserved.

Effort does not equate results. In a world where merely good intention and effort is accepted and rewarded and applauded even is a world based on distortion and self delusion. A world which people can take advantage of, as it gives people the excuses to not achieve what they should.

I guess that I’ve been reading too much of Ayn Rand, and her objectivism philosophy is getting to me. I’m more than half way through Atlas Shrugged! Spent several hours today going from page 350-650 haha.

I think that what my english teacher taught me today is that remaining humble, and constantly aware of the objective truth is what matters when acting. Confidence is wonderful, but should never be left untended and allowed to grow uncontrolled into arrogance.

Thank you for teaching me this lesson today, Mrs. H.

 

Thank you for reading today, and I’m sorry it’s been so long. I guess not only do I need to work on my confidence (moderation) but also my commitment to writing every day.

Workaholism

People don’t choose the workaholic life, it chooses them. For some people it’s just their need to feel productive, moving closer to the next goal. Sometimes it’s just to keep one’s mind off of pain in other aspects of life. Ultimately, it can be an approach where you burn violently and then die off, or a productive lifestyle in which you achieve many things in the short time frame that we call life.

Sorry for not posting in a bit, I got caught up in this book called Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. In the text, society has taken a dark turn in which most of the world has become transformed into a faux-socialist place where people act under the guise of benefit for others while condemning those who achieve greatness to leech for their own. The protagonists truly seem to embody the essence of workaholism, where work is their existence and the driving force behind their actions. It shows an extreme representation in which people who’s mentalities are almost psychopathic (showing disregard for the feelings of others) and their conquest to achieve more, and grow their businesses.

However, as time progresses one begins to realize that one of the characters was not always this way. They used to be quick and uncaring, but not entirely cold towards others. After cutting ties with the detriment that the public has become, they manage to begin rebuilding themselves, achieving an immensely productive state in their work, but also finding joy in other aspects of their life.

What this shows us is that although work can be our passion, our joys and motivation, we can also find happiness amongst our peers and colleagues, and in the form of connecting with people. I’m incredibly fortunate to be middle-class, and live in a world where people value advances in the sciences, and free speech and though is encouraged. What Atlas Shrugged has shown me is that we may not always have these things, and that we must use it to our full advantage.

There was a period where I too, tried to be a workaholic. The girl I liked got a boyfriend and was just so nonchalant about it, and I just felt completely broken. It didn’t go down too well, because I grossly neglected my health and after just a week of 7 hour study days I got sick, and lost my motivation.

Work is important…aside from the people we influence, it’s the only thing that we leave behind when we’re gone. But never let it kill you. Stand tall, but know your limits.

 

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day.

Problem Solving

In the face of adversity, it’s not easy to maintain a brave face and a calm mind, to tackle a problem when it takes an emotional toll on you. But that’s exactly when we need to act calmly and most rationally in order to remove ourselves from such a mess.

I’ve gotten better at taking things calmly and from a more objective standpoint recently. The effects have been noticeable, and I find that when I get a challenging problem or a conceptual issue I don’t feel the urge to run for help, or an overwhelming need to give up and mope.

Making the choice to do something small like this has given me a small sense of control in my life. It’s not a ton, or the biggest deal, but it has made handling struggle much easier. Of course there’s nothing wrong with asking others for help…however, it’s important to spend the time floundering, trying different approaches and reaching dead ends. What this method of almost random wandering teaches us is that over time, we become more capable of choosing the right paths, and as a result we pick less dead ends, and thus become faster at solving more difficult problems.

A few people have pointed this out to me…it’s that I tend to give up in the face of adversity. That’s not who I want to be seen as, who I want to be. I think that this choice is helping me take a step in the right direction. Perhaps the most important skill to be gleaned is that of independent problem solving.

Problem solving…the most important skill for computer scientists, for students, and frankly for everyone. No matter what field, what we are doing, there comes a time when we have a problem, and we must bypass the problem via finding a solution.

I guess if there’s one thing you get out of reading this piece, it’s that we can all be better problem solvers, from those who don’t do those who live it. There is no limit on how much more we can expand our knowledge, how many more connections and solutions that we can find.

(sorry for not posting in a few days)

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.