Word Vomit Musings: Baby Birds

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. It’s not like there’s nothing to write. Trump, Syria, music, philosophy, life… the list goes on. There’s always something to comment on, some article to put my two cents in, or some opinion that I believe is superior to all others. The internet is full of these words. It’s overflowing with information from people who write better than I do. So what’s the point of writing….?

Who am I to write about politics when all I know are regurgitations of the “truth” from the media who treats us like little chicks incapable of feeding ourselves with research. But what’s worse is when we take the regurgitated information and then vomit it out into the dinner table thinking it’s a steak dinner.

But wait a minute now… Are we actually baby birds in this dinosaur of a world? We are constantly fed information that has been in the throats of behemoths that don’t want us to lift up our wings to even consider leaving the nest.

After all, nests are safe, comfortable and cozy. No fear of falling as long as we don’t look down. All we need to do is wait for the next feed to show up with our daily bait and we’re happy. There’s no reason to leave our ignorant bliss, our Plato’s cave, our satisfying pig pen.

But oh how contradictory is it when we strive, pray, and wish for flight while still craving mother’s vomit.

Oh writing, what a love-hate relationship. I can write all this stuff and sound like I know some secret insight. But how can this be for me to know anything? Me, a prideful speck believing that I’ve pierced the well of knowledge, but only to see that I am only swimming in the vomits of other specks around me…. Yet among the specks, there must be the truth! At least something that mirrors some kind of foundation to build anything off of.

Brilliant minds have tried to find such foundation, but realize that a gentle breeze could topple their fortresses. Descartes, the father of modern philosophy built his fortress on what be thought was the truth, absolute, undeniable truth. This toppled. But others after him tried to rebuild. Some on similar foundations, others on complete opposites. As they built and built, they also fought and fought. Attacking each other’s weak points while trying to fortify their own. Empires rose and fell. Gods among kings destroyed from east to west.

Today, we have all the information at our fingertips. This is our fortress and stronghold, yet we can’t figure out what the heck is going on in this world. There are more books, brilliant bodies, and brain child’s than we could ever count, yet we are no closer to the goals set about by our earliest ancestors to understand life. Chaos ensues regardless of technology, revolutions, or America. There’s a reason why more and more dystopian books and movies are made. We never really question the validity of them. We eat it all up while stroking our beards in contempt, only analyzing, but not preparing. We all know what’s happening to us, yet we’d rather entertain ourselves with the imminent future than face it as is.

 

 

An Unabashed Life Worth Living

This was originally a post about writer’s block but it turned into something different. Something that changed the way I act, think and feel about life. Something I hope we can all take hold and find liberation from the chains we put on ourselves. 

Oh, the irony of this post. No wait is irony the right word? Ahh, I don’t know… how cliche? Man, this post is lame. Doesn’t cliche have that squiggly ~ on the E? My finger rests on the rectangle backspace for a minute. Nah, this post won’t go public so it will remain in my archive forever so I’ll resist the urge to use the erase button…. Insecurity, fear, and caution, are words that I think are choking the words that I try to type.

New paragraph. I don’t like the first. Is the structure too stupid?  No… it’s fine, I don’t believe in structure. But writing is about expressing myself. But what if no one reads it because it’s not good? Then I’m wasting my time! Ahh, too close to reality. I best put some pictures or pop-culture references to get more views. But I don’t care about pop-culture that much…back to the main point.

The biggest block for my writing is you me. I am a people pleaser. I care greatly about the opinion of others and what they think about what I write. This is an inescapable aspect of writing for the public. You, the reader, I may or may not know; regardless, my aim is that the effort of my words is worth your time. I don’t actually know how to use a semicolon correctly; I just want to look sophisticated in my writing even though it may be grammatically incorrect. 

I realized how being a people pleaser affects not only my writing but my life. In my writing, the backspace button is the most used. Gahh, that sentence could have been more creative. In my life, backspace represents…blarg I can’t finish this analogy of linking backspace to life! Abort! 

Bleh, enough of all that italicizing. It hurts my head to read my own writing and thoughts. My realization is that my caring too much about what people think has prevented me from living a fuller life. There’s a lot of layers to the idea of “caring about what people think”. Kind of like an onion I suppose.

Let me explain. One layer of it is perfectionism; the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. I’m not a what you would call a traditional perfectionist. The “perfect” I strive for is my own constructed standard that I’ve placed on myself, created from my 26 years of exposure to humans. It’s far from ideal. It’s deeply ingrained in my subconscious. What I write, say, do, express must fit the specific requirements of the box. If it doesn’t, I keep it in my mind to marinate until it fits my idea of perfection.

Underneath this perfection is a fear of being wrong or making a mistake. We I bite my tongue, avoid hitting post on a blog, or shy away from risky situations because we’re I’m afraid of the negative repercussions of it. Underneath this fear that comes from a perfection standard is control.

More specifically, to control what people think of me. Underneath it all, this is the chain that binds my writing and actions. Damn that’s like the 10th time I used “underneath”, people must be annoyed at that more so than these italic thoughts of mine. I want to control what people see me as, rather than them seeing who I really am. When I control people to see me as a different, “perfect”, standardized me that I’ve created, I essentially become controlled by my own creation. There are two words that I can say that reflects this idea so perfectly that almost anyone reading this can understand. Those words are Social Media. Need I say more?

Is it ironic is that I’m posting this blog on my Facebook? I’m not too sure since I don’t really understand the what irony is…

Anyways, this post is getting long. I don’t want you to say “fuck it, this post is too long and there’s no TL;DR section. I’m just not gonna read it”. Hmm I wonder how my readers will react to the F bomb… I clearly give a fuck about that.  So onto my conclusion/application. I was thinking through all of what I just wrote yesterday night before I went to work (I work graveyard shift). I asked myself, “why do I care so much of what people think?” “Why do I set these rules on myself? It’s quite… limiting”. “Do I want to live my life in a box all the time? As I asked myself these questions, the chains that I’ve put on myself were revealed to me. Link by link I removed the chains and a sense of liberation filled my body. In the car ride to work, I sang with the radio; unabashed at the cracks of my voice, the unmanly falsettos, and the utter butchering of the lyrics. It was freedom.

But this freedom comes with a cost. It costs our control, passivity, and fear. It costs us our walls and our all. It requires perseverance through anxiety and criticism. It will take strength and vulnerability. But most importantly, it will take wisdom, for there is a time for everything. Rules aren’t bad, restrictions are needed, and people’s opinions should be taken into consideration. This is not a call to go crazy and do whatever you want. That is the other extreme that needs to be avoided.

As you can see in my post, the struggle is real, but worth fighting for. And fight we must do because the world will tell us otherwise. It will show us things to be frightened of and reasons to hide. It will strike relentlessly when our guard is down and tell us it’s not worth it. But the more we fight, the stronger we get to break away and live.

 

Understanding Myself

 

If you know me, you know that I like to think and analyze concepts as well as people. I enjoy learning and understanding philosophies and people’s backgrounds and lifestyles. But one thing that I have the hardest time thinking about, analyzing, and understanding is myself.

This post is for me to figure myself out. For me to explore and organize my thoughts and declutter the piles of information that weigh heavily on my mind and burden my heart. This may be the most difficult thing for me to write so far. This will be like cleaning and organizing a room that’s completely unkept or clearing up a yard that is overgrown with weeds and dead trees (both of which I need to take care of). These are very unpleasant tasks because the work and frustration get compounded the longer I put it off. Weeds grow bigger and multiply and dirty clothes and trash pile up.

Come to think of it, this blog’s intention is exactly that-a decluttering of my thoughts. Yet, why do I feel like the more I write, the more confusing life gets? People have told me that I over-think things, which I agree with. Maybe this is what makes my life so difficult to comprehend. Yet, life is complicated in itself. There are times to think. To think critically about life and its struggles. But maybe it’s time for me to take a step back from all this information and bask in the simple things of life.  Like a simple coffee with a friend, a walk in the park, a good book, or a game of basketball. Hmm, I don’t know.

Here’s where I hit my roadblock. When potential words are held back from this blog by walls constructed by years of worries and wonders; wonders of things to be or not to be. When these words are met with walls, I tend to ramble around the rubble of the walls that I chisel away with a toothpick. Rubble made of broken toothpicks rather than stones.

This intellectual, Asian American, philosophical, passive, false humility that erects such an edifice of self-loathing and anxiety that does not belong as a cover for a temple. Maybe it’s time to take out the garden shears and start cutting away at the overgrown weeds that wrap around the walls. Well, maybe not? Weeds don’t look too bad, at least the way I’ve configured them. Dandelions have a nice yellow hue to it. As a kid, I always enjoyed blowing the seeds and seeing it disperse through the air. I’m sure I’ll enjoy them as an adult…

Such are the thoughts of the foolish and lazy side of me. This analogy holds true to life. How much of my internal “weeds” have sucked the life out of me? Have kept me from producing fruit?  A Google search of “weeds and bible” brought me to Proverbs 24: 30-34. Such wisdom is more precious than rubies

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

With this, I realize that the complexities that I struggle with in my life are not due life being necessarily complicated, rather it’s due to my laziness in clearing out useless weeds that surround my life. It’s a struggle to produce life-giving words when chained down by thistles. It’s when I break through and slowly cut through the weeds that fragrant beauty of Christ can begin to emanate from the soul through my words and actions.

 

 

Rekindling Life at a Bookstore.

I’m sitting at a Starbucks within a bookstore, self-conscious of a potential lurker behind me, analyzing my writing. His obsessive eyes narrowed in on the red squiggly lines of my misspelled words. I could change it right now, but I don’t. I know what the word means. That’s all that matters.

“Analyze this”, I tell myself. “Why do misspellings bother me so little, but to another. it can cause them great distress. Why do I imagine a phantom person peering behind my shoulder judging my writing and cringing at the way I misspelled ‘phantom’”. I ponder these questions and formulate my own theories that I withhold from this blog for no reason. More questions fill my mind.

Why am I even writing? Why am I here? Am I a pretentious prig by being a wannabe book-worm, who spends his day off in a bookstore with his laptop open and a half read on the side?

I get up, exhausted from thinking, and walk down the aisles of bookshelves feeling like everyone’s looking at me. Is this anxiety or just a product of self-centeredness. Am I too self-aware, or am I completely oblivious?

I stare at the countless books to avoid thinking about these questions. I know I will never read or finish these books. But I want to! I really want to be encaptured to another world of imagination and wonder. To escape critical analysis and allow another person to analyze things for me. I want to be able to quote lines from books out of sheer joy of the writer’s syntax and language. I want these words to pierce my heart and mind.

But those days are found in the past, where imagination ruled. Where scribbles on a paper were like Picassos, and lego structures were the pinnacle of architecture. A time where I can imagine being a Pokemon trainer without the need of a cell phone. Oh, how I miss the days where our thoughts could illuminate such a beautiful world of excitement and wonder.

Today, words feel dull. Dull because my mind and heart have been hardened to stone. For a heart and mind to be pierced, it must not be stone. A stone can be shattered, cracked, scratched, but not pierced. It breaks and crumbles at the jabs of the words, but it can never be pierced to where it reaches the vital vessels and touches something deep inside.

This is why I’m at the bookstore. I’m trying to rekindle the imaginative fire of not only books but of life. Whatever this means is still a mystery to me. There’s a life beyond my computer screen that I haven’t invested much time in. A life where something real and free and beautiful exists more vividly.

This kind of life is too precious to be given up without a fight.