Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reflections from back on the east coast...

     Coming back across the county has been tough. I already feel it--the pressure to be someone I'm not, the pressure to do things I don't want to, the pressure to loose focus on my goals and the things I've been dreaming of. It's so hard to stay consistent and be who I want to be, and who I am.
I told my friend this in California; it's so crazy that some of my closest friends have ended up being some of my worst enemies. 
     Not that they try to: I conformed to what people wanted me to be, and now trying to find myself again has been hard. I know the path I want to take, and every day I fight battles to stay on it. 
     These battles are hard, and I WON'T win them all, but at the end of the day, I need to be able to get back up from my loss and remember who I am. I want to be a role model, someone that people look up to and talk about. I want people to tell their friends "he's a great guy." "He's got a good heart." 
      Back across the country, it's hard living in a place where nobody quite "gets" me. When nobody understands how you tick, they don't know what's bothering you, or if they're hurting you, and people around me here are relentless. Some days I want to fight on, and some days I want to break down. 
      It seems as though loneliness is a common theme for me. It may be my biggest fight to come. The question is, how can I defeat it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

::The Revelation::

     It's always crazy how bad you may think you want something one day, and then the next, realize you'd either built something up more than it really was in your head, or it's just not as good as you thought it was or should be.
     When this happens, it's kind of like a big let-down... it's like you spend so much time thinking and dreaming about that one thing, and then in one quick instant, it all falls down. 
     I guess it really is true, life is like a roller coaster. Sometimes there's very high highs, very low lows, and then the rest of the ride manages to stay somewhere in between. 
     I'm in California now, flying home tonight and I'll be home by tomorrow. I love being out here, but I've been away for almost two weeks and I'm ready to come home. I've decided to take summer classes and not go away to personal train in the Pocono's this summer. This may make for a miserable summer break, yet it pushes me forward in the long run, enabling me to graduate next Spring and not in two falls from now. 
     I think I want to open a gym when I graduate. The two things I love in life are fitness and reading/writing, and if I someday had my own gym, that would give me plenty of time to write. I also love helping and working with people, and opening a gym, if done right, is a great way to care for and help others. 
      This may change tomorrow.

     Hence, I guess I'm over the "I've got to be somewhere else" stage in my life. 
I would give anything to be able to move away, but the key phrase there is be able.
With the people I love, mainly my family, in Connecticut, I couldn't be away from them for too long of a time. I guess I'll have to just suck up New England's painfully cold and miserable winters, and the "up-tight, close minded, and non-health conscious" people that surround me. 
     I guess thats why I'm here... to make an impact and create a change...

The Nature of Man

            It was Friday night and I had chosen to be the designated driver for another night of college parties and beer runs; That night’s party would be taking place about twenty minutes away from my college campus. Lately I had been doing a lot of “self evaluation,” attempting to reform certain unfavorable aspects of my life. Sometimes being the only sober person in a group of drunken college kids can teach you a lot about yourself; who you are and who you don’t want to be. That night would certainly prove to be a reflective one, filled with new experiences and a final event that would keep me up for nights thereafter.

            The party was fun—not too wild or loud; the perfect environment to meet new people and not feel uncomfortable being one of the few people not drinking at the house.

            However, as the “jungle juice” (a variety of mixed liquors, juices, and sliced fruits) began to disappear from the oversized garbage can in the living room, I began to feel distanced from everyone at the party. I can only describe this “distance” as like being on the outside of a very funny inside joke. The night got later and people began laughing at everything, stumbling and falling everywhere, getting edgier and louder. It wasn’t long before I was ready to leave.

Thankfully so were some of my friends. We piled into my car and started our drive back to the University. Next to me in the front seat was one of my fraternity brothers; drunk, happy, and eager to ignite conversation within my speeding Monte Carlo. In the back seat were three girls; girls I had briefly met before yet had never actually had any real conversations with.

As we drove home, we all joked and laughed. One girl had clumsily fallen down the stairs just as we were leaving the party, and we teased another for her “awkward encounter” with one of my fraternity brothers.

It was after 1AM when we climbed the final hill that led to the girl’s college dormitory entrance. The ride had been interesting, as many comical topics had been addressed. I was finishing up conversations by flirting with the girls and preparing to say goodnight.

Without warning, in one surreal moment, world wars and poverty would be pushed aside as my world’s pain and suffering would redirect itself to the lonely street that we were driving on.

I narrowly missed it. The white figure gleamed like an angel, vibrant and captivating taking me by surprise. I was driving fast, slightly over the speed limit, and just as I began to slow down to turn into campus, the small cat darted in front of my car.

My relief of narrowly missing hitting it was suddenly exchanged with horror. Like an unexpected twist in a thought-to-be perfect movie ending, a car driving on the opposite side of the road struck the cat. It hit the cars front driver side wheel and then was propelled upward, then back down to the pavement.

Seeing this, I instinctively pulled my car over, jumping out and rushing to the cat.

The executing car sped off into the darkness and it was silent as one or two of the girls followed close behind me.

The cat wasn’t dead though. Its body twitched and contorted on the pavement, writhing in agony as it continuously tried to get up. After several seconds of doing this, it then peacefully sank to the pavement, dieing before I reached it. Ironically, the scene had seemed so over dramatic and fictitious—yet it was occurring right before me. I had never witnessed death before, only seen it acted out on soap operas and cinema screens. Sadly, this was the way that that creature would die, away from its family and in the middle of a cold New Haven street.

Part of me wanted to run back to my car and speed off too. I didn’t want to see the lifeless animal closer, and I was frightened by the possibility that it might still be alive. If I moved it I could harm it more than it was already, or worse, it could die in my arms as I carried it back to my car in hopes of driving to an emergency veterinarian clinic to try and save its life.

Yet the image of white fur contrasted with black pavement drew me forward, casting an unbreakable spell.

“That motherfucker,” I said out loud, gazing up and down the street in search of the driver who’d hit the cat. My words echoed in the night; questions about the nature of man and why people do the heartless things they do, echoing through my mind.

The remainder of the drive back to the University was silent—I clutched the steering wheel angrily, knuckles white and face expressionless.

After dropping the others off, I now had to drive to my own apartment. I felt more distant in my car alone then I had felt all night at the party. My route back would require me passing by the cat one last time.

I hoped it would be gone—that it had somehow stood up and walked away unharmed, now sitting on the lap of its owner being scratched between the ears and purring happily.

As my car approached, the white silhouette was still there, alone, motionless, and distant, in the street.

I drove by slow; the way friends and family say goodbye to a loved one at a wake. Its body was altered, probably hit by another car after I’d left it. I imagined a car filled with drunken college kids, the driver speeding up the car to run the dead body over, then laughing and making jokes that they wouldn’t remember in the morning. I felt sick to my stomach.

I couldn’t sleep that night. The image of death lingered in my bedroom, watching me as I lay in the dark, waiting to invade my dreams.

And as the nature of man is, I proceeded on with my life the next day. Somebody, a mourning cat owner, or an under paid city worker, removed the body from the street in the early morning.

I wondered about the body’s final burial; did someone bury the body under a willow tree or in some sentimental place in their backyard, standing over the broken ground teary eyed and remorseful. Or did somebody merely just toss it into a mangy garbage stained casket, only to be collected by the trash man once the dumpster was full.   The thought lingered in my head for a while, and then I wondered if it even mattered.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

(A poem from a while ago)

At The Fair

A skeleton dances in the window

of a tower which harbors ghosts and fear,

and screams can be heard from inside.

Children run by me,

and hop behind the wheel

of cars which will soon crash.

One boy yells for his mother,

signaling for her to come to him.

Two more race across the green

and disappear into a crowd.

Some board alien space shuttles,

and others enter rockets;

yet some prefer the pirate ships.

People shout in the distance,

pleading for money to play

games that can’t be won,

and some girls walk by and smile at me,

as they sip from mango flavored smoothies.

I turn my head as people are suddenly propelled into the air

in an elevator stretching for the Heavens.

Their shrieks of satisfaction can be heard,

and when their feet touch the ground again,

a smile overtakes their faces.

Another child calls for his mother,

who holds a giant stuffed dog under one arm

and appears aggravated and tired.

I take everything in.

I take in the sights of pure mayhem,

which have taken over this once peaceful place.

I sit back on the bench

and eat the last nacho in my tray,

and then I close my eyes

breathing in the nights fresh air.

When I open them the mayhem is gone

and I’m alone under the star-lit sky.

"Nobody ever taught me how to live..."

     Lately I've felt like a completely different person. I've been pretty focussed on school, VERY focussed on diet and nutrition, and found myself less concerned with superficial relationships and other factors in my life. I don't know what happened, it's almost like something just clicked inside of me and said "wake up man, you're here to do more." 
     I've also had this urge to "get out" or "get away" lately. Like there's people somewhere in this world that are more like me, and I just need to figure out a way to meet them. They're not here. 
     And yes I'm lonely. 
     I feel alone because the things that I believe in, value, and drive me toward my goals are things that I share with no one, yet I know there's people out there who think the way I do. I'm sick and tired of fitting into these "molds" here in college. I just want to be myself and do what makes me feel happy and satisfied. 
     At least I feel as though I'm moving forward. There's times I feel that I'm not, or worse, I'm back tracking in my own shoes. Lately I've been accomplishing a lot, and proving a lot of things to myself. I'm a lot more confident now. I've found this confidence within the last few weeks and again, I don't know where it came from. 
     I'm also struggling with A LOT of internal conflicts. Nothing I want to post on this blog, but they deal with both relationships and addictions. These things have nothing to do with anyone; it's all within me. 
     My biggest struggle is something I have heard a lot about before I ever struggled with it. It's something I've been told of and warned of, and something I've felt since the day I started college four years ago. Everything around me is different now; but they haven't changed... I have. 
     I find it hard to adapt. 
     I want to start over everyday. It's one of my goals- it's something that drives me to graduate college with good grades, and hopefully soon I'll be out of here... at least for a while. 
     California is ideal, it's where I feel I belong right now. It's where I plan to be very soon.