Growth Mentality VS Fixed Mentality

Our director gave us a book as an admission present. I’m only 25 pages in, but it’s elucidating. There were periods where I would oscillate between the two mentalities. And yeah, the periods of immense growth I was in the growth mentality (duh). From what I got, it was about growing and expanding myself rather than finding success. I always summarized those periods down as moments I chose to be brave. They were moments I chose to be a beginner again.

At my lowest moments, I was in a fixed mentality. I think how I see my future relationships was framed by a fixed mentality as well. All I thought of was, this is how I’ll love so I rather not love again. Or this is what I know and if she can’t accept this as me, then she’s not who I’ll end with. But I should see this dating period as a learning lesson as how to be playful in relationships, how to be happy on my own, and truly grasp the lesson that only I can fill the void in me.

Thinking back, one of the most memorable traits of Lily’s dad, was how playful he presented himself in life. He would always whistle, sing his children’s names, and just carried himself with a happiness. I want to show that to my children if I have any. Happiness is something you can teach and practice…

Anyways, I’m too fixated on finding someone, but I should be happy with myself… for everything I’ve accomplished. This is only the beginning though! It’s too early to celebrate. I didn’t work this hard to fail here. I have 2 weeks off. I’m too poor to travel, so I’m just going to train myself mentally, physically, and get ready for probably the toughest year of my life. It’ll be a challenge, but it’s exactly what I prayed for – I’m on a path of growth.

It’s been a while…I  hope you’re happy!

Good Poop

Well it didn’t work out with her. At least, I don’t think it worked out. We stopped talking completely. I don’t like how empty I feel, but it goes to show that I haven’t learned my lessons. I’m still depending my happiness on one person and that’s only going to lead to unhealthy relationships. It just kind of sucks, feeling I did something wrong. I mean it was a really good date and I felt like I shared a good bit of myself. Is it wrong to express interest? I’m just not sure what mode of life I should go with. But it seems like the answer to my life is to accept my suffering, embrace the hard work that is coming my way, and become strong enough to bear it. I hate to be so whiny, but this is my blog goddamn it! It seems my life will be a difficult one, especially peering down the road. Maybe I’m minimizing the difficulties others face, but it seems like I was made to become someone strong. It’s that or crumble beneath the weight of it all.

Looking at the cost of USC kind of scares me shitless. But HEY I got in! I’m of the 5%! This is my reward – more work! I was made to work tirelessly. I was made to be lonely. I was made to repent for my sin because I wasn’t strong enough to break the chain. But I’m reminding myself that I’m kind of special as well. I got a job out of hundreds of applicants. I’m the only one who has brought in so much money to a nonprofit that people from other nonprofits are surprised and ask me about how to do it. I’m genetically made to make that heavy bag ring! I was made to have that bounce in my legs. I was made to be tough…

I have to learn to be happy by myself. Yesterday, I just kind of laid on the floor and wondered why I was feeling so low. I want to belong to someone, to somewhere. But maybe the answer is to just accept that I don’t. I’m… different. I’m weird. I was always the black sheep. I just get lonely, but fuck that.

 

 

Hunger

I’ve never been stronger. But I have to keep becoming stronger . I need to rise to the occasion to handle these things:

-my new position with greater responsibilities, becoming a leader
-paying for tuition and getting most out of a tough master’s program
-taking on a mortgage for my parent’s new home
-finding a new place for myself
-becoming a whole enough person to date, to bring happiness to my family
-cut down on sugar and cigarettes

I think I need to bring back that hunger when I first started boxing. My reluctance to face pain is showing from my training. Tomorrow I will face my 40% and see if I can overcome it. Anyways, I’ve been watching a lot of Hajime No Ippo.  No character has captured my personality as much as Ippo. He’s so lame like me. But it’s pretty inspiring to watch and the visuals are pretty accurate as to how much it hurts to be in a fight or getting smacked in the face.

These shonen animes can be lame, but there’s this constant theme throughout them. It’s the idea of rising to the occasion, self-growth, and facing pain. And how incredible growth can be! I need to remind myself that I’m strong enough to become someone capable of these things.

I went on a really great date with this girl, whom I’m trying not to think about. It was the most fun I’ve had in so long. We met at this restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. The food was really good. I got duck and she got scallops since she’s pescatarian. We stayed for hours there, talking more than eating. At some point we were like well we should probably leave. So we got ice cream and talked some more. She really liked the weird flavor I picked out. After she took me to her favorite bars around the area, and we just kept talking and learning more about each other. At some point, I mentioned that I’d like a cigarette. Her eyes lit up and she told me that she tried not to smoke before the date as well. We laughed about it, and ended up buying a pack to share throughout the night. People kept asking for some, and I was like yeah sure. She made me drink so I slowly become more relaxed. At some point we didn’t have a lighter, so I used the fire place to light a cigarette. Nearly burned eyebrows off, but we laughed about it. I haven’t stayed out that late for so long. I don’t know what to say. I want to see her again, but I don’t want to crowd her. She’s all about her independence. My heart feels full again?

I was really stressed out about finding a new place, but I know I’ll be OK in time. Sure I might not have enough for a while, but my raise will kick in and I’ll be fine. Life keeps going so I have to keep going. This week I need to:

-apply for financial aid, and finalize my admission
-work out harder than I’ve allowed myself
-secure a place to live, and possibly move out Saturday
-finalize my program at work and get that going 🙂
-and I’m really hoping to get a second date… but I don’t want to be let down again

 

 

Life in hard mode

I lost my glasses today. Went through the whole day stumbling around, squinting at everyone, sitting 2 inches from my monitor. No problem, I said to myself, today I play life in hard mode! I survived the drive home, which wasn’t terrible. But there were times during the day when I thought, ‘oh let me just put on my glasses’, only to realize I couldn’t. It made me think about identity… well I always think about identity.

I had to rethink my identity this past year. It went from be a loving person to my girlfriend, her family, my friends, and whenever I can, my own family. But all of that was put on the back burner when I lost the one person I loved most. I had to -still have to – learn how to love myself . That ordeal proved a lot more difficult, and it was only after a long period of torturing myself that I allowed myself this goal. I starved myself, I endured intense training, I destroyed my body in many ways (including tattooing and burning myself) to the point I can’t recognize myself in the mirror. I began a new narrative. It wasn’t about being loving – it was about being the strongest person I can be. And it brought me a lot… I got two raises, a promotion, I did things I was never brave enough to attempt like boxing or applying to graduate school, asking women out, partying. Yet there was this gnawing feeling at my core that it was all unfulfilling. I felt like I was still failing. It felt like I lost myself.

Last week’s therapy session was this giant slap in the face of everything I repressed in myself. I thought these two sides of me were irreconcilable. But I’m realizing maybe I should synthesize theses two differing sides of me. I can be a strong, dominant leader and fighter, but I can also be loving, supportive, and selfless. Looking back, and this is really sad to admit, but when I slept around with X, I was making love to her like I did with my ex.  Sure it was mutually agreed to be casual and she felt good, but I wasn’t giving her a chance to tell me what she liked… I had to stop seeing her because she’d never be a replacement.

There’s a part of me pining for my ex still. But there’s a counter voice saying that it’s not her. I’m pining for that part of my identity. And maybe those things aren’t mutually exclusive. I have to be OK with being myself. I have to love myself… and I don’t exactly know what that looks like right now but I’m sure I’m not going to find it on dating apps haha. And it’s a little sad and pathetic that I’m so desperate to love someone else so I don’t have to love myself. But that’s the thing I have to unlearn from my childhood trauma.

My therapist explained to me that it’s common for people to disassociate themselves from their body to get through physical trauma. In my case, she told me that I’ve normalized it… I’m sorry I’ve continued the cycle of abuse. I vow to never again… These things are confusing, and I just want to be OK because it’s been a long time since I’ve felt truly comfortable.

 

Snapshot

As friendly as I appear, the truth is I’m not exactly sociable. I’m a loner. I spent most of my birthday alone, eating at a restaurant I like. Then I watched Fast and Furious, during which I felt like some of my brain cells self-destructed. I walked around and finally came out of my hiding to meet my friend. He was one of the few people to remember my birthday, so I thought it was really sweet. We watched the sunset by a pond. Electrical wiring sat beyond the trees, and they looked so misplaced but strangely fitting against the saturated sky. A breeze swept across the pond and rattled the reeds before us. I remember the ducks quaking like gossip. I haven’t enjoyed a sunset as much in a long time.

I keep looking for love, but I think I just need to live my life. It seems like I always have more girls talking to me when I’m just doing my own thing. I have to have fun along the way, and just remember dating and love are two different things. Attraction is a strange thing too. For some reason, gay guys hit on me a lot. Is it my mustache?

There’s enough ceiling windows to let in filtered sunlight. I like jumping rope near the spotlights, where I whip up torrents of dust. I’m kinda impressed by how well I jump rope lately. I can do double-unders, I can dance, jumping jacks, and move about the room with ease now. My morning workouts make me feel alive and true to myself. I feel so contained in life sometimes by how I appear, how I should act, what to say etc. My skin feels like a prison, and to be able to explode out of it by slamming the heavy bag or sparring -there’s nothing like it. When I’m drenched in sweat trying to find strength and the mural of Ali looms before me, there’s almost a feeling of transcendence. When my coach slaps a 25lb weight on my back while I plank for 5 minutes, I finally escape my prison…

And oh when the gym blasts these songs with the bass, I feel so lost and free

I’m trying to be more mindful of the beautiful moments I get to experience. It sounds stupid and lame, but when I remind myself how interesting life can be, the mundane things in life become more interesting. Like… waiting at little caesers for shitty pizza, but that’s not something I do often so it was it was cool sitting there beneath the fluorescent light and just being with a father and son who do it regularly and you can tell it makes them happy.

It’s been up and down lately… I hurt less lately.