Quick Reflection

In this past year, I’ve stretched my mental and physical capabilities far beyond my preconceived limits. The coolest part is I still see a path of growth.

You showed me this song in college. I remember listening to it while I walked from our apartment to campus. Cars would speed by me as I walked down the dirt road. I imagined you singing you were my everlasting light, and I liked the song all the more.

But I lost my light. I had to become my own light… I went back to Rowland for my sister’s birthday. Interacting with my family and being at home reminded me that I’m everything my family doesn’t value. They don’t value emotional labor. They don’t value physical wellness. They don’t value growth. They don’t value my skills and my insight…  Immediately, my sister was being rather passive-aggressive, and in a weird way was trying to put me down. She kept saying how I looked like a bad guy and a drug dealer lol? My parents kept laughing and agreeing. She got really angry when I asked her if it were difficult to change our mailing address. Haha I was just trying make conversation! Not going to lie, I was a little bummed because I only expressed excitement and happiness to celebrate her birthday. Despite us moving soon, I noticed my parents placed a bunch of photos of Anne around the house. I smiled to myself, realizing there were none of me.

I smiled because I’ve found people who appreciate me… I couldn’t afford boxing classes this month, but someone from my gym anonymously paid my fee. I was deeply touched. The owner and his wife told me that we’re family, and they’re happy to have me train there. My coach teases me a lot, but it’s different? In fact, people from my gym outright say horrible things to me. Yet I can feel love in their words… whereas my sister’s words felt empty of love, like there was something mean and biting beneath their innocuous appearance.

At work, my boss is encouraging. My coworkers are encouraging of my talents. I think that’s why it was strange when my dad and my boss met. My dad kept repeating my boss’s praises to me. And it felt devoid of meaning like a parrot mouthing words. Why couldn’t he see all of this in me years ago? Instead he acted like I didn’t exist…  I’m not saying my parents don’t love me. No I see their love. But at the same time, I know they don’t value me. Even after I brought everyone together. Even after I pushed and guided them to take this path… It was like I didn’t matter anymore when Anne came home. But that’s OK. It’s more obvious than ever. I don’t belong with them…

I don’t want to end this reflection piece on the idea I’m lacking something, that I’m not good enough for someone. I want to focus on what I have, what I have built, found, and developed! I have a place to sleep at, in a city I enjoy. I have a meaningful job in which I can push myself to develop. I get to go boxing every morning and push myself beyond my threshold of pain. I get to study at a prestigious university, something that will launch me into success. I have a car. I have the framework to keep developing and changing… I developed myself to be able to stand up tall and face the pain of living. I don’t know if I love myself, but I’m starting to respect the man I see in the mirror.

I don’t know why I keep thinking about you. Haha it’s silly but… some nights I imagine you saying you’re proud of me, and I get teary-eyed.

 

 

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Thinking About Relationships

She makes me feel less lonely. Our personalities vibe well. I can be a lover again. I can comfort her when she’s anxious. I can listen to her troubles and soothe her. I can go on a walk with her when she can’t sleep. I can run my hands through her hair. But I shouldn’t. She’s not the one.

I want to go through this life never hurting anyone anymore. The answer seems to be non-participatory. But this is delusional… I think to my 10 mile runs and how I find a sense of euphoria in my solo adventures. It’s just me out there, doing my own thing, feeling the intensity of life. I have a recurrent vision of climbing a mountain shrouded in golden clouds. When I’m finally able to disassociate my body from physical pain, I get glimpses of this mountain.

There’s no shame in bloody sheets. And if I ever made you feel insecure about them, I’m sorry. There’s no shame in love for being yourself. I asked for more when I should have said you’re perfect. This song captures my naive hopefulness haha.

My dad tells me that marriage and love are two separate things. I want to agree with him, but I know that I must redefine his words and find my own meaning. I’m a little older and I thought about love and relationships a little more. I think I better understand the gravity of Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

My therapist recommended a book, Coming Apart: Why Relationships End. I’m weary of making affirmative statements about my future. I think with everything in my life at the moment, like running, the answer is to keep going forward at my pace.

 

Old ass man

I had wandered to a bench overlooking faint city lights. I sat there in the dying day. August had come to an end. Change always feels less momentous. Things just kind of flowed onto the next stage, though there were many changes. Electrical towers and power lines ran from hill to hill. Above them, an airplane turned toward LAX. This is home, I thought, my parents would be happy here.

A strange vision washed over me. I was suddenly an old man. I was seconds from death. I thought of you. I thought of my family, and I closed my eyes. I thought of the people in my life that would come and go. And for some reason, dying alone on that bench seemed guaranteed. I fell asleep.

The feeling was reminiscent of ego death, though less powerful. It was peaceful. The sadness that plagued me finally lifted. I woke up a few minutes later feeling strange. My entire life had ran its entire course before me within seconds. It was like watching film. The silliest part was I saw us growing old together. And I had this thought like I lost you once, and now I’d have to lose you again but that’s OK because we filled that time with love and happiness. Maybe it was a vision of another life.

A girl I dated showed me this song

 

 

 

 

Out and Forward Like An Outy Bellybutton

I thought of you and my heart twisted. In one hand, I had a trash bag. In the other, I had a duffel bag of all our photos, our letters, your drawings. I stood at the garbage can, and the thought of throwing our memories away crossed my mind in a flash. Why shouldn’t I let go of this?

I put the duffel in the trunk of my car. A card slipped through. It was a birthday card you wrote me, two years ago. An eyeball, a heart, and u lined the first page. Your handwriting was neat and uniformed – something you did with class notes, or anything you were absolutely focused on doing. As I read it, I realized I had this huge smile on my face.

Thinking back when we first broke things off, I wanted nothing more than to leave that room. I made it a goal to never go back unless it was to sleep. I couldn’t escape our ghosts. And now I’m in my new place, I’m still thinking about you.

For the longest time, I had this terrible fear that I ruined you. That I was the worst thing that happened to you. This isn’t true. I did my best to build you up. There were many bad days, but there were just as many days full of love and care. It’s just easier to remember the bad times… But I’m seeing things differently now. It was a toxic relationship because we didn’t have a healthy foundation or healthy ideas of love. That takes two complicit people…  I was telling Spencer that I’m still pained by the fact that I can never make things right for you – that the best thing I can do for you is to live on. He had asked me if I ever wondered about the impact I’ve had on people.

I answered not really. As I finished moving my things out, Spencer’s mom suddenly began to cry. She thanked me for being so strong and keeping her family together through everything, for being so supportive and being there for them. I was surprised, and my gut twisted. I didn’t want to feel the sadness of moving away, but it hit me then.

I never intended to be evil. I always felt terrible when I lost control. I’ve always wanted to be a person full of love. I wasn’t a strong person… My weakness turned me to a monster. I’m sorry you bore the blunt of that. I’m not trying to give myself the easy way out when I try to rationalize why I ultimately ended our relationship. It was truthfully me trying to do what’s right. I wasn’t in love with you anymore. I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t realizing my potential  (completely my fault). I was seeing the effects it had on you. In my mind you were the best person in my world. And I really did think you deserved better. In my journey, I thought I had become a better person, sufficient enough to make amends for you. But that’s not enough. My redemption is a journey in isolation.

Though I can never help you, I’ve helped many other people in my search for redemption. I realize people are inspired to work harder in boxing classes because I go ham lol. My adventurous spirit has encouraged my co workers to pursue things they always wanted to try. My admission to USC has given my parents hope for our situation. My dad told me he will keep working hard and that I should too. An old friend messaged me the other day, saying he was inspired by how I’m running again to quit smoking.

And all of this began with you.

 

One thing I’m learning from therapy and psychology is that people need to have an anchor point in their past. It’s often the reference from which they orientate themselves and how they move or don’t move. I suppose I’ve made our relationship my anchor point, and maybe that’s not the healthiest. It’s sort of my north star for everything I want to be and everything I don’t want to be. I think I look back to it, hoping it’ll provide a source of comfort in times I feel lost in the world. Of course, it doesn’t really. It just says keep going.

Every morning when I wake up, I can feel myself on the edge of existential anxiety. If I linger for a few minutes, I can easily get stuck in my head. The answer is to keep going. It’s the worst when I’m tired, but sleep is always an option. Sometimes I wonder if you ever think about me still or have you erased me for the better. I still hope you’re doing well. It seems all my anchor points are dissolving. My childhood home will be sold soon. Our time together has become relic. I’m no longer living with Spencer, though for the better. Looking ahead, I wish I had a bigger support system. It’s like glaring at giant tidal wave. I know these next few years will either break me or make me.

 

 

 

 

KO’ed

Yesterday I got smacked up during a sparring match. He knocked the air out of me and I doubled over. He smacked my temple and I crumbled. People had to stop the fight. Thinking back, I was moving forward too much. The headgear made it difficult to see. That and being too close made me an easy target. Next time, I should try to use my good footwork. It was a good reminder to keep my hands up, double up my jabs, and have more head movement. Anyways, the entire day was just a haze.

I’ve had this feeling before. I was worried I’d be like this forever. It was like living through an exaggerated stream of consciousness. A flood of memories would flow to to random thoughts. Some were troubling. Some were happy… Thoughts would take over my entire concentration. I’d lose focus for minutes, and then it’d all just dissipate. Nothingness. I was back to the present. People were going about their days around me. Chatter, the sound of cars, birds in the trees. Emptiness, my mind would stop thinking and it felt like I had some peace.

I know it sounds like I got concussed! I want to say I’m afraid of getting punched again, but I want to do better next time… A vivid memory that surfaced: being hit by my mom, and then me hitting my ex. There’s nothing like the fear, the betrayal, the anxiety after. I want to burn these memories into my being.

I don’t know. It feels like I’m onto the next phase in my life. I’m moving out in 2 days. I start school in two weeks. My parents are moving away soon. But these are good things. I have something to strive to. Plus I’m waiting on my running shoes because my feet are fucked uppp.

Things I want to focus on:

-things I have in my life, rather than things I don’t have
-growth mentality. I’m not the smartest, strongest. But I work hard, and I can learn
-things change, but I can make things change in better ways
-becoming a whole enough person…

 

Meathead ponderings

What does it mean to be a strong person? I’m still trying to figure this out. Maybe it’s a moving target. I think back to who I was, and I know he wasn’t a strong person. I read a sentence that hit too close to home: people want others to control them when they can’t control themselves. This was me. I couldn’t control my emotions, so I needed someone to control me… I had a panic attack after my therapy session a while back. It was about not having an anchor point to who I was. My therapist helped ground me, and it reminded me of how she tried back then. But the truth was I didn’t want to be helped back then, I just wanted to lash out because I was in pain. I didn’t know what it meant to be someone strong…

Anyways, I somewhat found out during training. There were moments when my body wanted to give up… but I was able to push past that pain. I tried running again recently and I was able to think back to moments when I was able to overcome pain. Then suddenly, I was running 6 miles. Then 10 miles the next day. So is it having control over yourself? Having control over your emotions, your baser instincts, your body…?

Hajime No Ippo and the mindset books both address this. I think there’s a point of humbling oneself… Like you have to accept the reality and gravity of the obstacle, and then try to transcend it. No lie, my second day running I was like I’m going to do 22 miles today! Nope, 10 kicked my ass just fine. Anyways, I’m breaking things down piece by piece lately. Financial aid, doing loan shit, moving out, balancing work shit.

I really gotta stay on top of things for school. I remember how things just slipped by me in undergrad. It’s just a little anxiety inducing being in these lulls, waiting for documents to process. Thank god I have boxing – I’m so happy I have boxing…

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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!