Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Understood

No emotion is more comforting than the feeling of being understood. And no one makes me feel more understood than Dr. G. Seeing my reflection through his eyes makes me feel beautiful inside and out. The conversation we had at Spot was one that I wish I could have recorded so I could replay it on demand.

It is not the uncertainty about the future that concerns me but rather the wavering of my internal compass. Up until now I've always had a strong desire to do something, a clear direction to be somewhere. Whether it was good or bad, right or wrong was not important. What was important was the fact that I lived with convection. I knew the reasons behind every step I took and that belief carried me through every time when my decisions fell short of a popular opinion. And there were lots of those times. I could have defended every action of mine with great passion and I always believed it when I said I have no regrets in life. Go was the only gear I had. After all my travels, all the relationships, all the rushing around I have now come to a screeching halt. I no longer know where I am going or why I am doing the things I'm doing. I have a full tank of fuel and nowhere to go.

We weren't going to solve my problems over lunch. No one can. Deep down I know that one way or another I will eventually find the way to my next adventure. I don't know how, where or when it's going to happen. I just know I have to remember who I am and stay true to myself in order to rekindle the fire within.
Dr. G reminded me that I am an authentic and expressive person. I always did what I wanted to do. I've been so occupied with being myself for the last few years I don't know what to do next. Even though I always seemed collected from the exterior, I've never attempted to mask any of my feelings. I might think of myself as introspective, which I do, from the outside perspective I am a performer. No matter what I did, let it be tango, music or keeping a blog, I am constantly finding outlets to express myself. What a lovely assessment! That's the person I want to continue to be. Authentic and expressive. Stay true to those two and the next adventure can't be that far away.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

There Will Always be Rochester

"Rochester will always be here" is what John said to me the first time I left Rochester. I remember sitting outside of Java's holding my shot-in-the-dark with tears falling down my cheeks. Now as I sit across from Rob at Thali of India for the Sunday buffet tradition, the same tears rolled down my face when he said "there will always be Rochester."

The trip that began without a purpose took on meaning at the first sight of a familiar face. I knew at that moment that this is home, this is where I belong and this is exactly where I need to be at this moment. Sometimes the only way to find ourselves is to trace our steps back to where it had all begun.

There was never any doubt on whether Rochester would be there for me. Still, it's reassuring to come back to see and experience it for myself. This knowledge is no longer merely a logical thought but matter of reality.   On my worst day, my greatest failure, my deepest sorrow, there will always be Rochester. I repeated the phrase in my mind over and over again until it became my mantra: there will always be Rochester. 

Getting Going

Lately I've been obsessed with purpose: why am I doing the things I'm doing, what do I hope to get out of them and what would be the end that will justify the means? For someone who has pursed life with such passion for all the years that have led up to this point I feel as if I'm floating aimlessly through a vast empty space. I have not ran out of passion. I'm not looking to change the world. I'm looking for something personal, whether tangible or not, good or bad, right or wrong, I need to have something I'm working towards at all times to keep me moving forward.

In the midst of confusion and uncertainty came a realization when I met Misha at Irvine. There are many thrills in life but none more comforting than being understood and cared for by someone who truly loves you. While I couldn't think of any specific reasons to go to Rochester I did have a small inkling that perhaps revisiting where I came from might help me to define where I am going. After traveling all over the world, Rochester is still the only place I know as home and the only place I want to be.

I hesitated for a couple of days. Finally I reminded myself, sometimes you just do things. We may not always know the reasons why we do the things we do. We may or may not discover it along the way. Sometimes the true reasons don't reveal themselves until years later when we're on a completely different track at a moment we least expected. We'd all be at a standstill if everything had to be planned out and rationalized ahead of time. And with that thought I hastily threw some mismatched clothes in the trunk and hopped onto the express way at 5:30pm on Saturday the 25th. I didn't know where I was going to stay or what I was going to do but I knew I would figure it out when I get there.

Driving helps me to sort through my thought. I felt good as soon as I got onto the road. Illinois and Indiana flew by. By the time I got to Ohio I had the distinct feeling of going home. The urge grew stronger as turned onto 90 past Cleveland. I felt like one of those migratory monarch butterflies driven by an instinctual desire to return to their roots. I arrived just over ten hours, making no stops on the way except once to refuel. Dan had left his front door open for me. I fell asleep knowing I have came home.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

San Diego

A few days in San Diego was a good change of scenery. Nothing earth shattering or life changing. I'm still the same, lost, stressed, anxious. Although a bit less severe now that I'm not working the thought of returning to the office constantly hunts me at the back of my mind.

In some ways my trip to San Diego was very much like the failed exploration of Cabrillo, who sat sail to the northern coast of modern day California in search of gold only to find the barren coast. The journey wasn't completely fruitless. By extirpate the hope of discovering easy wealth up north the men were finally able settle down to develop their own cities in contentment. I've always thought of California as the one that got away. Now having traveled to all the major cities on the west coast I find myself no more closer to peace or salvation, a vision of the ultimate destination.

I drove to Irvine to meet up with Misha on my last day in SD. We were happy to see each other, more so than I had anticipated. I felt close to him. He held my hand as we walked around campus. I told him I felt lost. Even though he said nothing profound in response I felt he understood me. There was love, tenderness and empathy. On the drive back I felt a brief moment of contentment. A realization that I exist in this world solely because of people who love me.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Run

Got my Forerunner 410 and completed my first four-mile run this morning. The first mile was the hardest. As soon as I picked up my feet my body wanted to stop and sit on a lawn chair. I powered through and it got easier. I adjusted my breathing to 3-2 pattern as suggested from the book I've been reading. When my mind starts to give up I shift my focus to my surroundings to distract myself. I saw three cardinals, a bunny and a woodchuck. After I reached the planned three miles I was no longer exhausted. I kept on running until I had to stop myself from over doing it. The morning run felt great. I wish everyday started like this.

While the run felt great my feet not so much. My toes were bleeding and I got a blister on the inside arch of my right foot. Tricia recommended some toe socks to help to keep my nails from digging into the side of my toes. I stopped by body n sole this afternoon to get properly fitted for a pair of new running shoes that are one and half size larger than the ones I currently have. The guy who helped me was really patient and genuine. I wish I had gotten his name. I was so happy with my new purchase I couldn't wait to take them running. Unable to wait until tomorrow I ran another mile around my neighborhood after I finished with my errands in the evening.

I'm not a perfectionist. I just like to do things the right way. I've never been one to actively seek input from others. Perhaps as part of the getting older and wiser, I have finally acquired the desire and ability to ask and accept advises from people who know better. I've always thought myself as confident but humble. What I didn't realize is how little I know and how much of life is unpredictable and outside of my control. Just when I start to think I'm finally sorting things out everything changes and turns upside down right side up.

Life is not only a challenge but one that's constantly evolving. What works today may not work tomorrow. It never stops or slow down enough for one to catch up and not to mention getting ahead. The number of days that are hopeful are diminishing as the days of helplessness and desperation grows. I still feel anxious and depressed at times. I don't know if it's a temporary state of mind or a new way of life. I'm sad, lonely and I cry when I think of Rob. Very few things in life are unconditional. The kind of love that existed and continue to linger between us is unlikely to be seen again outside of movies and novels. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me going. Life is a funny thing. It has the ability to turn some of the most painful experiences into euphoric memories that one would be willing to go through twice the pain to relive it all over again. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day today, sunny, breezy, cool, like the beginning of my favorite season, fall. Actually it's been a beautiful week. I went to the Sox game with Brett last Sunday. On the drive back I decided I should finally conquer long distance running. There are a few things I feel self conscious about: running, swimming and team sports. They are all very manageable things to overcome. Running requires the lease amount of setup and it'll give me the confidence to pursue other things in life. I started to run as soon as I came home on Sunday and have been running a little bit everyday. I read articles online, ordered books and a GPS/HRM unit to track my progress. I also reached out to Tricia, a friend I met through tango who has trained and ran numerous marathons and is in incredible physical condition. I realize everything is auxiliary and the only way to conquer running is to run.

I started to study for the LSAT again but not so stressed out as before. So far I've only done some light reading to ease myself back into the process and not get burnout quickly. There's nothing more counterproductive than hitting a brick wall at full speed. Studying or running. I feel better about my anxiety and depression these days. Who knows if I'm bipolar, I just feel more zen in my life. I think stop seeing Sam was the best decision I've made in a long time. It's no fault of his or mine. I just think the combination of us together accentuated the extremism in both of us in a negative way. I can be driven and hardcore at times. I need someone who can chill with me and help me to put things in perspective. If nothing else, just take me away for a little escape. After all life is about balance and I truly believe that.

I'm no more clear about the future than I was before. Most of the times future seems less clear the older we get. It's easy to think up paradigms when you are unaware of the myriad of factors, things and events, in life that are completely out of your control. It's our natural desire to constantly attempt to exert control over things that may or may not be controllable. Going with the flow is a consistent struggle yet it's the only way to bring some peace into our crazy lives. I'm constantly in recovery.

And speaking of controlling, sometimes are just not worth contemplating unless you have the luxury to actually making it a reality. Kids for example. People like to ask me about kids, what my thoughts on them whether or not I'd like to have them someday. I used to think that was something everyone did when I was young. As I got older I felt less so but I'm not sure if that's my personal inclination or the result of the type of relationships I've been in. I know strongly that having children is a serious business and it is not something I would attempt without a solid partnership. If two abortions don't partially prove that point I don't know what would. I knew I had to get an IUD no matter how painful and complicated it might have been and I'm glad I did that. Nowadays kids or no kids is not something I want to have a strong opinion on. It's simply irrelevant until it becomes a possibility. After all most of us don't wake up each morning wondering if we'd be willing to relocate to Mars.

Life is life and it's going to go on no matter whether we like it or not. My mantra has always been making the best of it. I think that's been a clear trend looking back at how I've lived my life. Even while in the middle of nowhere Minnesota I managed to find joy in road trips and other small happenings. I don't feel like a sponge but rather a single naked nerve cell that is exposed to the raw environment with no outer shell, deadly susceptible to everything around me yet continue to thrive. That's me, sensitive, resilient, positive with the audacity to see the beauty in everything. I have wings and I will fly.